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ON POINT II: Transition to the New Campaign

The United States Army in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM May 2003-January 2005

Part III

Toward the Objective: Building a New Iraq

Chapter 11
Training the Iraqi Security Forces


NATO Training Implementation Mission–Iraq (NTIM-I)

At the request of the IIG, NATO announced a small but important contribution to the ISF training mission in August 2004. NATO’s previous role had been limited to logistical support of the multinational division led by the Poles operating south and southeast of Baghdad. The new program included military personnel from Canada, Hungary, Norway, the Netherlands, and Italy and took the name NATO Training Implementation Mission–Iraq (NTIM-I).129 As of 10 February 2005, 90 personnel were deployed in support of the mission from 10 countries.130 Dutch Major General Carel Hilderink led the initial team and became deputy when Lieutenant General Petraeus assumed dual command of both MNSTC-I and NATO Training Mission–Iraq (NTM-I) (which had dropped the middle “I” from its name in November 2004).

NATO filled various niches in the Coalition’s ISF training program. One such area was advising and mentoring the Iraqi Joint Headquarters and the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. They also advised the military, police, and National Operation Centers. Under Italian leadership, NTIM-I developed the junior and senior staff colleges and provided mentors for the Iraqi instructors. Rather than having NATO instructors teach through translators, at Petraeus’ urging the Italians took the time to train the Iraqis who taught the course and provided the support staff. The NATO mission staff also ensured that Iraqis held the commandant position in each school. Some Iraqi officers attended NATO schools in Norway, Italy, Germany, and others. Instructors at the Iraqi NCO Academy, for example, traveled to the United Kingdom to be trained for their positions. Petraeus recalled, “[The ISF] had normally about 3,200 Iraqis out of the country on a given day. Now, the bulk of them, about 3,000 of those, were typically in the Jordan Police Academy, another 80 to 100 might be in the Jordan Special Operations Training Center, and then you would have anywhere from 40 to 100 or more literally sprinkled all over the world at NATO, US, and other country courses.”131

MNSTC-I provided some of the funding that enabled the NTIM-I mission as NATO funding mechanisms proved relatively inflexible and inadequate. NATO did provide substantial equipment donations such as 30,000 vehicles and weapons delivered in January 2005 before the national elections. The most substantial gift came from Hungary in the form of 77 T-72 tanks after the Hungarian Prime Minister visited Iraq. Greece provided the ship to transport the tanks as well as 36 BMP armored personnel carriers.132 The NTIM-I mission provided a way for some member countries to support Iraq’s rebuilding effort without direct involvement in the military Coalition.

Beyond the NATO mission, many other countries provided training support. Jordan, as already mentioned, provided the largest contribution. Instructors for the police program came from United Arab Emirates (UAE), Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Singapore, and Belgium.133 The Royal Navy supported Iraq’s Coastal Defense Force and the Australian Army provided officers in support of CMATT.134 Although it did not participate in the NATO mission, Germany trained Iraqi military drivers and mechanics, provided training in the UAE and equipment for Iraqi engineering personnel, and provided military hospital equipment. And Egypt invited a company of 134 Iraqi soldiers from the 5th Infantry Division to participate in a joint training exercise.135

Chapter 11. Training the Iraqi Security Forces

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