Home' Army News : April 20th 2017 Contents 9
April 20, 2017
Capt Sharon Mascall-Dare
and Cpl Kyle Genner
SAFETY and security in north
Baghdad have improved since
Australian elements of Task Group
Taji 4 (TGT-4) began their ‘Advise
and Assist’ role as part of Operation
Okra in December.
By working with the Iraqi Army’s
Northern Baghdad Operations
Command (NBOC), the Advise
and Assist sub-unit is helping Iraqi
Security Forces in the planning of
battalion-level clearances in NBOC’s
area of operations, which results in the
seizure of enemy weapons and preven-
tion of Daesh bomb attacks.
The unit is also providing input into
training design and facilitating access
to coalition assets such as unmanned
OC Maj Brian Hickey said the unit
was making a direct contribution to
safety and security in Baghdad and
northern approaches to the city.
“We work closely with the NBOC
on a daily basis, helping them to plan
and coordinate clearance operations
that save lives,” he said.
“We’re helping them access coali-
tion intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance (ISR) platforms that
enable them to detect and defeat the
enemy in their area of operations.
“By helping them to access and
incorporate coalition support, we’re
enabling the NBOC to stay one step
ahead of the enemy.”
The Advise and Assist role is part
of TGT-4’s mission to build part-
ner capacity and provides the Iraqi
Security Forces with the training,
advice and assistance it needs to defeat
Daesh and maintain security in Iraq.
Importantly, the unit is also contrib-
uting directly to the safety and security
of TGT-4 personnel based at the Taji
Military Complex about 20km north of
“By working with the NBOC,
the Advise and Assist unit is helping
the Iraqis to clear and secure the key
approaches to Baghdad and surround-
ing areas, immediately north of the
city,” Maj Hickey said.
“As a result, the unit is making an
important contribution to the force
protection of our men and women and
other coalition forces based at Taji.”
The Advise and Assist unit is also
helping the Iraqis gain access to data
from coalition ISR platforms such as
drones, providing imagery data that
can be used to identify enemy loca-
tions and activities.
2IC Capt Nathan Small said in a
recent case TGT-4 was able to give the
NBOC access to surveillance data that
led to the identification of a weapons
cache and a Daesh safe house.
“As a result, Iraq Security Forces
were able to seize the weapons and
prevent a suicide bomber from launch-
ing an attack,” Capt Small said.
Deputy Commander NBOC Brig
Wassam, of the Iraqi Army, said the
assistance he received from the Advise
and Assist unit was important for the
fight against Daesh.
“Expertise is important for all
Taking the fight to Daesh
Increasing combat effectiveness now and for the future
armies,” Brig Wassam said. “By
accessing the Australians’ expertise we
have been provided with the skills to
help us to defeat Daesh.
“We are now sharing this expertise
and knowledge with our own forces.
We really appreciate the help of the
Australian and coalition forces in
The team is also working closely
with the Iraqi Army’s training cell
to identify lessons from previous
operations and incorporate information
regarding enemy TTPs.
Training Officer WO2 Paul
Duhring said the team was making a
direct contribution to the effectiveness
of training delivered to the Iraqis by
“We’re providing advice and
assistance to ensure the Iraqis receive
training that is relevant, effective and
up-to-date,” WO2 Duhring said.
“As an example, the technology
used in IEDs is always changing.
“We provide advice and expertise
to ensure our coalition partners deliver
counter-IED training that remains
“We’re helping the Iraqis to inte-
grate training, planning and coalition
assets into their operations. We’re
helping them to be more combat effec-
tive now and into the future.”
TO HELP Iraqi security
forces stay one step ahead
of Daesh, Task Group Taji 4
(TGT-4) is working with the US
Asymmetric Warfare Group
(AWG) to obtain new informa-
tion about the enemy.
The AWG is a US Army unit
that has its origins in the US
Army IED Task Force, formed
To gather information about
Daesh’s use of asymmetric
warfare, the AWG deploys
teams of soldiers and contrac-
tors to observe enemy TTPs in
conflict zones such as Mosul.
The lessons, as well as
information about enemy
vulnerabilities and capabil-
ity gaps, are then fed back to
At TGT-4, AWG observa-
tions are being used to inform
training to keep periods of
instruction relevant and up-to-
date. As a result, Iraqi secu-
rity forces are in a stronger
position to defeat Daesh and
counter their use of IEDs and
ahead of the
Sgt Cameron Pegg (right) and Sgt
Aaron Rankin, of Task Group Taji
4, supervise a live-fire activity with
Iraqi security forces personnel.
Below left: Iraqi soldiers move a
casualty during a live-fire exercise
under the guidance of Australian
and New Zealand trainers.
Photos: Cpl Kyle Genner
Photo: Cpl Kyle
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