Updated: 05-Oct-2005 NATO Update

28 Sep. 2005

NATO Secretary General in Iraq


On 26-27 September, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, accompanied by NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, General James L. Jones, visited Iraq to mark the enhancement of NATO's training mission.

The Secretary General raised the NATO flag over the new NATO Training Mission Headquarters inside the International Zone of Baghdad.

Along with the Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Jafaari, he also opened the Iraqi Joint Staff College in Ar-Rustamiyah, on the outskirts of the capital, where officer training will primarily take place.

Training future officers

During his visit, the Secretary General also consulted with the Commander of the NATO Training Mission on the current status and future shape of the NATO effort.

The NATO training effort focuses currently on mid-and-senior level Iraqi officers. It aims to help the Iraqi security forces develop an officer corps trained in modern military leadership skills, as well as to inculcate the values appropriate to democratically controlled armed forces.

The NATO Training Mission will, this year, train approximately 700 officers in country, as well as several hundred in NATO facilities in Europe. That figure will rise next year to some 900 officers trained in country.

NATO is also providing significant amounts of equipment to the Iraqi forces, including an impending delivery of 77 Hungarian T-72 main battle tanks.