Last update: 13-Sep-2006 16:42 NATO Update

3 Sep 2006


Iraq gets National Defence College

NATO’s assistance to Iraq

Iraq’s new National Defence College, which NATO helped to establish, opened on 3 September, with the first students beginning courses on 4 September.

The College, which is part of the National Defence University, will train about 15 flag officers each year.  Flag officers are very senior officers at the rank of colonel or general.

The goal is to help develop an officer corps trained in modern military leadership skills and introduce values that are in keeping with democratically controlled armed forces,” said NATO Spokesman James Appathurai.

Building capacity

This is the latest in a number of defence educational and training institutions that NATO has helped to establish in Iraq.

NATO’s Training Mission in Iraq has assisted in the development of other components of the National Defence University, including the Joint Staff College, the Iraq Military Academy, and a Defence Language University.

The Alliance’s assistance is aimed at helping Iraq provide for its own security by training Iraqi personnel and supporting the development of the country’s security institutions.

To date, NATO has trained some 2000 personnel, including 1150 officers and civilians in command and control. Out of Iraq, more than 650 officers were trained. The equipment donated by NATO member countries to the Iraqi Security Forces amounts to some 100 million euro.