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Royal Navy training mission to Iraq ends

Britain’s Armed Forces officially end operation in Iraq in the coming days, with the conclusion of a Royal Navy mission to train Iraqi sailors – It was announced on 22nd May by the MoD Press Office that the UK/Iraq Training and Maritime Support Agreement has come to an end marking the conclusion of Operation TELIC – the name for UK operations in Iraq that began with the invasion and subsequent removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

UK combat forces, primarily based in the southern city of Basrah, withdrew from Iraq in July 2009 but since then, at the request of the Iraqi Government, the Royal Navy has continued to train the Iraqi Navy to defend its territorial waters and offshore oil infrastructure.

British forces have been involved in this important task since 2003. Royal Navy personnel have worked alongside US forces to train and mentor Iraqi sailors and marines at their main naval base in Umm Qasr.

A total of 1,800 Iraqi personnel have been trained on 50 different courses,
including maritime, small arms, oil platform defence, and maintenance training. A ‘train the trainer’ focus has also given the Iraqi Navy the ability to develop an independent and self sustaining force for the future.