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NTM-I DCOM briefs NATO leadership on extending the mission through 2013

Brussels, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) – On May 6, Italian Army Maj. Gen. Claudio Angelelli, NATO Training Mission Iraq's deputy commander addressed SHAPE's National Military Representatives and members of NATO's Military Committee, on behalf of NTM-I Commander, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter. The brief concentrated on points regarding an extension of NATO's mission in Iraq through the end of 2013.

A partial transcription of Angelelli's remarks:

I would like to thank [British Army] Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, whose leadership and support for the NATO Training Mission are truly and deeply appreciated. Thank you, Sir Richard.

As Gen. Shirreff's remarks illustrate, NTM-I has been actively and successfully engaged in training and professionalizing Iraqi Security Forces since 2004.

I am here today to ask your support to develop Iraqi Security Forces during Iraq's democratization process, while the Iraqi Security Forces have already undergone major restructuring to become apolitical, non-sectarian, professional forces focused on providing security to the population.

Baghdad - Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, British Army General, Sir Richard Shirreff with NTM-I headquarters personnel March 12

I am proud to report that the men and women of the NATO Training Mission in Iraq – Your nations' military professionals – have been making a significant and lasting contribution to the development of that new reality in Iraq. Since 2004, NTM-I has achieved the following:

- We have provided training to over 4,000 Officers and 263 Iraqi Senior NCOs;

- We have facilitated over 1,800 Out of Country Courses to members of the Iraqi Security Forces;

- We have trained over 9,800 Iraqi Federal Police on the basic course, and another 150 Federal Police instructors;

- We have trained over 500 Iraqi Oil Police on the basic course, and another 40 Oil Police instructors;

- And others.

The personal relationships we have created through regular face-to-face; through contact with NATO officers and NCOs; our core commitment to personal integrity, professionalism, and safeguarding of human rights; the Iraqi Security Forces have come a long way in a short time towards becoming a professional force.

We worked hard with Joint Forces Command Naples to develop a range of options for an NTM-I presence after 2011 that would allow maximum flexibility.

To be clear, our military advice remains firmly focused on completing our assigned mission – creating self-sustaining Iraqi Security Forces.

These teams will be engaged in a number of key areas that have been identified as areas where the Iraqi Security Forces are working hard to achieve self-sustaining capability by 2013.

This proposal allows us to engage with Iraq to address critical post-2011 capabilities gaps, and it allows us to respond to priorities identified by our Iraqi counterparts through training assistance.

I firmly believe this plan represents a realistic proposal to balance operational necessity, political sensitivities and financial considerations. An investment for two critical years that will pay for cementing NATO's long-term relationship with our emerging key strategic partner, and will also pay for sustaining the professionalization and development of our partner's security forces.

I encourage this committee to endorse the revised recommendation presented in the out-of-cycle Periodic Mission Review, and to encourage policy makers in the Alliance and in its member countries to weigh the modest two-year financial commitment.

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NTM-I has been training, mentoring and advising officers in the Iraqi Security Forces since 2004, in order to assist the Government of Iraq resume its important place in the international community and to improve the security of all Iraqi people with democratic security forces.

NTM-I advises and supports the National Defence University, National Defence College, War College, Joint Staff and Command College, the Military Academy, the Defence Strategic Studies Institute and the Defence Language Institute. The Iraqi Military Academy and the Joint Staff and Command College are based at Ar Rustamiyah to the East of Baghdad with the other institutions in Baghdad. Other cooperation projects for NATO in Iraq are out-of-country training courses for Iraqi nationals at NATO schools as well as the Iraqi Police (Iraqi Federal Police and Oil Police) training led by Italian Carabinieri.

NTM–I officered also provide mentoring and advice to the Prime Minister's National Operation Centres, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior Command Centre and the Iraqi Ministry of Defence Joint Operations Centre that achieved the Self Sustainable Capability in November 2010.