Camp Taji handover: a significant milestone and new phase in ensuring the enduring defeat of Daesh
The full operational transfer of Camp from Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), (the Global Coalition against Daesh’s military task force), to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) on Sunday 23 August represents a milestone in the enduring defeat of Daesh and the increased capacity of the ISF. Coalition troops have been stationed at Camp Taji since 2014 at the invitation of the Government of Iraq, and the ceremony marked not only the successful completion of their training mission at the camp, but the beginning of a new phase of specialist support to Iraqi partners.
“Taji camp is the eighth base transferred to the Iraqi government in 2020 as part of a long-term plan coordinated with the Iraqi government to redeploy military personnel after the defeat of ISIS”, stated CJTF-OIR Spokesperson Col. Myles B. Caggins III.
The Global Coalition has trained more than 47,000 members of the ISF at Camp Taji in skills such as infantry tactics, combat medicine, operations planning and intelligence analysis to enable the forces to protect the country’s sovereignty against the reemergence of Daesh.
The training conducted at Taji has helped the ISF achieve independent operating capability and the ability to conduct regular missions against Daesh. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Ekman, Deputy Commander of CJTF-OIR, described the day as “historic” as Coalition efforts have meant that Iraqi soldiers are now being trained by Iraqi instructors. He stated that the Iraqi forces “will take full responsibility for the facilities and programs at Taji and continue to use the site to lead and conduct training as part of the mission to defeat Daesh remnants.”
As part of the handover, the Global Coalition has also transferred $347 million of equipment, property and assets to the ISF, including base improvements, airfield and runway renovations, modular aircraft shelters, vehicles, and more than 90 million rounds of ammunition.
Tahsin al-Khafaji, Spokesperson for Iraq’s military Joint Operations Command, thanked the Global Coalition for enhancing the capacities of the Iraqi forces and its support in their fight against Daesh, and stated that the handover of the camp and its equipment is a result of the ISF’s increased military capacity.
Major Gabby Thompson, Deputy Spokesperson of CJTF-OIR, added that 2020 has seen significant cooperation between the Global Coalition and the ISF. The transfer of eight bases since the beginning of the year has demonstrated the Coalition’s commitment to the Iraqi people.
Most of the 2000 troops hosted at Camp Taji have departed from the camp over the summer. The transfer will be completed in a few days upon the delivery of all equipment to the ISF. The Coalition’s military presence in Iraq will continue to evolve following the success of its training mission, according to the needs and wishes of the ISF. Its commitment to supporting the ISF in its fight against Daesh remains resolute, and it will continue to provide specialist support including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh.