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Fifth group of NZ troops heading to Iraq

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/04/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">New Zealand's latest group of troops have completed training with their Australian counterparts and are ready to participate in Task Group Taji in Iraq.</span> © Getty New Zealand's latest group of troops have completed training with their Australian counterparts and are ready to participate in Task Group Taji in Iraq. The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops are ready to deploy to Iraq.

The 106 troops have completed training with their Australian counterparts and will head to Iraq in late May.

Brigadier Mike Shapland, the NZDF's land component commander, went to Townsville in Australia last week to certify the troops as ready for deployment.

They will form part of Task Group Taji, a combined New Zealand and Australian task group that has trained more than 21,000 Iraqi Security Forces personnel since its training mission began in May 2015.

In March Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Defence Force chief Lieutenant General Tim Keating visited Kiwi troops at Camp Taji near Baghdad and received briefings from coalition forces taking on Isis.

Mr Brownlee hinted that New Zealand will have a role to play in the reconstruction of Iraq, as the fight against Islamic State heads towards a conclusion.

Mark Mitchell will be sworn in as minister of defence on Tuesday and Mr Brownlee becomes minister of foreign affairs..

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