Defeat-ISIS Coalition in Iraq

Personnel: Up to 121 NZDF personnel are deployed to the Middle East in roles associated with the Defeat-ISIS Coalition in Iraq

The majority of New Zealand's personnel are based at the combined New Zealand and Australian Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The purpose of the BPC mission is to prepare Iraqi Security Forces units for combat and stabilisation operations. Training includes basic weapons skills, individual and unit military skills to prepare for combat operations as well as other skills like medical support, logistics and training on the laws of armed conflict.

In support of the main deployment to Taji, a number of New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed to other roles related to the Defeat-ISIS coalition around the region.

Current Commitment

  • 88 personnel at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq;
  • eight staff officers at Coalition Headquarters in Baghdad, conducting roles in: training planning; support to ongoing planning and logistics; operational coordination and prioritisation; information operations planning; and the provision of legal advice;

  • three personnel supporting intelligence functions within the US Central Command Forward Headquarters in Qatar;

  • up to six personnel deployed to the region providing logistics support for our deployment in Iraq.

The mandate for these deployments expires on 30 June 2019.

For more information on Operation Inherent Resolve go to: link) (external link).

Adjustments to the Mission

As part of Cabinet's September 2018 decision to extend the New Zealand Defence Force deployment to Iraq and the region from 30 November 2018 to 30 June 2019, the mandated personnel numbers were reduced to up to 121 personnel (from 30 November 2018). Cabinet also invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence to report back to Cabinet before the end of April 2019 on possible options for New Zealand contributions to Iraq from July 2019.

In June 2019, Cabinet agreed to conclude New Zealand's deployment at Taji Military Complex in June 2020. The maximum personnel deployed to Taji will reduce from 95 to 75 from July 2019, and reduce to 45 from January 2020.

Alongside the deployment to Taji, the New Zealand Defence Force will continue in a reduced number of the support roles until 2020.

Copies of Cabinet papers and the associated minutes of decisions regarding the Iraq contribution are linked in the Deployment Articles section below.