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NATO Training Mission - Iraq (NTM-I)

The NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) was established in 2004 at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1546. The aim of NTM-I is to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions so that Iraq can build an effective and sustainable capability that addresses the needs of the nation. NTM-I is not a combat mission, but it falls under the political control of NATO's North Atlantic Council, and its operational emphasis is on training and mentoring. The activities of the mission are coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the US-led Deputy Commanding General Advising and Training (DCG (A&T)) who is also dual-hated as the Commander of NTM-I.

ntm-iCamp Dublin, Baghdad—Italian Carbinieri Officer supervises Kurdish Zerevani and Arab Iraqi Federal police improving their skills at the range (Photo by WO Maurizio Sarasino, NTM-I.) 17 Jan 2010

NTM-I delivers its training, advice and mentoring support in a number of different settings such as: 
  • Support to the Iraqi Command and Control structure.
  • The professionalization of Iraqi Armed Forces Officers training and education and the professional development at the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy both within Iraq and abroad.
  • Professionalization of the Iraqi Federal Police and Oil Police through Carabinieri-led training.

NATO's two most significant contributions to the Iraqi Security Forces are at the Iraqi Military Academy Ar Rustamiyah, or IMAR, and the Carabinieri training of the Iraqi Federal Police. Standards to be achieved are high broadly equating to those found in many Western Military Academies. At Camp Dublin, the Carabinieri run a gendarmerie-type specialised course designed to provide future training to the IFP to enhance the skills taught at their basic training centres. Police officers attending the Carabinieri course study operational planning, police procedures, police intelligence skills, weapons and combat skills. The course also places special emphasis on police ethics and Human Rights.

A recent initiative has been to introduce Carabinieri led training to the Iraqi Oil Police in order to establish a cadre of professionals able to protect Iraq critical economic infrastructure. The first Oil Police training course started in October 2010 using the Carabinieri training program as a model. Each 7 week basic course of around 120 students will train Officers, NCOs and Shurta. By the end of December 2011 it is estimated that there will be over 1100 graduates of the basic course as well as a strong cadre of T3 and T5 instructors.

The Way Ahead
The challenge for the future of NTM-I rests in the transition from being a training provider to becoming a mentor of trainers and ultimately establishing the capability for Iraq to autonomously organise and direct security force training as part of a broader strategic relationship with NATO. In 2010,  the United States withdrew combat forces and the Iraqi Security Forces took on further security responsibilities. Through its activities, NTM-I is helping pave the way for a long-term relationship between the Alliance and Iraq under a Structured Cooperation Framework.

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