NATO Training Mission-Iraq Opens New HQ in International Zone
|U.S. Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, commander, NATO Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, centre, cuts the ribbon. Left, NTM-I DCOM, MG Giuseppe Spinelli; right, NTM-I CG, LT GEN Frank Helmick.
BAGHDAD, Iraq, 13th September 09 – With a slice of a scissor, the ribbon was cut and NATO Training Mission-Iraq inaugurated their new Headquarters at Forward Operating Base Union III in the International Zone Sept. 13.
Participating were U.S. Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, Commander, NATO Joint Force Command in Naples; U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, Commanding General for NATO Training Mission Iraq (NTM-I); and his Deputy Commander, Italian Maj. Gen. Giuseppe Spinelli.
NTM-I moved here from its previous base at the Baghdad Culture Centre. Its move fulfils actions directed by the Agreement between NATO and the Government of the Republic of Iraq regarding the training of Iraqi Security Forces, by which the Government of Iraq has asked NATO to continue its assistance.
Admiral Fitzgerald, after the symbolic ceremony, met with the numerous media present. He highlighted the significance of the NATO presence in Iraq and the successful work done in providing assistance to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) training organizations. This includes training, mentoring, and advising the ISF in order to build up effective and sustainable professional Forces. The Admiral also provided additional information on NTM-I's achievements in the five years since it was established.
Helmick said in a statement "The relocation of this Headquarters enables the Government of Iraq to put the Baghdad Cultural Centre compound to another use of value to both the Government and the people of Iraq,”
NTM-I's mission is to advise in Iraq's various military and police academies, General Helmick said. NTM-I personnel continue to work and train alongside their Iraqi counterparts.
"These important relationships will continue uninterrupted,” he said. "Though Iraq's military and police forces are performing increasingly well, more remains to be done.