Germany opens two military training centres near Erbil

By Rudaw  20 July 2016 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Germany opened on Tuesday two military centres near Erbil designed for training of the Kurdish Peshmerga. Speaking to Peshmerga commanders at the ceremony inaugurating the centres, Colonel Frank Wasgindt, commander of the German contingent providing training assistance in Kurdistan, said that the names of the military training centres are “German Village and Ghost House.”

“This German Village is a training center consisting of 51 containers,” Wasgindt said. “The total area of the [German Village] training centre is 40,000 square meters.”Wasgindt added that there are buildings, tunnel systems, and a river built on the training grounds to simulate real-life conditions the Peshmerga forces may face in combat, which “prepares Kurdish security forces for any kind of situation.”

Describing the Ghost House training centre Wasgindt said, “The Ghost House offers four similar classrooms in which in any case soldiers can be taught in military basics.” There are areas specialized for training in urban warfare in the Ghost House, the German colonel added. Germany, which is not directly participating in the US-led coalition airstrikes against ISIS, has been at the forefront of arming Iraq’s Kurds in the war against the Islamic State that has raged since 2014. About 80 German soldiers are stationed in the Kurdistan Region to train the Peshmerga forces. Germany is one of the few countries supplying the Kurdish troops directly through Erbil and not through the Iraqi central government in Baghdad.