Germany opens Military Medical Training Centre in Sulaimani
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish and German military officials on Wednesday held an official ceremony for the opening of a Military Medical Training Centre (MTC) for Peshmerga forces.
🇩🇪 supports medical capabilities of Peshmerga forces: German CG Klaus Streicher and the Commander of the German OIR contingent Oberst Zuckschwerdt at the opening of the Military Medical Training Center and handing over of 4 ambulance cars in Sulaimaniya. pic.twitter.com/jnrMkB1Lh4— German Consulate Erbil (@GermanyInKRI) October 14, 2022
The leader of the German Contingent in Erbil, Col. Eiko Zuckschwerdt, in a speech said the centre was financed by Germany to celebrate the takeover of German ambulances under the auspices of the Ministry of Peshmerga.
“These ambulances are part of a joint medical project of the Bundeswehr (German Army) and the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, in which medical personnel of regional guard brigades are to be trained as combat first responders at the MTC. The selected Peshmerga are to be trained in a one week course in order to train additional personnel in their brigade,” Col. Eiko Zuckschwert, said.
A total of four training sessions are held for one week each, the courses end November this year.
“In this joint project of the Federal Government of Germany and Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, the Ministry of Peshmerga selected the training personnel from the RGBs (Regional Guard Brigades), the Bundeswehr finances the MTC, and provides mobile training team which conducts the training now at the MTC.”
“This example shows for me that joint projects can only be successful if the Bundeswehr (German Army) and the Ministry of Peshmerga work closely together,” he said.
“I hope that these ambulances and the personnel trained here from next week will save many lives in the future. This is why our common model shall be we stay together. Thanks for your attention.”
Peshmerga Secretary-General Lieutenant Colonel Bakhtiar Mohammed, representing the Ministry of Peshmerga said this “this training centre is for all Peshmerga in Kurdistan and we also hope that we assist the Ministry of Interior and Asayish in this hospital.”
He also thanked Germany for all their investment and support to all provinces of the Kurdistan Region. “There is also a good relation between Germany and the Kurdistan Region, especially when Kurdistan asked Germany for support in the fight against ISIS, and they support this until now.”
German Consul General in Erbil Klaus Streicher told reporters on Friday that Germany helps Iraq and the Kurdistan Region with many projects.
“One of the most important are projects in the health sector that comprise the Medical Training Center you have seen here that comprise the ambulances but for example, but also the support for a clinic of the Ministry of Defense (Peshmerga) in Erbil.”
Germany in 2019 also opened a fully-staffed Peshmerga Hospital in Erbil. The total cost of the hospital stands at about $5 million, and the work took 19 months to complete.
The German Consul General Streicher also said that they “very much hope that the Peshmerga grow together to form a powerful force and we also very much hope that the Kurdish political force will cooperate together.”
Together with the Netherlands, the US, and the UK, Germany forms the Multi-National Advisory Group (MNAG) that enthusiastically supports the project to establish a modern, effective, affordable and accountable Peshmerga force under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The German Consul General Streicher added that Germany thinks “it's very important to follow up on the Peshmerga reform and I'm very new to Erbil and very new to Kurdistan and so I have the impression that it is going on the reform, but I also have to admit that it maybe could go faster.”
“And we appeal to our Kurdish friends to do all in their efforts to continue with the reform so the (...) the Peshmerga forces can grow together and cooperate, because this cooperation is so important.”
However, he added that “this goes not only for the cooperation between the Peshmerga forces, this goes also for the cooperation between the political forces of Kurdistan. “Only by cooperating in the interest of the country and in the interest of the people we will have finally a strong Iraq and a strong Kurdistan.”