NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples is stepping out smartly to establish the alliance training mission in Iraq, said Navy Adm. James Foggo, the commander of the Joint Force Command, in a recent interview. Iraqi leaders asked the alliance to stand up the mission, and NATO heads of state approved the request during the Brussels Summit July 12. The NATO effort will build on past NATO involvement in the country. In the past, seven personnel acted as facilitators for NATO efforts. The training mission will have about 500 personnel in the nation to push forward. A Canadian major general will be the commander in Iraq, Foggo said. The Iraqi government does not want to make the same mistakes that led to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria taking over much of the country in 2014. Iraqi security forces had let their training lapse and ISIS was able to capture the western part of the nation and much of the north. The crown jewel in the ISIS effort was the capture of Mosul, the second-largest city in the country. “Thankfully, we formed a coalition that went in and did some significant training and work with Iraqi forces who pushed them back,” Foggo said. NATO stepping forward on mission to Iraq This will be interesting to watch unfold.