The Iraqi navy has been handed the responsibility for protecting one of the country's crucial floating oil export terminals by British and US forces.
The Khor al-Amaya platform handles 10% of oil exports from the southern oil hub of Basra. The oil terminal is by far the smaller of the two platforms serving Basra.
Admiral Tom Cropper stated that the hand over is a test case but also represents a significant milestone as the oil terminals produce around 70% of Iraqs gross domestic product.
To date, al-Basra terminal, which handles 90% of Basra's oil exports, and Khor al-Amaya have been protected by US and British forces while they and personnel from Australia and Singapore worked to get Iraqi naval recruits up to speed.