An Italian patrol ship will become the flagship of the Iraqi navy in May.
Called Fatah, meaning "conquer" or "victory," Patrol Ship 701 is one of four ships contracted from the Fincantieri Shipyard in La Spezia, Italy.
Thirty-four Iraqis traveled to Italy in January to begin their training on shipboard operations, according to a news release issued by Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq. The crew will sail the ship from La Spezia to Umm Qasr, in southern Iraq, in mid-May.
The Italian navy will provide an escort ship for the voyage to continue training opportunities and coordinate interactions with coalition warships.
The Iraqi navy plans to take responsibility for its own maritime security in December 2011, officials say.