Photos: Prime Minister's secret mission to Iraq

MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ Mike Scott MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ Mike Scott MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ

John Key on the NZ Hercules flying from Dubai to Baghdad.

Prime Minister John Key on the NZ Hercules flying from Dubai to Baghdad.

Troops work around the plane at Camp Taji.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is greeted at Baghdad airport by New Zealand ambassador to Iraq James Monroe.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key visited kiwi troops based at Camp Taji in Iraq who are part of a mission to train Iraqi troops. Key is pictured talking with Iraqi troops and the New Zealand trainers.

Iraqi troops are seen training in urban clearances and tactics.

Key talks with Iraqi troops and the New Zealand trainers.

Iraqi troops training in urban clearances and tactics.

The Prime Minister talks with Iraqi troops and New Zealand trainers.

Life for soldiers in Camp Taji.

A soldier rests at Camp Taji.

Life in Camp Taji.

Life in Camp Taji shots

Key talks with Iraqi troops and the New Zealand trainers.

Key talks with Iraqi troops and the New Zealand trainers.

Key talks with Iraqi troops and the New Zealand trainers.

Key talks with Iraqi troops and the New Zealand trainers.

Key talks with Iraqi troops and the New Zealand trainers.

Iraqi troops training in urban clearances and tactics.

Prime Minister John Key wears a flak jacket as he talks with Iraqi troops and New Zealand trainers.

Iraqi troops training trauma care.

Iraqi troops training trauma care.

Iraqi troops training in urban clearances and tactics.

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Prime Minister John Key has just ended a drama filled trip to Iraq visiting Kiwi troops.

With the visit kept tightly under wraps for security reasons, the drama meant that Key effectively disappeared off the radar for more than 24 hours. While considered well secured, Camp Taji is surrounded by pockets of active Islamic State sympathisers so none of the group travelling with the Prime Minister was allowed to take in their cellphones or transmitting devices.

The first international leader to visit coalition forces at their military base north-west of Baghdad, Key's visit turned into a roller coaster ride involving the Australian, New Zealand and United States military after he was dogged by delays and sandstorms.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is pictured during his visit to see Kiwi troops based at Camp Taji in Iraq.
MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is pictured during his visit to see Kiwi troops based at Camp Taji in Iraq.

Key finally flew out of Iraq just after midnight local time on an air force Hercules after nearly being stranded there for an extra night by the storm.

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