Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle 2010-07/08
DJ Elliott is a retired USN Intelligence Specialist (22 years active duty) who has been analyzing and writing on Iraqi Security Forces developments since 2006. His Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle is an open-source compilation that attempts to map and detail Iraqi units and equipment, as their military branches and internal security forces grow and mature. While “good enough for government use” is not usually uttered as a compliment, US Army TRADOC has maintained permission to use the ISF OOB for their unclassified handouts since 2008.
This compilation is reproduced here with full permission. It offers a set of updates highlighting recent changes in the ISF’s composition and development, followed by the full updated ISF OOBs in PDF form. Reader feedback and tips are encouraged. This month’s developments include:
During July, 2 articles extrapolating future Iraqi Army Armor Forces were written: The 1st [more conservative] “Speculation on Iraqi Army Armor Forces by 2014” and the far more speculative “SWAG on Iraqi Armor Distribution“. An article breaking down the Iraqi Army Air Corps split from Iraqi Air Force was also published and the details will not be addressed in this update.
Highlights in this update include:
- New Peshmerga Brigade, Battalion identified; 1st Peshmerga Brigade in Iraqi Army basic.
- French helicopters for Iraqi Naval Support? Iraq negotiating for new F16 block 52 fighters; Plans for an air defense brigade by 2012.
- Iraqi Request for 18 new Block 52 F16s; first 10 fighter pilots go to US for training.
- 1st Iraqi M1A1s shipping to Iraq: 11 M1A1s to arrive in August; 60 HETS ordered; Ukrainian BTR4 to start arriving in October; 1st AN-32 to deliver in September.
- Army Air Corps re-formed; future M1A1-equipped battalion identified.
- 1st group of Iraqi Navy Patrol Boat students graduate; Iraqi Marines take over Bucca.
- Ministry of Interior moving to purchase 1st helicopters.
The 2-12 Peshmerga Battalion was reported conducting joint ops in the Irbil disputed area. This is a first report of this battalion and its parent 12th Peshmerga Brigade. This unit is estimated to be part of the un-commissioned 15th Mountain Division.
The 43rd Kurdish Regional Guards Brigade has been identified operating in Irbil. The 1st Kurdish Regional Guards Brigade, formed earlier by consolidating the under strength 9th and 10th Peshmerga Brigades, is reported attending Iraqi Army Basic Training in Kirkuk. It is probable that the 1st Brigade will be transferred to the Iraqi Army.
“The first shipment of 140 M1A1 Abrams tanks purchased by the Government of Iraq from the U.S. rolled off the production line in Lima, Ohio, this month and is being loaded in Charleston, S.C., onto a ship bound for Iraq. Eleven M1A1 Abrams tanks, along with an M88A2 recovery vehicle, are scheduled to arrive in Iraq in August. The remaining 129 tanks and seven recovery vehicles will be delivered before December 2011.”
Lieutenant Colonel Martin Downie, US Army, Public Affairs Chief, USF-I J9 PAO:
“The first 11 of the 140 M1s that Iraq has purchased are expected to arrive in August [DID: and did]. The entire 140 will be delivered in monthly batches over the following year. The M1s here now were not purchased but are being used for training only.”
This indicates that the first 140 M1A1s will be delivered by the fall of 2011 however; the official statements continue to include a fudge-factor and state “by December 2011.”
The Iraqi Army plans to upgrade the 9th Iraqi Army Mechanized Division and redistribute the division’s current Soviet armor to other Iraqi formations. This contracted order of 140 M1A1s includes an option for 140 more M1A1 tanks to be delivered by mid-2013. Combined with the other Used US Equipment Transferring to Iraqi Army and existing equipment, this indicates that the Iraqi Army plans to have 3 to 5 heavy divisions in 2013. [Authors note: Yes, I am working on an speculation article projecting IA Armor in 2014.]
Elements of the M113-equipped 4-35/9 Mechanized Reconnaissance Battalion were reported receiving M1A1 refresher training. This is the 3rd of 4 planned M1A1-equipped battalions identified to receive the 1st 140 M1A1 tanks. The battalions identified are the 5-36/9, 4-36/9, and now the 4-35/9. All have been reported employing M113 APCs. The 56th Brigade has also been reported training on M113s and is probably also receiving M1A1s.
The Iraqi Army is getting significant amounts of used US Army equipment through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process for Excess Defense Articles (EDA). This equipment includes:
- 1,026 – M113 family of Vehicles tracked APC/command/mortar vehicles
- 120 – M198 towed 155mm howitzers
- 21 – M88A1 heavy armored recovery vehicles
- 60 – M1070s heavy equipment transporter trucks
- 24 – M109A5 tracked self propelled 155mm howitzers
- 30 – Fuel tankers
- Equipment for a strategic bridge company.
In the end, inquiries determined that the 60 M1070 HETs in this list have been ordered, but they will be new-build, not second-hand.
The Ukrainian purchase is progressing. The delivery of the 1st An-32 Transport for Iraq is scheduled tentatively for September 2010. The first batch of BTR-4s is to deliver in October 2010. The Ukrainian manufacture has apparently had delays in subcontractor delivery of engines for the BTR-4 APCs. Further data breaking down the types of BTR-4 variants in this order were also reported however, the numbers for the types reported suggest erroneous reporting. There are too many command and staff variants and too few repair and recovery vehicles in the mix. To date, I have been unable to confirm this report and suspect the numbers should read:
- 270 line of armored personnel carriers,
- 80 of repair and recovery [vice “command”],
- 30 command [vice “staff”],
- 30 medical, and
- 10 staff [vice “repair and recovery”].
This unconfirmed corrected mix would fit for:
3 light mechanized brigades and a training/maintenance battalion float or
for the APC, support, and command elements of a mechanized division plus a training/maintenance battalion float.
A contract for 60 Iraqi heavy equipment transporter systems (HETS) and associated ancillary items has been awarded. The HETS are M1070A0 tractors and the Fontaine 635NL trailers. The associated ancillary items include 6,240 spare tires; Iraqi HETS spare parts; non-standard trailer manuals; and IHETS operator training. This is part of the deal providing over 1,000 M113s to Iraq during 2011-2013.
In response to an inquiry as to the status of the planned airborne training of Iraqi Army, Captain JP Rebello, US Division-Center Public Affairs Operations Officer stated: “Due to operational requirements, this joint exercise had to be postponed to a later date to be determined. We continue to work closely with our Iraqi partners and look forward to the opportunity to conduct this event in the future.” The US 1/82 Airborne Brigade [AAB] is turning over to the 4/3 BCT/AAB during June which means this training may be cancelled.
The first class of 120 Iraqi Army field artillery officers graduated from a 152-day course on 6 June. The recent announced planned deliveries of howitzers indicate heavy artillery is becoming a major priority.
The 17th Division was involved in a live-fire exercise with the US 1/3 Advisory and Assist Brigade at Besmaya range in June. Of interest, some of the photos from this exercise showed Iraqi Army 17th Division infantry operating from US Bradley armored personnel carriers. This could indicate that the 17th Division is to receive APCs with rear-ramp style access such as M113s or BTR4s. This is the first reported training of 17th Division with armor.
Iraqi Air Force
[H/T Jack Winters] In an interview with Al-Hurrah, the Iraqi Defense Minister mentioned that they were negotiating to buy brand new F-16 Block 52s, which Iraqi pilots had already tested and they want these fighters. Iraq is waiting for US approval of the deal, and then they will talk specifics and price. The Defense Minister also mentioned that Iraq will have an air defense brigade [NFI] before the US leaves, that the air force will ready by 2020, and the Army Air Corps [helicopter forces] will be 80% ready when the US leaves. The air defense brigade might be just refurbished anti-aircraft guns, since there is no reporting of surface to air missile purchases.
As part of the program to sell 18 F16 Block 52 fighters to Iraq, Iraq has signed an agreement with the United States for the training of 10 Iraqi Air Force pilots. At graduation, these pilots will have completed the training necessary to move on to F-16 flying training. The training for each student will last from 12 to 17 months depending on the experience level of the pilot. According to Marco Dijkshoor, Dutch Aviation Society/Scramble Magazine:
“On the F-16 front I am getting quite firm reports that the first 10 IqAF pilots will be trained from August onwards on Sheppard AFB (TX) and that 18 Block 52 with limited weaponry have been ordered, prone for delivery between 2012-2013.”
Delivery of the 1st Ukranian An-32 light tactical transport for Iraq is tentatively scheduled for September 2010.
There is an unconfirmed report of a French helicopter buy for support to the Iraqi Navy. While the Iraqi Navy and Marines require a squadron of helicopters for support, they are well down the budgetary totem pole.
The 1st group of 50 Iraqi Navy sailors received training at the Swiftships Shipbuilding facility in Morgan City, La and graduated 15 July. The Iraqi naval students spent 90 days at Morgan City training to operate, maintain and deploy 15-man patrol boats. The 1st 2 of 15 ordered PBs are to deliver this month.
Interestingly, Bucca was transferred from the US Forces to the Iraqi Marine detachment. This base is large enough to house a brigade. The Iraqi Marines may be preparing to expand and form a new battalion or even a 2nd brigade.
Ministry of the Interior
The Iraqi Ministry of Interior plans to form its own Air Force. 15 Scout helicopters are reportedly being ordered. On 19 November 2009, a US Foreign Material Sales announcement that MoI intended to buy 15 Scout and 10 Utility helicopters and listed 3 possible types for each. This planned Police Aviation Force is apparently progressing to contracting, however the types picked were not specified in the report. The original FMS notice indicated the choices were:
- 15 AgustaWestland AW109 Light Utility Observation helicopters, or alternatively, 15 Bell Model 429 Medical Evacuation and Aerial Observation helicopters, or 15 EADS North America UH-72A Lakota Light Utility helicopters; and
- 12 AgustaWestland AW139 Medium Utility helicopters, or alternatively, 12 Bell Model 412 Medium Utility helicopters, or 12 Sikorsky UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters.
Originally published by DJ Elliott at Montrose Toast in July and August, and reproduced here with permission. Comments and corrections to these materials are encouraged, please use the July/August links.
Additional Readings: Full ISF OOB
These documents contain tables with the full OOB as we know it.
- Page 1: Iraqi National Operational Command (NOC)/Joint Forces Command (JFC) [PDF]
- Page 2: Iraqi Army Quick Reaction Forces (QRF) [PDF]
- Page 3: Iraqi Army Northern Forces [PDF]
- Page 4: Iraqi Army Central Forces [PDF]
- Page 5: Iraqi Army Southern Forces [PDF]
- Page 6: Iraqi Air Force (IZAF) [PDF]
- Page 7: Iraqi Navy (IZN) and Marine Corps (IZM) [PDF]
- Page 8: Counter-Terrorism Bureau and Commands [PDF]
- Page 9: Joint Operational Commands [PDF]
- Pages 10-14: Ministry of Interior (MOI)
- MOI Core Units and Emergency Response Force [PDF]
- Iraqi National Police and Provincial [PDF]
- Department of Border Enforcement et. al. [PDF]
- MoI Emergency Police [PDF]
- Oil Police Directorate [PDF]
- Appendix A: Definitions & Acronyms
- Appendix B: ISF Standard Tables of Organization
- Appendix C: ISF Equipment
- Appendix D: Related Articles & Monthly Updates
- Appendix E: 2007 Notes
- Appendix F: 2008 Notes
- Appendix G: 2009 Notes
- Appendix H: 2010 Notes
Additional Readings: DID Articles
Note that the ISF OOB often tracks developments that DID’s articles cannot, until official confirmation exists. On the other hand, DID articles can offer a drill-down into key contracts and their associated developments and background, via an easily-accessible organizing principle. As such, it’s best to treat these sources as separate but complementary. DID thanks DJ Elliott for his frequent assistance, which is credited in many of these articles.
- DID – Iraq Seeks F-16 Fighters
- DID – T/A-50 Golden Eagles for Iraq?
- DID – Iraq Orders C-130Js
- DID – The Penny Drops: Iraq Chooses its COIN Aircraft. And trainers.
- DID – Standing Up the IqAF: King Air 350s. Iraq’s top reconnaissance asset, now adopted by the USA. Iraq’s are reportedly slated to be armed.
- DID – Bird Dogs for the Iraqi Air Force. some of them have teeth, now.
- DID – Medium Mainstay: Mi-17s for Iraq
- DID- Iraq Seeks Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters
- DID – Iraq Orders Eurocopter’s EC635s
- DID – Iraq Looking for More Light/Med. Utility Helicopters
- DID – M1 Abrams Tanks for Iraq
- DID – Iraq: Looking for LAVs in All the Right Places. It appears that the Strykers were ordered, and the LAV-25s were not.
- DID – BAE Delivering a Cougar Variant for Iraq’s ILAV Contract. Iraq’s ILAV/ Badger MRAP. Supplemented by locally-produced Reva vehicles, which are another design.
- DID – Bittersweet Symphony: Lockheed & A-V Deliver Anti-IED Devices. Some of these orders have been Iraqi.
- DID – December 2008: Small Arms for Iraq
- DID – Command Tents and C3 for Iraq
- DID – Iraq Asks for USACE Help With Military Infrastructure
- DID – Iraq to Purchase $1.05B in Medical Items
- DID – Swiftships to Build Up Iraqi Navy’s Coastal Patrol Capabilities
- DID (Dec 9/09) – Ukraine, Iraq in $2.5 Bn Weapons Deal
- DID (Nov 29/09) – AECOM Gets 6-Month Extension to Iraqi Security Forces Maintenance Contract
- DID (June 11/09) – Non-Standard Ammo Orders for Iraq
- DID (Sept 25/08) – Standing Up Iraq’s MoD: A British Snapshot
- DID (Feb 14/08) – VSE, Westar to Help Train Iraqi Pilots
- DID (Oct 7/07) – $2.257B for Iraqi Army Guns, Vehicles & Logistics. Includes their DSCA request for BTR-3E1s.
- DID (Aug 27/07) – Iraq Requests Another 16 Huey-II Helicopters
- DID (Nov 21/05) – Iraq Receives T-72s & BMPs – With Another Armored Brigade Planned