Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle, Nov/Dec 2010
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 format.
This December 2010 Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during October and November 2010. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of Nov 30/10. The Table of Organization and Equipment has been reorganized for readability. The articles “Possible distribution of Iraqi Armor“, “Iraqi Armor Update November 2010“, and “ISF Total Force Mobilization Update November 2010” were addressed separately, and will not be addressed here. Highlights in this update include:
- Peshmerga training in air assault; 6 Federal Police Division announced as part of MoA between Iraqi and Kurdish MoIs.
- Iraqi Army armor developments and redistribution; “Presidential Guard Force”; Most M113s going to 9th Division; No Bradleys planned for IA at this time; M1A1 training ammunition to be ordered;
- 70th Squadron moves and may be reconfiguring; 12 Squadron may be moving; AAC College being established at Habbeniyah; Mi-17 weapons training; New Rocket for Army Air Corps.
- Iraqi Air Force may be getting used L159 Jet Trainers vice new aircraft; MoD is considering used French and US Fighters; Last 4 T-6A trainers delivered; Training Squadron No. 3; 2 Squadrons move in southern Iraq.
- Naval C4ISR system to be bought.
- Training of Peshmerga forces to integrate them into the ISF continues to progress.
- 2 Protection Battalions to protect Allawi; Surge of 5,000 new IA recruits; M1A1 training continues; Howitzers in 17th Division?; Strategic Bridging Company in training.
- 6th ERF Brigade identified in Mosul; Tal Afar SWAT now a Brigade; 2nd Emergency Police Brigade reported in Salahadin; NATO Training Mission-Iraq shifting to training Oil Police.
Photos of Peshmerga receiving air assault training in Kirkuk were published by USF-I. The uniforms are a mix of Regional Guards Brigade and Federal Police, indicating Kurdish elements of both forces are receiving this training.Elements of the Peshmerga are being trained and added to Iraqi Army and Federal Police.
“The Iraq Ministry of Interior and the Kurdish Regional Government Ministry of Interior signed a memorandum of agreement pledging greater cooperation among the two ministries in Arbil on Oct 20/10. Facilitated by United States Forces-Iraq, the signing of the document by Jawad Al Bolani, Iraq’s minister of Interior, and Karim Sinjari, Kurdish minister of Interior, reflects an important step toward greater cooperation and integration of forces. Additionally, the agreement calls for the integration of the Zeravani and Bargiri-Fryakawtin forces to form the 6th Federal Police Division. The two ministries’ cooperative efforts come in the form of strengthened internal security, as the 6th Federal Police Division will be available for nation-wide deployment to conduct missions. Furthermore, the 6th Division will be formed upon Federal Police common standards in which all new recruits will be required to meet specific requirements for entry, including education, physical qualifications and background checks.”
“Four-hundred-nine Regional Guard Brigade Soldiers successfully completed Basic Combat Training in Beneslawa Nov 3/10. These RGB Soldiers, all from the 1st Battalion, 2nd Regional Guard Brigade, represent the second class of RGB Soldiers to complete this BCT course. Conducted at the Beneslawa Zeravani Training Center, the course was modeled on the Iraqi Army’s training program and was conducted by RGB officers and noncommissioned officers. These soldiers were trained in the latest basic infantry skills to prepare them for future service with the Iraqi Army.” 2nd RGB is a component previously identified as a probable part of the planned IA 16th Mountain Division.
“Thirty-seven Regional Guard Brigade Soldiers successfully completed the Iraqi Army Intelligence School at Camp Taji Nov. 15. The 37 RGB Soldiers accompanied 268 additional Iraqi Army Soldiers in graduation ceremonies capping off the first-ever class to jointly integrate RGB Soldiers jointly into intelligence training in the school’s specialty courses. “The purpose of the joint Regional Guard Brigade and Iraqi Army Intelligence training is to ensure that Regional Guard Brigade intelligence capabilities are interoperable with Iraqi Army Division Intelligence capabilities,” said Peter Fischer, director, Iraq Training and Advisory Mission-Intelligence, who oversees the school’s training under the United States Forces-Iraq’s joint partnership with the Iraqi Military.” This is part of establishing a divisional intelligence component and tying it into the IA Intelligence network.
“Thirty-One Regional Guard Brigade soldiers from the Sulaymaniyah, Arbil and Dahuk provinces completed the Basic Combat Instructor Course at the Zeravani Training Center in Beneslawa, Oct. 28. As qualified instructors, these soldiers will report to the new Bapshtian Training Center to begin training solders in a Basic Combat Training Course that is scheduled to begin Nov. 20.” This new training center for KRG forces is the second divisional training center being established to train Kurdish forces on IA lines indicating both 15th and 16th Mountain Divisions are being assembled.
The US 2-7 Cavalry Battalion, 4th “Advise and Assist” Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division is reported training the 9/3 IA Brigade and 15th Regional Guards Brigade in Wanah. This is the first mention of 15th RGB. Six Kurdish Brigades have been identified receiving IA style training. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd RGBs in the planned 16th Mountain Division area and the 12th, 15th, and 43rd RGBs in the planned 15th Mountain Division area.
On 14 October, a M1A1 tank rollout ceremony was held at the Iraqi Defense Ministry headquarters. Many U.S. and Iraqi military leaders attended the event in which the Iraqi Army received 35 of 140 M1A1 tanks that Iraq is purchasing from the US. This marked the formal delivery of the first 3 sets of tanks needed to form the first Iraqi Tank Regiment. Facilities for Tank Regiment training at Besmaya are being built. Each Tank Regiment is to have 35 tanks and requires 80 vehicle bays:
“The M1A1 fielding and storage site boasts 80 fully-enclosed bays, two wash racks, maintenance bays, training buildings, headquarters buildings, warehouses, guard towers, and a motor pool workshop. “This will provide enough tanks to establish four M1A1 tank battalions of 35 tanks each,” said John Hutchings, ITAM-Army’s M1A1 project officer. “The facilities will, in the long term, become a part of the Combat Training Center at Besmaya,” Hutchings said. “The facilities will be handed over to the BCTC for use by battalion-size units conducting training on the Besmaya Range.”
80 vehicle bays is a fit for the US Combined Arms Battalion [CAB] structure with 17 tanks per company vice the US standard of 14. This probably means that Iraqi CABs [aka Tank Regiments] will have the following:
- 35 tanks [2 companies of 17 each with 1 at battalion]
- 31 APCs [2 companies of 14 each with 3 at battalion]
- 6 mortar carriers [1 battery]
- 2 command vehicles
- 2 armored ambulances
- 2-4 repair/recovery vehicles
A Nov 30/10 FMS Notice of a possible sale of M1A1 ammunition was also hyped without the press reporting noting that over 90 percent of the ammunition is practice rounds. The notice was for: 14,010 TP-T M831A1 120mm Cartridges, 16,110 TPCSDS-T M865 120mm Cartridges, and 3,510 HEAT-MP-T M830A1 120mm Cartridges.
To put this into perspective, Iraq is taking delivery of a total of only 140 M1A1 tanks over the next year. Each of those tanks carries 40 120mm main-gun rounds. To fill those tanks with war-shots would take 5,600 rounds vice the 3,510 HEAT rounds in the order. The above order is for 215 training rounds and 25 HEAT rounds per tank. Considering that Iraq has an option for another 140 M1A1s to be delivered within 2 years, this is just initial training ammo.
During a Blogger-roundtable on 4 November, Brigadier General Buchanan said that the Iraqi Army now had 43 of the 140 ordered M1A1 tanks. The 24 M109A5 Self-Propelled Howitzers being provided are to go to a 9th Division Field Artillery Regiment. He could not provide a break-down on the 1,026 M113 Family of Vehicles but, he did say that some are already in-country, with the rest delivering over the next year. The majority of the M113 variants are going to 9th Division [showpiece]. This indicates a greater concentration of M113s in the 9th Division than previously estimated. [Hence the armor update.]
In response to a follow-up request for information Captain Leslie Waddle, Press Desk Officer, Media Operations Center US Embassy-Baghdad stated: “In reference to your question below, this is the breakdown of what variants they are. We can’t provide the numbers, we recommend you contact Government of Iraq for their breakdown. The following is a list of the different variants of M113s being supplied to the GoI: M113A2–Armored Personnel Carriers, M113A2–Ambulance, M548A1–Cargo Carrier, M1064–Mortar Carrier, M577A2–Command Post Carrier, M577A2–Emergency Medical Treatment Vehicle.”
As usual, GoI/IMoD is not answering inquiries but, previously reported FMS notices indicate at least 440 of the 1,026 are M113A2 APCs. The probable range of M1064 120mm Mortar Carriers in this mix is 250-300 with the remaining 4 variants splitting the remaining 250-300.
The July SIGIR report confirmed that mortar carriers are part of the remaining 1,026 M113 Family of Vehicles being provided to Iraq. 440 of those have been identified as M113A2 Armored Personnel Carriers. So far, there has been no breakdown on the remaining 586 M113 FOVs.The majority are probably mortar carriers with the rest probably a mix of command, repair/recovery, and cargo vehicles.
Despite inaccurate press reporting to the contrary, USF-I Press Desk says that Bradley Fighting Vehicles are not being provided or sold to the ISF at this time. It is probable that the erroneous press reporting was confusion over the actual M113 APC deal.
The new Strategic Bridging Company has been reported in training. This is a first report of the unit which is to be equipped with excess US equipment.
Only 11 Ukranian BTR-4s are delivering in November. This is the 1st delivery and apparently, the reported engine delivery problems with the sub-contractor delayed/reduced the initial delivery from 24 in October to 11 in November. The BTR-4s are expected to fit the cavalry role in a modified US heavy brigade combat team structure.
The redistribution of former 9th Division Russian armor is progressing. Photos of a refurbished T-55 tank with 12/3 Brigade markings, and a photo of tracked BMP-1 IFVs in Ghazaliyah in “2nd Battalion“, were taken by an Iraqi soldier this year. The 2-22/6 Battalion is the 2nd Battalion based in Ghazaliyah. These photos indicate that this is not 9th Division armor anymore. This transfer of armor indicates that 6th Division and 3rd Division are next in priority for upgrade.
As of Sept 27/10, at least some of the wheeled BTR-80s are still in 9th Division at Taji. The BTR-80s are planned to transfer to the Iraqi Special Operations Forces.
The Iraqi press is now referring to a “Presidential Guard force“. This possibly indicates the Presidential Brigades [and independent security battalions?] are being organized into divisional structure(s).
A pair of protection battalions may be employed protecting Allawi. “Allawi, who was the target of more than 13 assassination attempts, will have protection made up of two regiments from the Iraqi forces…” There are 14 Independent Protection Battalions and 6 more Protection Battalions in the 2 Presidential Brigades.
The IA continues to expand. “As part of a country-wide surge of 5,000 new Iraqi Army recruits, Iraqi Army Engineer School cadre are leading a 60-day Basic Combat Training course that began Oct. 6 at Camp Taji.” If the IA Engineer School is being used to train new recruits, then the training system is filled to current capacity and this indicates an expansion of the IA.
In late November, Iraqi TV news reported that salvaged Russian D30 122mm howitzers pariticpated in a Nov 29/10 live-fire exercise of 17th Division in south Baghdad. The only D30s known in the IA are in 9th Division. This indicates either a transfer of the artillery to 17th Division, or a 9th Division augment for the exercise. There is some question as to the serviceability of the D30s.
On 30 November 2010, Major Adrian Henegan, formerly with MNSTC-I working the IA mortar and M1A1 tank programs, provided comments concerning the developments of those programs during his tour in 2008-2009. Appendix F [Oct13 and Nov24], Appendix G [Feb19, Feb20, Mar01, Mar28, Mar31, Apr02, Apr03, Apr9, Apr25, Apr28, and Jun19], and Appendix H [Nov30] have been updated with these corrections, clarifications, and addendums.
There is reporting that the Czech Republic might sell up to 25 used Aero L-159 to Iraq. Iraq has been holding a competition for 24 jet trainers between Korea’s T-50, the UK’s Hawk, and Italy’s Maki 346. It is probable that the price of new aircraft proved prohibitive and that Iraq is now looking at buying cheaper used jet trainer aircraft.
Alfayhaa TV reports that the Iraqi Ministry of Defense “is studying the possibility of buying used French and U.S. planes, until being able to get new ones. The Minister, also, denied that Iraq has (F16) aircrafts, but is in the process of contracting to buy them; adding that, at present, Iraq has no aircrafts capable to repulse any aerial aggression, and that the U.S. Air Force is, now, protecting the Iraqi air-space. He, then, pointed that the coming government and parliament will have to decide whether accepting the building of U.S. Air Bases in Iraq or finding an alternative.”
Of note, there has been a further delay of the initial F16 purchase caused by the lack of a budget for 2011 but, that is in the process of being resolved.
Apparently the training squadrons are being numbered sequentially without regard to operational squadrons’ numbering. The “Iraqi Training Squadron No. 3” in Tikrit is using the new T-6As delivered this summer. The operational 3rd Squadron is in Kirkuk and is a Cessna 208B ISR-equipped reconnaissance squadron.
The last 4 of 15 ordered T-6A trainers departed Wichita Beech for Iraq on 4 November, according to Marco Dijkshoorn of the Dutch Aviation Society / Scramble Magazine.
The Iraqi Air Force 70th Reconnaissance Squadron finally relocated to Tallil in November. “The new unit proudly displayed its new aircraft, a group of CH 2000 reconnaissance planes, an AC-208 and an Iraqi C-130 cargo plane, similar to the U.S. version.” The C-130E is probably just visiting, but the addition of an AC-208B Combat Caravan indicates an upgrade to the squadron.
On Nov 8/10, an Iraqi AC-208B Combat Caravan fired a Hellfire missile at a vehicle on on the Aziziyah Training Range, south of Baghdad, achieving a direct hit. This is the first time since the American invasion that the Iraqi Air Force has run a live-fire missile training exercise, from start to finish, all on its own. It’s the 2nd time an Iraqi AC-208B has fired a Hellfire. The human infrastructure is actually more important than the technical achievement. USAF Maj. Devin Traynor:
“Think of it this way… First we have to find our target. Then we fix the location and continue tracking it. Next we target and then engage the adversary. Finally, we make an assessment on whether or not we achieved the results we wanted. Each of these elements of this type of mission must be done perfectly and coordinated perfectly for the mission to succeed. The air advisers have played a crucial role in developing these capabilities within the Iraqi air force.”
According to a media advisory from USD-S, the Iraqi Air Force 70th Squadron [Recon] is moving from Basrah to Tallil and the Army Air Corps 4th Squadron [Mi-17s] is moving to Basrah from Taji.
The Iraqi Army Air Corps 12th Training Squadron is probably moving to Habbeniyah. Habbeniyah is becoming the AAC training Base according to the Commander of the AAC on Al Hurrah 14 November. The Iraqi Army Air Corps College is being established at Habbeniyah. Taji is becoming crowded and this move helps alleviate this problem.
Weapons’ training continues for Iraqi helicopter pilots. “Three Iraq Army Aviation Directorate instructor pilots completed the flying portion of Mi-17 weapons re-qualification training Oct. 27. Assisted by representatives of United States Forces-Iraq’s Iraq Training and Advisory Mission-Air Force, the instructor pilots were required to plan the mission and then execute firing operations for Russian 80mm rockets at targets.”
On 11 November, 7th Division troops were training on embarking and debarking from Iraqi Hueys and US Blackhawk helicopters. While the division has had elements training on air assault befor, this is the first reported employment of Iraqi UH-1 Hueys in this role. The only Hueys in the Iraqi AAC are in 2nd Squadron, last reported based at Taji.
A Nov 30/10 FMS notice of a possible sale to Iraq of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) system for monitoring Iraq’s coastline has also been released. This system is to “ensure that the Iraqi Naval Force (INF) is better able to efficiently use its vessels and manpower to police Iraqi territorial waters and protect its strategic maritime assets.”
Ministry of Interior
A US Division – North press release on 17 November mentioned the 6th Emergency Response Brigade operating in Mosul. This indicates that the Ministry of Interior’s Emergency Response Force has expanded to 6, possibly 7 brigades. Only the 1st, 3rd, and now the 6th ERBs have been located. Baghdad, Baqubah, Basrah, and the Kurdish Region have all shown signs of ERF training/formation and are the probable locations for the un-located brigades.
The ERF is expanding by taking provincial police SWAT personnel through a training program and then reorganizing/re-equipping the 50 percent that pass into centrally controlled ERF battalions/brigades. Those that do not pass the selection course revert to the province police and will eventually be absorbed by the expanding Federal Police. The ERF is expected to grow to 12-15 brigades by 2015.
The Tal Afar SWAT is now being called the 2nd Brigade. This indicates a progression of reorganizing the Ninawa Emergency Police into standardized brigade structures. The provincial paramilitary Emergency Police is being retrained/re-equipped and absorbed by the Federal Police and the MoI Emergency Response Force.
A 2nd Brigade in Salah al-Din Police Emergency Forces has been reported. The 3rd Brigade was previously nationalized into the Federal Police and a 1st Brigade has never been reported in Salah al-Din. The 1st Brigade could be the previously reported Sharqot Emergency Brigade.
“The minister of Interior, partnering with NATO Training Mission-Iraq has started a new program to train Iraq’s oil police. These students will undergo a six-week basic course taught by Italian Carabinieri that expands upon the current NATO Training Mission-Iraq Federal Police Training Program. The top 25 graduates of this course will then attend a four-week train-the-trainer course and become certified Oil Police instructors to sustain the training for future classes of Oil Police training. Each class will consist of 50 Shurtas, 50 noncommissioned officers and 25 officers. Additionally, nine more courses are planned between now and December 2011. During this time, the program is expected to develop more than 1,100 Oil Police and some 225 instructors.”
This indicates a shift in NTM-I’s focus from Federal Police to training the OPD. The OPD is seriously under-trained, under-equipped, and under-manned. Many of its “battalions” are only company strength.
Originally published by DJ Elliott at Montrose Toast. The combined November and December reports are reproduced here with permission. Comments and corrections to these materials are encouraged, please use this link.
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 – Iraq Looks to Buy Maritime Awareness Systems
- 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