Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle, Aug. 2011
DJ Elliott is a retired USN Intelligence Specialist (22 years active duty) who has been analyzing and writing about 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 Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during July 2011. “The Missing Links – A Realistic Appraisal of the Iraqi Army” was published separately and will not be addressed here. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of July 31/11. Highlights in this update include:
- Locations of 4th and 18th RGB; Golden Lions has new base.
- Najaf turned over to IA; IA taking over route-clearance in Kirkuk; Route-clearance training in Basrah; New Tank Regiment planned for Kirkuk; Second shipment of BTR-4s by end-year; Kipri MRAPs offered to Iraq; Mortar training for IA; Update on M1A1, M109A5, M198, and M113 deliveries; 700 tanks claimed by IMoD?
- F-16 negotiations; Possible I-Hawk SAMs.
- Patrol Boats P304 and P306 shipped in June, to deliver in August.
- Commando training for Abu Risha IFP Brigade.
The 4th Regional Guards Brigade was reported training near Chuar-Qurna village. The 4th RGB was previously located in Kirkuk province. The first location for the 18th RGB was reported in Kurdistan’s Balak Area.
The Joint-Combined Kurdish/Iraqi IA/IP/IFP/KRG “Golden Lions” has expanded to a Battalion and has a new base at Contingency Operating Site Warrior.
The Kurdish 1st Regional Guards Brigade continues to train at Kirkuk.
The last US forces departed Najaf Province and handed off to the IA’s 8th Division. This is the second province to turn over to the IA this summer. Karbala Province was the first.
The IA is taking over route-clearance operations in Kirkuk. “Iraqi army soldiers of 12th Field Engineer Regiment graduated a route clearance training course during a ceremony at the K1 Training Center, Kirkuk province, Iraq, July 2.”
14th Field Engineer Regiment in Basrah is receiving route-clearance training on the blast-resistant ILAV Route Clearance variant, which includes a robotic claw. This is the first report of 14 Division receiving this training.
K1 turned over to the IA and is to eventually host a Tank Regiment – probably in the 15th Brigade. “This base will eventually be turned over from Location Command to the 12th Iraqi Army Division,” said Hall. “The 12th IA is planning on using the K1 facility to support a new tank regiment that is forming. The regiment is not on the ground yet, but it is in the working for the future.”
Either all of the IA infantry divisions are getting a heavy brigade or the 12th Division is to be a heavy division. There have been armored/mech planned upgrades, elements, and/or training in 9 of the 14 IA divisions to date: 3rd, 5th Mech, 6th, 7th Mech, 8th, 9th Armored, 11th, 12th, and 14th.
“The second shipment of BTR-4 infantry combat vehicles to Iraq will be done on time despite problems in the delivery of parts… The second shipment, 62 infantry combat vehicles, will be sent by the end of the year.”
Kirpi MRAPs offered to Iraq. “Turkey’s BMC company will soon export to Iraq and Afghanistan Kirpi, its mine resistant, ambush protected, armored vehicle, which the Turkish Armed Forces also uses.” No actual sale has been made.
While the US is starting to turn over external training to the IA, the IA is still requesting additional US training:
“Brig. Gen. Abdul Amir, commander of the 10th IA Division, was so pleased with the operation that he said he would take over mortar capability in the future, and requested a training plan that builds Iraqi army mortar skills to the point where the Iraqis conduct all fire missions and U.S. forces only provide over watch.”
In response to an RFI on Iraqi tanks, 1LT Joseph Larrew, Battle Captain, Media Operations Center, US Embassy-Baghdad provided the following update on US equipment deliveries:
“As of July 13, 2011:
- 123 of 140 M1A1s have arrived at COS Hammer, 120 are deprocessed and 61 have been transferred to the IA. 12 more M1A1s will arrive at Umm Qasr Port on 24JUL.
- All 24 M109A5 self-propelled Howitzers have been de-processed and 13 are ready for issue and training.
- 40 of the 120 M198 Towed Howitzers delivered to Taji. 23 are ready to be transferred to IA and 4 have been issued to IA.
- M113 Family of Vehicle (FOV) Armored Personnel Carriers: First 56 of 1026 are scheduled to arrive at Umm Qasr on 23 July. Delivery of 50 more is scheduled for mid August 2011. Deprocessing and handover of all M113 will be completed by March 2012.”
When you factor in training time after issue, this equipment should be in operational combat capable formations in 12-18 months. The M1A1 tanks and M109A4 self-propelled Howitzers are going to 9th Armored Division. The M198 Howitzers have been appearing in 5th and 2nd or 3rd Division. The M113s are reported going to 9th Armored, 5th Mech, and 7th Mech Divisions plus the 56/6 (Baghdad) Brigade.
Where Are the Tanks?
An Investors Iraq report claimed that the IMoD report to Parliament listed 700 tanks in the IA:
“The report stated that the army had advanced 700 tanks, including 145 tanks, “Abrams” combat, and 60 helicopters.”
The problem with this report is that Iraq has less than half that number of tanks. These missing 350 tanks are a major missing component for the planned mechanization of 5th and 7th Divisions.
There are several possible answers to why the Iraqi Ministry of Defense would claim 700 tanks:
One unconfirmed claim by a commenter (Jack winters 07/26/2011 02:55:38) is that the IMoD report included 350 Kurdish held T55/T62 tanks acquired in 2003. The problem with this is that the KRG is reported to have only 81 operational tanks organized into 2 Tank Battalions and an Independent Tank Company. Fewer than 10 percent of the 2,300 tanks from the old IA are salvageable – most were demolished by MNF to prevent enemy forces from returning them to action during the invasion of 2003. It is unlikely that there are 350 additional tanks left in Iraq [including the KRG] that can be salvaged.
Another possibility is that the IA is about to take delivery of 350 tanks from another source. In April 2007, the Commander of IGFC is reported to have stated that “Two more divisions should become operational in June, and their M60 main battle tanks, M113 armored personnel carriers and other mostly U.S.- and Western-built heavy weapons will arrive in the second half of the year.” It is possible that this was a mis-translation. He might have meant “second phase” instead of “second half of the year”. In 2007 the M60 tanks, M113s, and heavy weapons never appeared. Phase 2 of IMoD’s planned upgrades started this year and M113s plus heavy weapons [155mm howitzers] are now arriving. Additionally, the Hellenic Army is disposing of 361 M60A1s and this could be the source to these tanks.
The Ukrainians were hoping to sell tanks to the IA to go with the BTR4s. Given the problems with the BTR4 and An32 buys, this is unlikely – but cannot be excluded.
The Iraqis could be buying tanks from another non-US source that hasn’t leaked yet. US purchases require advanced notices to Congress and there have been no new notices posted.
There were reports of offers of Mirage 2000, Typhoon, Hawk, Korean T-50 aircraft throughout the month. After repeated reports that Iraq was restarting negotiations to buy 36 F-16 fighters to be based at Balad and Ali Air Bases, an Iraqi Government spokesman denied it, only to have the Prime Minister announce the negotiations at the end of July. Surplus money from oil experts is to be spent for these 36 F-16 aircraft. F-16 negotiations and possible fighter purchases have been on-again/off-again for 4 years. No contract(s) has been signed for any of these aircraft so far.
DID: Nearby Saudi Arabia also deploys Improved Hawk missiles, as part of its air defense system. To the east, Iran still has many Hawk batteries and missiles left over from the Shah’s era. Spares have been an issue for Iran, but they have worked to manufacture their own, and even tried converting the missiles for use on their fighter jets. A Hawk sale or re-conveyance to Iraq would need to take security concerns around Iran’s likely interest in missiles and/or parts into account.
Iraqi Navy and Marines
In June 2011, patrol boats P304 and P306 were loaded for shipping to Iraq. According to 1LT Joseph Larrew, Battle Captain, Media Operations Center, US Embassy-Baghdad:
“PB 305 was actually delayed in construction and is now scheduled to arrive early September, however, PB 304 and 306 are scheduled to arrive in August.”
Ministry of Interior
The Abu Risha Federal Police Brigade was reported receiving “commando” training at Ramadi. This is the first time in over a year that this IFP Brigade has been mentioned. Commando training and calling them IP could indicate they are transferring to the MoI Emergency Response Force.
Originally published by DJ Elliott at Montrose Toast. The July 2011 report is reproduced here with permission. Comments and corrections to these materials are encouraged, please use this link.
Additional Readings: Full ISF OOB
- 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
- Appendix I: 2011 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 – TA-50 Golden Eagles for Iraq? Looks like Czech L-159Ts instead.
- DID – Czech L-159s: Cheap to Good Home. Could that home be in 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. Since confirmed as light attack birds.
- DID – Iraq Looking for More Light/Med. Utility Helicopters
- DID – IqAF Seeks to Support Its US-Made Light Air Fleet
- DID – Iraq Orders a Long-Range Radar. The 2nd of 4 planned.
- DID – M1 Abrams Tanks for Iraq
- DID – Ukraine, Iraq in $2.5 Bn Weapons Deal
- 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 – Iraq Acquiring Artillery-Finder Radars
- 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 Looking for Radios to Equip Its Federal Police
- 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 (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, but they ended up in a separate deal for BTR-4s.
- 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