Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle, Feb. 2011
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 Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during January 2011. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 31 January 2010. The articles “Is the Iraqi 7th Division Mechanizing?“, “Thoughts on ISF Development and Iraq’s Ability to Defend Itself“, and “Emergency Response Brigades Return to Iraqi Federal Police?” were addressed separately and will not be addressed here.
Highlights in this update include:
- GoI/KRG agreement?; RGB personnel training at Taji; Peshmerga in Baghdad; KRG MedEvac Squadron; Light APCs provided to Zerevani ERB; KRG Oil Police Brigade Forming.
- BTR4s start delivery in February?; 586 M113s being refurbished for IA; Truck-mounted MRLs; 4 IA Divisions identified as retraining for external defense; Maysan Operations Center; 3 IA Division’s Commandos training; IA Counter-Battery Radar training.
- 4 Mi-171s delivered; Down-payment of F-16s authorized; Weather Radars; Training Squadrons renumbering?
- First 24-hour PB patrol; 2 PBs delivered; OSV simulaters.
- ERF getting armor?; ERF Battalion identified; 200,000 Police for Baghdad; FPS transitioning to Police.
The Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government have come to a deal, however the details are only trickling out. The Peshmerga is reducing to 70,000 personnel with 130,000 to be pensioned or get government jobs.
Elements of the 4th Battalion, 3rd Regional Guard Brigade are training at Iraqi Army facilities at Taji. This Brigade is based in Khanaqin – Diyala Provinces. Training Kurdish forces at Taji are a first and are probably part of the deal.
Mala Bakhteyar, a senior member of the PUK’s political bureau, said in an interview with Kurdish television channel Gale Kurdistan that the PUK had prepared for the “worst case scenario,” including military coups:
“Ten thousand members of the Kurdish peshmerga forces have been sent to Baghdad to protect Jalal Talabani – the Kurdish president of Iraq – and all other Kurdish officials there from the possibility of a military coup, says a senior official from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of Iraqi Kurdistan’s two ruling parties.”
At first read, this appears to be exaggerated, however, both of the Presidential Brigades were formed around Kurdish troops and there are 3 other IA Brigades in and adjacent to the International Zone that are predominately Kurdish. The other 14 Independent Protection Battalions in Baghdad are of undetermined composition. Of note, the 54/6, 55/17, and 56/6 Brigades in Baghdad are numbered with what should be 15th Division brigade-numbers [54-57] – and 15th Division is a planned Kurdish IA Division.
An “aero medical emergency service” based in Sulaymaniyah is being formed. This MedEvac Squadron adds to the existing Light Observation Helicopter Squadron and the basic Pilot Training Squadron run by the Peshmerga.
Photos of black painted Saxon blast resistant light APCs were taken in Zahko in the summer 2010. This indicates that elements of the Zerevani police are converting to Iraqi MoI Emergency Response Force and receiving light armor. The only Saxons in the ISF were provided to the IA 14th Division in Basrah before the UK Forces departed Iraq. Iraqi MoD apparently transferred them to Iraqi MoI as part of the plan to reduce the number of vehicle types in the IA.
“The Interior Minister in Kurdistan Regional Government Kareem Sinjari, in a press statement said that his ministry formed a 5000 men force to protect the oil refineries in Kurdistan Region’s three provinces Erbil, Duhok and Sulaimani.”
Apparently the KRG is establishing its own Oil Police.
The first shipment of 26 BTR-4 armored personnel carriers are to be delayed and are now scheduled to be delivered in February. Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau blamed the gun producers from Kamianets-Podilsky. Shortcomings were exposed when Iraqis were examining the APCs. Ukraine tried to deliver An-32s with used engines and avionics. Apparently, they did something similar with the BTR-4s. The BTR-4s were supposed to be delivered in time for the 6 January Army Day Parade. The Ukrainian contract is reported in danger of being canceled.
A total of 586 M113A2 APC family and 21 M88 Armored Recovery Vehicles are being refurbished for delivery to Iraq. “The vehicles to be repaired are from an excess stock of M113s at Sierra Army Depot in California.” The M113s are to be refurbished at a rate of 50 vehicles per month. The first delivery of M113s to Iraq is set for July 2011. The original FMS Notice was only for 440 M113A2 APCs, however, M113A2 Ambulances do not require a notice. This indicates that 440 APCs and 146 Ambulances are being delivered. The other 440 M113-varients are not broken down yet, but are expected to be a mix of M577A2 Armored Command Posts, M548A1 Cargo Carriers, M1064A2 120mm Mortar Carriers, and M577A2 Emergency Medical Treatment Vehicles.
The only new ground equipment noted in the Jan 6/11 Army Day Parade were the delivered M1A1M tanks and Ford 350 truck mounted with Type 63 107mm 12-tube rocket launchers. The IA appears to be salvaging these towed systems and mounting them on pickups as light self-propelled artillery.
US Forces are retraining all of the battalions of 4 IA Divisions in preparation for their shift to external security. The first 5 battalions identified as completing this 25-day training are the 1-11/3 and 2-12/3 in Ninawa, 3-21/5 in Diyala, 2-28/7 in Anbar, and 1-40/10 in Dhi Qar. All of these divisions [3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th] have border sectors with Iran or Syria. Of note, while 9th Division is in conversion training for its ongoing upgrades to M1A1M tanks, M113 APCs, and BTR-4s – so far it has not been reported undergoing this training. Previous reporting indicated that the US Forces were to prepare 1 mechanized and 3 infantry divisions for external defense duties. This could be confirmation that 7th Division is to be mechanized. If the 7th Division is mechanized, it will probably move to Basrah – Basrah has strategic priority second only to Baghdad.
The Maysan Operations Center, led by 10th Iraqi Army Division, conducted its first Command Post Exercise on Dec 30/10. This is the first mention of a Maysan Operations Center and probably is in preparation for the shift of the rest of the 10th Division to Maysan as part of assuming duties of external defense. Dhi Qar and Muthanna provinces will probably be backfilled with new or transferred IA/ FP forces.
The training of the youngest of the Iraqi divisions appears to be concentrating on their scout/recon elements. 11th, 12th, and now the 14th Division’s Commandos are reported being trained by US Forces.
The Iraqi Army Artillery School is receiving 5-weeks Counter-battery radar training:
“U.S. artillerymen recently began a new training program on Forward Operating Base Constitution with the Iraqi Army to assist them in combating terrorist indirect-fire-attacks. The fire finder radar system training is a 30-day class designed to teach the IA how to operate and maintain a system that will allow them to detect and track incoming artillery and rocket fire.”
The IA has not been reported ordering the AN/TPQ-36/37 system as yet. This could indicate they are planning to order these, or that the US is providing them as part of the post-2011 security of the US Embassy [and the rest of the International Zone].
The IA is also being trained in computer simulations for command-post exercises. IA personnel are being trained as instructors for a Military Simulations Operators Course.
There is confused reporting as to the status of the IA Tank School. One report indicates: “…Contingency Operating Base Taji, where the Iraqi army tank school is relocating.” Other reports still indicate that Besmaya is still the center of Armor training.
SA342 Gazelles and EC635s were the only new aircraft types at the Army Day Parade compared to last year. As mentioned above, the fixed-wing AN-32 light transports did not make it in time for parade, because the Ukrainians tried to deliver them with used engines and avionics, in violation of the contract.
“The Iraq Army Aviation Command accepted delivery of four new Mi-171E helicopters at its headquarters in Taji, as two were delivered Jan. 16 followed two more Jan. 23. This latest delivery brings Iraq Army Aviation Command’s total inventory of Mi-171E helicopters to 14, as part of a foreign-military-sales purchase made by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense…Iraq’s fleet of multipurpose helicopters now includes 30 Mi-17 (which includes a number of aircraft that were already in the Iraqi inventory) and 14 Mi-171E helicopters.”
Iraqi negotiators were authorized to negotiate with France for 18 used Mirage 2000s. Instead France offered 18 Mirage F1s for sale with delivery starting late 2011. Apparently, France wants to clear the Iraqi debt from the Saddam-era stored/embargoed 18 F1s before any new sales. This could explain why the sudden authorization to buy 18 new F16s from the US instead of the 6 authorized in the earlier CoM decision – GoI is redirecting the money from the French to the US buy. While there are reports of Chinese JF-17s being negotiated for, the only down-payment for any jet fighters authorized by the Iraqi Government is a $900 million down payment on F-16s. See DID’s “Iraq Seeks F-16 Fighters” for more details.
The IqAF has been receiving weather radars:
“The process started last October with the purchase of four Ellason Weather Radar 600’s. The first of these radars was installed at the Baghdad Iraqi Air Operations Center where the Iraqis have been training on system ever since. The Ellason Weather Radar 600 isn’t the only system to provide real-time weather data. The Iraqi air force currently uses a TMQ-53 Weather Observation System on loan from the U.S. Air Force, but recently purchased eight new units to be set up throughout Iraq. Once the new systems are in place, the only thing missing for the Iraqis to run their own weather operation will be training.”
The Training squadrons may have been renumbered. Training Squadron No. 3 is now being called the 203rd Training Squadron. Of interest, NATO may be expanding its training assistance. Unlike USF-I, NTM-I is authorized to remain in Iraq beyond 2012.
Iraqi Navy and Marines
“The patrol was the first-ever 24-hour perimeter defense patrol of the Al Basrah Oil Terminal conducted by the Iraqi Navy since the Coalition Naval Advisory Training Team initiated operations, said United Kingdom Royal Navy Lt. Richard Hurman, a CNATT training officer. The patrol was planned and conducted entirely by the Iraqi Navy, and was the result of several months of effort.”
This indicates the IqN is improving and preparing to assume the patrol duties. Iraq also took delivery of 2 more Swiftboat PBs delivered on 26 January at Umm Qasr. Only 12 of the 15 ordered Patrol Boats are expected to be delivered by 2012.
A contract has been awarded “to provide the design, fabrication, installation, and testing of the Iraqi navy training systems and the training development and delivery for the 60-Meter Offshore Support Vessel (OSV).” These OSVs are to be the supporting mother-ships for the IqN patrol boat force, and work is anticipated to be complete in November 2011:
“VSD will develop, construct, and deliver training for and manage the team of contractors in the development of four simulators to include the Full Mission Bridge Trainer, 30mm Fire Control Trainer, Engine Control Room Trainer, and Small Arms Trainer. The training effort will involve OSV operation and maintenance to Iraqi naval personnel in one training session in Morgan City, La. The effort also includes support for Iraqi engineers who will monitor the ship’s construction. The training shall ensure the Iraqi sailors have a working knowledge of OSV operation and maintenance to sustain operational requirements and systems availability throughout the OSV service life.”
Ministry of Interior
The Iraqi MoI Emergency Response Force [ERF] is getting armored vehicles:
“As black, Russian-made armored vehicles rolled into Fire Base Stack in Hillah, Dec. 20, it was evident that significant changes were occurring on this small special operations compound, previously occupied solely by U.S. forces. The day marked the transfer of authority of the fire base, known locally as Bayt Al-Wazeer, between the U.S. Special Operations Forces unit and the “Scorpions” of 2nd Company, 3rd Battalion, Emergency Response Brigade, an Iraqi special operations unit that has been conducting training with U.S. forces on the compound for many years.”
In addition, M1117s were seen in Baghdad painted in ERF colors during the Police Day Parade and, as noted above in the Peshmerga section, Saxons have been photographed in ERF colors in Zakho.
An ERF battalion has been identified in Basrah. This is the first mention of 12th Emergency Response Battalion in Basrah.
The Deputy Minister of Interior says the Council of Ministers has agreed to recruit 200,000 more police for Baghdad. This could mean that more than 14-18 Federal Police Divisions are planned. It could also indicate that elements of the FP and IA are being relocated from Baghdad and that IP/FP personnel are being recruited to backfill. Even expanding the existing Baghdad Police forces to a total of 200,000 would be a significant increase in the forces. By comparison, the entire Iraqi Army is only reported to be about 290,000.
The January 2011 SIGIR Report provided some details on the plan to reform the Facilities Police Service and partially explained the increase in the Iraqi Police:
“The plan for transitioning FPS personnel to the IP service has slowly evolved since 2008. In November, the Minister of Interior announced that he had approved MOI funding to train approximately 76,000 FPS as police officers in 2011. Under the transition agreement, all FPS contractors are to become Iraqi Police in late January or early February 2011. Currently, the FPS comprises approximately 91,650 personnel. Of these, about 17,330 are fulltime FPS police, and about 74,320 are MOI contractors. Twelve MOI training academies will be used throughout Iraq to conduct the FPS training. The plan calls for 11 training cycles, spanning several months, with 6,700 contractors to be trained in each four-week cycle. This will take approximately 18 months to accomplish. The curriculum will incorporate elements of both the basic recruit training and the FPS curriculum.”
Originally published by DJ Elliott at Montrose Toast. The February 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 – 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