Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: 2010-01
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 January 2010 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.
December 2009 Updates
This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during December 2009. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 31 December 2009. Highlights in this update include:
- Indications that the Peshmerga are being incorporated into the ISF;
- Weapons orders;
- A realignment of the military academies;
- Possible transfers of Iraqi Divisions;
- The first Iraqi Artillery Regiment forming;
- Receipt of training aircraft;
- Receipt of 2 patrol ships;
- Training of Federal Police;
- The addition of two DBE Brigades;
- Reorganization of the Emergency Police; and
- The first training academy for the FPS.
The Associated Press quotes former Ukrainian defense minister and current head of the Ukrainian parliament’s security and defense committee Anatoly Grytsenko, who says that a $2.5 billion agreement with the Iraqi Ministry of Defense will involve 420 of Khariv Morozov’s BTR-4 8×8 wheeled armored personnel carriers, 6 AN-32B light tactical transport planes, and repair work on 2 of Iraq’s Mi-8T military helicopters.
Additional reporting indicated 10 AN-32Bs are being ordered and that the delivery of BTR-4s is to be in the next 3.5 years. The difference in reporting on the aircraft orders probably indicates an initial order of 6 AB-32Bs with an option for 4 more. The Iraqis regularly order this way to split the payments between fiscal years.
General Dynamics Land Systems formally receives a $198 million contract for Iraq’s second set of 140 M1A1-SA(Situational Awareness) variant main battle tanks. This contract will raise Iraq’s orders to 280. See also DID coverage.
An additional 109 Iraqi Light Armored Vehicles [Badger] were ordered with delivery by October 2010. These vehicles are primarily used for engineering route-clearance. Iraq has already received over 600 of an order of 754 and has potential options for receiving up to 1050. See also DID coverage.
The Iraqi Ministry of Interior purchased a border surveillance system that will provide coverage for large portions of Iraq’s borders with Syria and Iran. The system is planned to be operational in June 2010 and will monitor activity along 286 kilometers of the Syrian border and 402 kilometers of the Iranian border. The system provides towers with cameras, infra-red sensors, and communication relays to alert a regional command center of border intrusions and can be upgraded to include additional sensors, such as radars or high-fidelity cameras.
According to the Kurdish PUK Media:
“…Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will sign during his expected visit to Kurdistan Region will sign an agreement with President Barzani to settle the issue of the Peshmerga Forces by joining them to the Iraqi defense system.”
Also reported was that the spokesman of the Kurdish Region Peshmerga Forces said:
“…according to a memorandum of understanding signed with Iraqi defense ministry, the Peshmerga forces can own helicopters and tanks just like the federal forces… According to this memo, we buy weapons every two months under the defense ministry’s knowledge. KRG ministry of Peshmerga demanded to allocate a budget for it since years. The budget was allocated, but the government in Baghdad did not carry it out. When we will take this budget, then we will sign contracts to buy weapons… Due to internal threats and to protect the borders, the ministry of defense needs to buy weapons and get ready for the period that follows the American withdrawal in 2011.”
This indicates that the political problems with incorporating the Kurdish forces into the Iraqi Security Forces are finally being resolved and could mean that the Kurdish Region is getting its own independent corps.
The Iraqi Army is closing 3 of its 4 Military Academies and consolidating officer training to Ar Rustimayah Academy on 15 January 2010. The Iraqi Minister of Defense suggested to Iraqi Premier Nuri al-Maliki that the Iraqi Army doesn’t need four military. The Iraqi Air Force and the Iraqi Navy are opening their own separate academies. The Kurdish Regional Government intends to convert the 2 military academies in their region to military colleges and they may be used as training centers for the 2 planned Kurdish divisions transferring to the Iraqi Army.
The Al Memona Location Command officially commissioned on 10 December. “The site, located 10 km south of Amara, will provide logistic services for the 38th and 41st Brigades of the Iraqi Army.” The new Memoma Location Command includes a “fuel facility with the capacity to store 1.5 million liters of bulk fuel, three vehicle maintenance facilities, a bakery, an ice house and five warehouses.” The 10th Iraqi Army Division has the only area that has 2 location commands. This is preparation to forming a new army division in Maysan province.
There is a new Iraqi Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal School at Al Muthanna. “The buildings are located on the federal police compound in the al-Muthanna district of Baghdad. Once the current contract for training the Iraqi EOD teams is complete, the federal police will have full use of the facility. The sharing of the facility is an example of how different Iraqi directorates and forces can work together toward the common safety and security of Iraq.”
The Iraqi Operational Commands appear to have gone full circle in planned development. “While the AOC is a temporary command, it is likely to develop into a corps command in the near future.” The Operational Commands had originally been described as an intermediate step to forming army corps. Then they were described as joint commands parallel to the planned Iraqi Army Corps. Now the Operational Commands are back to being the basis of the planned Iraqi Corps. The Anbar Operational Command is the probable future headquarters for the Iraqi Army Quick Intervention Corps. Of note, there are 7 Operational Commands and only 4 planned Iraqi Army Corps. The remaining 3 Operational Commands will probably be used as Federal Police Corps headquarters.
There is an unconfirmed visual report of an apparent Field Artillery Battalion set of 18 salvaged and refurbished Chinese Type 83 152mm howitzers and 4 KrAz truck mounted BM21M 122mm Multiple Rocket Launchers. These weapons were seen being transported on the road heading south from Taji. [H/T: sheytan elkebir] Taji has an ongoing salvage and refurbishment program for vehicles and weapons. The artillery was probably en route to the Artillery School at Besmaya.
Besmaya is also the primary location for the Unit Set Fielding program where troops are equipped and trained on their new equipment as complete battalions or brigades. This probably represents part of the equipment for the first Divisional Field Artillery Regiment to be formed in the new Iraqi Army. Given the centralized training for these weapons and no unit insignia on them, it is unknown which Iraqi Army Division is to get its first heavy artillery. The most likely candidate is the 9th Armored Division which is in the process of replacing its armor with M1A1 tanks and M1126 Stryker armored personnel carriers. The 9th Armored Division has a history of equipping this way as it was originally formed using salvaged and donated refurbished armor.
The former Baghdad Brigade was previously reported as having been re-designated the 56th Brigade. Now it has been re-subordinated to the 6th Motorized Division. On 22 December, 135 members of the 56/6 Brigade completed mechanized infantry courses and qualified on the M113A2 Armored Personnel Carrier at the Camp Taji Armor School. M113A2s usually have a crew of 2 each and carry 11 infantry. This many crew graduating indicates that the 56/6 Brigade is converting to a Combined Arms or Armored Brigade since that is crew for 6 companies of mechanized infantry. The 56/6 Brigade has a brigade number belonging to the unformed 15th Division and could be a temporary assignment pending the formation of a new division.
This also indicates the imminent arrival of Strykers in the 9th Armored Division since most of the Iraqi Army’s M113s are assigned to that division. As the 9th Armored Division upgrades, its older armor is being redistributed to other Iraqi Divisions.
The Kurdish press is raising alarm at a reported plan to transfer the 6th Motorized Division, now based in Baghdad, to Ninewa, and the 10th Motorized Division, based in southern Iraq, to Kirkuk. This is probably part of a planned rotation of divisions to facilitate training and re-equipping.
By replacing the green 12th Motorized Division in Kirkuk and moving it to the quiet areas of southern Iraq where they can train and shifting either 2nd or 3rd Motorized Division to the south or Baghdad. Since 3rd Motorized Division is planned to upgrade to armor and all of the armor training schools are located in Baghdad province, this probably means that 3rd Motorized Division is upgrading in the next 2 years. Alternatively, they may be shifting two divisions to the current 10th Motorized Division area and forming the new 15th Division and Presidential Division in Baghdad to replace the departing 6th Motorized Division.
12th Motorized Division has added a new battalion. The first report of 4-47/12 Battalion being active in Kirkuk brings the division up to 13 active battalions. The 12th Motorized Division was commissioned in November 2008 along with 2 of its 4 brigades. Its fourth brigade commissioned in the fall of 2009.
The 1-52/14 Battalion received riverine training from the US Navy’s Riverine Squadron 3. Elements of the 52/14 Brigade have been working with the riverine forces in Basrah, and there is previous reporting that part of the brigade may transfer to the Iraqi Marines.
Iraqi Air Force
Scramble reports that “The first two Hawker Beechcraft T-6A Texan IIs for the Iraqi Air Force departed Wichita on their delivery flight on 1 December 2009”. On 16 December, the Iraqi Air Force celebrated the arrival of 4 T-6A training aircraft, a ground breaking for a new air traffic control tower, and the handover of facilities for an air college at Tikrit. All Iraqi Air Force Training is being relocated from Taji, Kirkuk, and Rustimayah to the new facilities at Tikrit.
The aircraft are the first of 15 T-6As. The new Iraqi air college will offer its first courses in January 2010.
The Times of India is reporting that Iraqi Defense Minister:
“Obeidi said the country would have a squadron of between 18 and 24 fighter aircraft by the end of 2011, when the US military is due to have completed its withdrawal, to support the infantry and defend Iraqi airspace.”
No details are given in the article as to what type of aircraft these are. The most likely possibilities are refurbished Mirage F1s left in France during the sanctions (vid. ISF OOB, 2009-12) or used USAF F-16s.
The last 2 Italian-built Patrol Ships were delivered in December. The PS703 “Majed” and PS704 “Shimookh” (“Glory” and “Pride” in English) were delivered, completing the 4-ship order early. PS703 was scheduled to deliver in December 2009, but PS704 was scheduled to deliver in March 2010. These vessels should arrive at Umm Qasr about the end of January 2010 after a 1 month transit from Italy.
These 53.4 m long “Saettia MK4” vessels are variants of ships built by Fincantieri for the Italian Coast Guard, and Armed Forces of Malta. These vessels can reach a speed of 23 knots and accommodate a crew of 38. The Fateh Class are currently the Iraqi Navy’s largest surface combatants.
Ministry of the Interior
On 10 December, 2 unidentified battalions of Federal Police graduated Phase III “Carabinieri” training at Camp Dublin in Baghdad. The last 4 battalions to graduate this 8-week advanced training course have not been identified.
The Coastal Border Guard has expanded to a de facto brigade by adding a ground battalion to its 4 “boat groups”.The designation of this battalion in unknown at this time and it may be a transfer from the 14th Department of Border Enforcement Brigade vice a new formed battalion.
The Iraqi DBE has added a new brigade to its Region II forces. The new 15th DBE Brigade in Anbar has been confirmed operational. The DBE is expected to grow to 20 brigades.
The paramilitary elements of the Iraqi Police continue to separate from the regular police. Iraqi Emergency Police continues to expand and re-designate its forces. The Emergency Police has more than 90 battalions and is planned to re-designate, reorganize, retrain, and transfer from the provincial Iraqi Police to the Federal Police. The program is progressing at a rate of 4 to 6 brigades [12-18 battalions] per year.
The 6th Emergency Services Unit (ESU) Battalion has been identified in Bayji. Only 4 ESUs were previously identified. ESU is the designation used for Kurdish Paramilitary police in the Iraqi Police. This indicates that more Kurdish elements are transferring.
The 2nd Emergency Brigade in Mosul has been reported. This indicates that the seven emergency battalions in Mosul have been reorganized into 2 brigades.
Additionally, tribes in Iraq have agreed to form an Emergency Brigade(s) in response to the Iranian border dispute. 126 tribes are participating and support supporting this force, mostly from Basra, Mayssan Dhi Qar, Waset, Anbar and Diyala provinces. This force may be eventually absorbed by the DBE of the Iraqi Army.
The Iraqi Facilities Protection service is finally getting an Academy. A new FPS Academy is being built in Kut. There are more than 92,000 in FPS but no real academy. There have been 7 courses held at FOB Delta since 2004 with only 2,113 graduates. The FPS is the least trained and least capable security service in Iraq, and is being consolidated under the Ministry of Interior. The FPS was 31 separate guard forces under 27 ministries and 4 separate departments.
Originally published by DJ Elliott at Montrose Toast on Dec 3/09, and reproduced here with permission. Comments and corrections to these materials are encouraged, please leave them here.
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
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