Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle, April/ May 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 March & April 2011. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of April 30/11. The articles “Iraqi Logistics – The Missing Links” and “Bloggers Roundtable from a Forgotten Front: Equipment and Training” were addressed separately and will not be addressed here. Highlights in this update include:
- Iraqi Army’s Peshmerga Division; KRGB Soldiers graduate Iraqi Intelligence and Military Security School.
- US EDA deliveries; BTR-4 delivery delayed again; Possible counter-battery radar buy; Joint Intelligence and Operations Center; External Defense training; M1A1 training; Possible division shift from Baghdad; Expansion of divisional support elements; 8/2 Brigade 30 months into 3 month training deployment; Breakdown of 1,026 M113 FOVs being provided to Iraq; 1st shipment of BTR-4s to Iraq; M1A1 training and deliveries; First IA M88A2 training; External Defense Training; External Defense Exercises; Divisional MI Battalions?; Scout Sniper training.
- Fighters and Air Defense; IqAF Hellfire shot with ISOF FAC; 12th Squadron moves to Habbeniyah, US IPs depart AAC Squadron after 5 years; Czech L159s to be offered to Iraq.
- Up to 6 more Patrol Boats to be purchased.
- MoI is not ready despite claims of politicians; 4th FP Division elements in south Baghdad; 7/2 FP Brigade moving to Falcon; Basrah 6th ERB reported; Oil Police at 70 percent manning; ERB identified; Maysan to be first to hand over to Police primacy; Oil Police graduation.
The 4th Regional Guard Brigade [RGB] has been reported deployed in Kirkuk. This is the first report of 4th RGB and its home base indicates that it was formed by merging 2 PUK and KDP brigades – the 12th and 43rd Peshmerga Brigades from Irbil. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th RGBs make up a force being called the “Iraqi Army’s Peshmerga division“. The 1st and 2nd RGBs were already in Kirkuk province while the 3rd RGB is based in northern Diyala. These are all regions where the planned Iraqi Army 16th Mountain Division was to operate. Their operational status could indicate the 16th Mountain Division is to be commissioned this year – 3 years after they were originally to commission.
KRBG troops are attending Iraqi Army Intelligence training at Taji. “Of the 302 graduates, 35 NCOs are Kurdish Regional Guard Brigade Soldiers.” This Intelligence training is at the Intelligence and Military Security School at Camp Taji.
On April 20/11, the US DSCA Excess Defense Articles board updated for Iraq in 2010. Delivery of US Excess Defense Articles has started. The 1,026 M113 variants are not fielded yet but, are fielding this year. 23/24 M109 self-propelled howitzers are fielded, and 8/120 M198 towed howitzers are delivered.
While many of the major items listed on June 22/10 and Sept 24/10 had already been reported, this update finally provides a breakdown of the 1,026 M113 variants being provided to the Iraqi Army:
- 120 M198 155mm towed howitzers [54 listed June 22/10 and 66 listed Sept 24/10];
- 14 MRAP non-standard [listed June 22/10];
- 20 M88A1 Hercules recovery vehicles [listed Sept 24/10];
1,026 M113 Family of Vehicles:
- 618 M113A2 APC [440 listed June 22/10 and 178 listed Sept 24/10];
- 68 M113A2 Ambulances [listed Sept 24/10];
- 192 M548A1 Cargo Carriers [listed Sept 24/10];
- 66 M1064 120mm Mortar Carriers [listed Sept 24/10];
- 80 M577A2 Command Posts [listed Sept 24/10];
- 2 M577A2 Emergency Medical Treatment Vehicles [listed Sept 24/10].
Elements of the 34/9 Brigade was training at Taji on M1A1s tanks in March, after which they are to go to Besmaya for the Equipment Operator Course. Elements of the 34/9, 35/9, and 36/9 Brigades have been reported training on M1A1s to date. 140 M1A1s are to be delivered to the 9th Armored Division by August 11.
Elements of 35/9 Brigade were reported in Kadhimiyah district of Baghdad. Previous reporting placed them training on M1A1s at Besmaya or in southeast Baghdad augmenting the 11th & 17th Divisions. The 35/9 Brigade may be replacing the 22/6 Brigade so they can start the 6th Division’s move to Ninawa province. The 6th Division is expected to replace the 3rd Division in Ninawa while the 3rd Division is upgrading in Baghdad – especially Besmaya CTC [IA’s version of the National Training Center].
The delivery of Ukrainian APCs was delayed again in March, and the first 26 BTR-4s were moved to April 2011, instead of the September 2010 date in the original contract. According to Ukrainian reporting, the first shipment of 26 BTR-4s are accepted and delivering in April 2011. This first shipment is reported to be 20 regular APCs, 4 command APCs and 2 medical APCs. The next shipment of 62 is planned to be ready by September 2011. It is possible that Iraq will have 400 BTR-4 variants by 2013. None of this reporting has been confirmed by Iraqi sources.
The 9th Armored Division is now being reported as having a Bridge Regiment. This addition indicates that heavy divisions of the IA will each have an Engineering Brigade complete. All of the Iraqi Army divisions and the Iraqi Ground Force Command already have a Field Engineer Regiment each [15 total] which includes a Bridging Company.
Iraq may buy counter-battery radars. An FMS notice for the possible purchase of 6 AN/TPQ-36(V)10 FIREFINDER Radar Systems, 18 AN/TPQ-48 Light Weight Counter-Mortar Radars, 3 Meteorological Measuring Sets, 36 export variant Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems, 6 Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems, 3 Position and Azimuth Determining Systems, and support from the US was posted in March. This explains some of the training the IA 6th Division has been receiving from the US.
A joint “Intelligence and Operations Center” is being established to coordinate all the various ISF intelligence collection and dissemination. Intelligence dissemination is a weak point in the ISF.
The training of 4 IA Divisions in external defense continues with 12 battalions trained at the end of March. This training is already starting to shift to IA lead in the 5th Division. The 4 IA Divisions being trained are the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th. However, the 8th Division has arranged with the US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment for its own version of this external defense training.
The 1-9/3 Battalion has been identified receiving external defense training as well as unidentified elements of 19/5 Brigade. The first cycle of this training focused on 3 battalions from 4 brigades in 4 different divisions: The 11/3, 21/5, 28/7, and 40/10 Brigades. The second cycle of this training is starting to hand off to supervised IA instructors and is training the 9/3, 19/5, ?/7 and 39/10 Brigades. Additionally the 8th IA Division has arranged with the US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment for their own version of this external defense training and the 30/8 Brigade has been rotating its battalions though.
On April 19/11, Al Sumaria reported that Iraqi Land Forces have started training their troops since early 2011 in order to leave cities and shift operations from anti-terrorism to border protection operations:
“…20 comprehensive training exercises were carried out in the different regions of Iraq, the Defense Ministry said. Iraqi Land Forces are carrying out training missions to leave the cities, Defense Ministry Land Forces Chief Brigadier General Ali Ghaydan said. ‘A 9th Division Regiment in Baghdad conducted its first mobilization training on Monday with the participation of Brigadier 34 Regiment [34/9 Mechanized Brigade] troops and Army Aviation [2nd and 15th Squadrons]’, Ghaydan said. ‘Training exercises constitute a shift in Iraq’s Army operations from deployment and anti-terrorism operations to mobilization and operational trainings that should upgrade Iraq’s Army capacities to defend the country’s borders’, Brigadier General Ali Ghaydan added. ‘Iraqi Land Forces started since early 2011 comprehensive trainings including four divisions in northern [3rd], southern [10th], western [7th] and central [5th] units’ Ghaydan stated. ‘Regiments will conduct 16 training exercises at the end of this year in addition to the four training operations that will be carried out this month’, he added.”
The exercise mentioned for the 34/9 Brigade is one of several ‘Lion’s Leap’ brigade-sized external defense training exercises going on throughout Iraq reported in 9th, 12th, and 14th IA Divisions. Of interest from that exercise photography, this is the first report of BMP-1s in 4-34/9 battalion [the 4-34/9 was Tahla equipped – not BMP-1s] and the first exercise where Iraqi M1A1s and BMP-1s worked together.
The “Emergency Battalion, 5th IA Division” was reported in March. This is probably the divisional ISR/Commando Battalion. At least 10 of the 14 IA divisions have expanded their ISR/Commando Companies to battalions.
The 12th Division now has an ‘Intelligence Battalion‘. I estimate they are referring to the 12th Commando [ISR/I&R] Battalion but, this could mean the expansion of the divisional MI Companies to Battalions.
The 12th Division is also reported as having a Signal Regiment. This indicates an expansion of the IA divisional Signals Companies to battalion-strength. The 12th Division is one of the junior IA divisions which indicate the other 13 IA divisions already have or have started expanding their communications elements.
The 17th Division’s Commando Battalion is receiving Scout-Sniper training. “The intent behind the course was to establish a corps of scouts and snipers within the Iraqi army, some of whom will be relied upon as instructors when U.S. forces leave under the Status of Forces Agreement in place between the two governments…”
The expansion of the Commandos, Bridging, and Signals Companies indicate an expansion of key divisional support and select combat elements. Other IA divisional elements that may expand to battalions include the Chemical Defense, Military Police, Medical, EOD, and Military Intelligence Companies plus the establishment of Brigade Support Battalions in each brigade.
The 8/2 Brigade is still in Anbar attached to 1st Division. The 8/2 Brigade is now 30 months into a 3 month training deployment to Anbar. One possible explanation for this IA brigade remaining in Anbar is the planned IA airborne training in Anbar that was delayed and then cancelled in 2010 when the US 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division redeployed. None of the current US AABs are airborne but, the “2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division” is scheduled to deploy to Iraq this summer. Note the change in designation of the US 2-82 Brigade for this deployment. “Security Force Assistance” falls under a different set of guidelines from AABs.
Iraq is still looking for fighters and air defense:
“Hakim Al Zamili, currently a member of the Defense & security committee in the parliament, announced that Iraq is going to sign contracts for American & European Fighter jets & Air defense systems, in a bid to build the Air Defense sector before the American withdrawal. He stated that the F-16 deal was cancelled because of the 3 years delivery schedule & to divert money to collapsing food rationing system.”
Apparently, “the types of aircraft to be contracted out will be one(s) of the origins of American and European.” This indicates that China may be out of this competition, leaving France and the US as the only reported potential sellers of fighters. The mention of possible air defense systems did not indicate if they included SAM(Surface to Air Missile) defenses, or just radar tracking systems.
After more than 5 years, US Instructor Pilots have departed the Huey-equipped 2nd Squadron. Notice the length of the timeline. Now consider that jet pilots are much more difficult and take longer to train than Huey pilots. Iraq has yet to buy jet trainers, let alone fighters. Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas is offering Iraq subsonic L-159 assault planes [Armed jet trainers] and the upgrading of helicopters during his visit to Iraq in May” but, will Iraq buy them? Iraq has been shopping for jet trainers for over 3 years without results. At this rate, Iraq will not have even a token air defense prior to 2020 [if then] unless the US Air Force remains to provide it.
The Iraqi air force took a big leap toward air and ground force integration, after an AC-208 Cessna Caravan successfully attacked a target called in by Iraqi Special Operations Forces at the Aziziyah Training Range March 23/11. A 2-ship formation of Iraqi air force Cessnas from Squadron 3 at Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, fired a single air-to-ground missile, after receiving ground target coordinates and direction from Iraqi forward air controllers, inserted near the target area by Mi-17 helicopters flying from Camp Taji. The exercise marked the 3rd time ever that Iraqi air force aircraft fired an AGM-114 Hellfire missile in 3 years as the scenarios increase in complexity and scope. Even more important, it was an ISOF Forward Air Controller calling the shot.
The Iraqi Army Aviation Command transferred the 12th Training Squadron from Kirkuk to Habbeniyah in March. Habbeniyah is to be the Iraqi Army Air Corps’ new training center.
Iraqi Navy and Marines
The Iraqi Navy has modified its contract for patrol boats. They are ordering 3 more 35m patrol boats, with an option for 3 more. If all 6 boats are ordered, then Iraqi Navy orders will total 21 boats, plus the 5 they already had.
The new boats are expected to be complete by August 2012.
Ministry of Interior
While ‘Iraq’s Interior Ministry says is ready to take over internal security from Iraqi Army’, this is mostly propaganda. Most of the MoI forces are at the level of the IA in 2006 and are missing major elements needed.
The Iraqi Oil Police is reported as “currently at around 40,000” or “70 percent of the force required.” At least an additional 12,000 police officers are needed. Major General Hamid Ibrahim, head of Iraq’s oil protection force also said. “If the expansion of the oil sector continues, we need to increase the number according to the expansion, just like all the neighboring countries.” The oil police chief said “another problem was that in most of Iraq’s southern oil fields, security forces had enlisted the help of about 3,500 civilian guards, whom he regarded as a weakness.” These numbers indicate that the Oil Police Battalions are almost manned however, training is still needed.
The 4th Federal Police Division has an undetermined number of units operating/training in south Baghdad with the US 6th Squadron, 9th Calvary Regiment attached to 2nd Brigade of 1st Division. The 4th FP Division is supposed to be headquartered in southern Iraq but, elements appear to be held in Baghdad. Other than the HQ, the only identified element still in Baghdad is the newly reported 4th FP Division’s Logistics Battalion at JSS Jihad. The only located line formations of the 4th FP Division are 1/4 FP Brigade in Basrah, 4/4 FP Brigade in Wassit, and 5/4 FP Brigade in Maysan. This indicates that 2/4 and/or 3/4 FP Brigades are in southern Baghdad province either for field training prior to deployment south or augmenting Baghdad prepatory for planned IA move out of the cities.
Joint Security Station Falcon is to be the new home to 7/2 Federal Police Brigade when turned over by USF-I. This is to allow the brigade to move out of temporary facilities.
The Basrah 6th Emergency Response Battalion has been reported for the first time. It had been listed as an Emergency Battalion with its location unknown. The designation of ERB indicates the battalion has been trained and is now a full-fledged SWAT battalion.
The 5th Emergency Response Brigade has been identified in Baqubah. There are 18-26 of these brigades planned for MoI.
Apparently, Maysan is the first province to shift to MoI primacy in internal security. This makes some sense as Maysan is home to the 5/4 Federal Police Brigade and enough provincial Emergency Police Battalions to build a MoI Police Division. Aswat-al-Iraq:
“Missan police department mapped out a new security plan after the withdrawal of army forces from the Amara city,’ local police chief said on Monday. ‘The police prepared a security plan after the 10th division of the Iraqi army withdraws from Amara city,’ General Ismail Arar al-Majedi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. ‘The plan includes removing army blocs and checkpoints,’ he added.”
NATO Training Mission graduated its third class of Iraqi Oil Police on 19 April. This class is the largest yet with 252 personnel. The OP is planned to have 42,000 personnel. NTM-I is starting to select Iraqi instructors to carry on this training.
Originally published by DJ Elliott at Montrose Toast. The April 2011 and May 2011 reportare combined and 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 – Czech L-159s: Cheap to Good Home. Could that home be in Iraq?
- 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 – 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 (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