Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle, Jan 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 January 2011 Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during December 2010. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of Dec 31/10.
- 25/17 Brigade CALFEX – salvaged FA non-operational?; IA Surge in Boot Camp; IA Chemical Defense Regiment; Increase in EOD for route-clearance; 4-54/6 Battalion upgraded with BMP1; Instructors sought for M109A5 Regiment to be formed; 1st Field Artillery Pre-Commanders Course; Light mortars trained by Infantry School; 9th Division HQ and East Wing of Armor School move to Besmaya; 63 M1A1s now in IA.
- New F-16s and used Mirage 2000s to be bought; An-32s delivering; Trainer Bell 407s delivered.
- Second PB delivering; 1st Marine Brigade moving to Bucca.
- Carabinieri training of FP continues; Basrah Emergency Police tribal levees being disbanded?; 120 Oil Police Directorate officer instructors graduated Carabinieri training.
A surge in Iraqi basic training has been in progress. In late November and early December, Taji and Habbaniyah graduated almost 3,000 from boot camp. Even the Engineer School, Bomb Disposal School and Field Engineer Regiment were pressed into service training new recruits and graduated 200 on 30 November. While reporting from the other training centers is limited, this indicates the size of the surge in training:
“Presently, Habbaniya has grown into a Regional Training Center, supporting both the 1st and 7th Iraqi Army Divisions, training about 12,000 soldiers this year.”
An IA division is only about 15,000 personnel and Habbaniyah only supports 2 of the 14 commissioned IA Divisions. This indicates a significant increase in IA manning is in progress.
The Iraqi Army is building its first Chemical Defense Regiment.
“The regiment began training as a company in October 2009. Within a month, the Ministry of Defense designated it as a full 300-member regiment, complete with two companies and a headquarters. Although, the regiment now only has 110 trained chemical defense soldiers, 150 new recruits – fresh out of Basic Combat Training – are being trained as chemical defense specialists to join the ranks.”
Eventually each division and each corps will require a Chemical Defense Regiment-equivalent.
The 12th Division’s Field Engineer Regiment is reported to have 2 Explosive Ordinance Disposal Companies. There has been reporting of increasing the strength of the IA route clearance forces, but, this could be just a local modification vice indicating a general upgrade to the 15 Field Engineer Regiments. It also could be an indicator of a force-wide increase in EOD companies.
The initial order of 140 M1A1 tanks and most of the M113s are to be employed by 9th Mechanized Division which has moved its headquarters to FOB Hammer – next to the Armor School at Besmaya. (IA calls it “Armored” but, US considers it to be mechanized.) Another batch of 12 M1A1 Abrams tanks purchased by the Government of Iraq from the United States arrived on 22 December at Umm Qasr. Once the tanks are de-processed, this will total 63 tanks integrated into the Iraqi Army. All 140 M1A1s of the first order are expected to be delivered by the end of 2011.
The 4-54/6 Battalion has or is upgrading to mechanized, thanks to hand-me-down BMP-1s from the upgrading 9th Division. Apparently the 4-54/6 Battalion needs maintenance personnel [bottom page 7 in arabic] with experience on the BMP1s. Three of the 4 brigades in 6th Division have now been identified as receiving tracked armor indicating this division is next in priority after the 9th Division. Four of the 6 battalions identified as receiving upgrades from hand-me-down 9th Division armor have been in 6th Division so far.
The upgraded battalions identified are: T55 Tanks in a battalion of the 12/3 Brigade, M113 APCs in 2 battalions of the 56/6 Brigade, and BMP-1 MICVs in the 2-22/6, 4-54/6, and 1-33/8 Battalions.
These upgrades indicate one division in each of the 4 planned corps’ are being upgraded to a mix of mechanized and motorized: 9th Mechanized Division in the Quick Intervention Corps, 6th Mech/Motor Infantry in the central, 3rd Mech/Motor Infantry in the north, and 8th Mech/Motor Infantry in the south.
The first batch of BTR4s was to deliver in December 2010 and the second batch of the Ukrainian armored vehicles will be delivered to Iraq in early 2011. This first delivery has not been confirmed, but the BTR4s are supposed to participate in the 6 January Army Day Parade. The BTR4s are expected to be employed in the Battalions’ Scout Platoons, Brigades’ Scout Companies, and the Divisions’ Reconnaissance Battalions. The only identified IA battalion receiving these is the 3-35/9 Battalion whose personnel have returned from training on BTR-4Es in Ukraine. [IA calls Scouts, Recon, and Cavalry units “Commandos“.]
Iraqi artillery is progressing and instructors are being sought for M109A5 155mm self-propelled howitzers:
“The M109A5 Artillery Trainer shall create and prepare a 28 day Program of Instruction (POI) to provide collective training for one Iraqi Army M109A5 Artillery Regiment consisting of 3 batteries. The M109A5 Artillery Trainer will train one artillery battery consisting of 6 – M109A5s (SP)(155MM), Fire Direction Center and Forward Observers at a time.”
The combined arms live-fire exercise of the 25/17 Brigade on 30 November included helicopters, Intelligence/Surveillance/Reconnaissance, Commandos in an Air Assault, plus a Search and Rescue Exercise. While Soviet D30 122mm howitzers are in the footage from the exercise, they are not seen firing. To date, none of the salvaged howitzers have been seen firing or with signs they have fired – just in static display and parades. It is entirely likely that they are being used as training dummies and are not operational.
Seventeen Iraqi Army majors graduated from the first Iraqi Field Artillery Pre-Commanders Course taught at the Iraqi Field Artillery School in Abu Ghraib on Dec 1/10. The 4-month pre-commanders course qualifies officers in the Iraqi field artillery to be placed into a commander’s role, and the goal is for the officers to develop the skills and knowledge required to perform as the commander of a regiment. This is the start of training battalion/regiment commanders for the Iraqi Army field artillery.
More junior FA officers are also being trained, vid. “Iraqi Army soldiers with 6th Iraqi Army stand by prior to their Iraqi Army artillery school graduation ceremony in Baghdad, Dec. 14. Iraqi Army soldiers completed a four week artillery school.” This could indicate that 6th Division is the next after 9 Division to upgrade to howitzers. All of the graduates in the photo are 1Lts.
Of note, the 81mm and 60mm mortar training is apparently being done by the IA Infantry School vice the FA School. Personnel from the 1st, 11th and 17th Divisions were being trained on 81mm Mortars by the Infantry School.
The Iraq Armor School, Eastern Wing, moved from Camp Taji to the Combined Arms School at the Besmaya Combat Training Center on 24 November. The school’s 69-vehicle convoy moved 320 soldiers to the BCTC along with thousands of training aids and equipment, including everything from beds to tanks. M1A1 tank training is in the process of turning over to Iraqi Army personnel.
Iraqi press reported and Iraqi government confirmed that Iraq’s Council of Ministers authorized the Defense Minister to negotiate with Washington to buy 6 new F-16 combat jets, and continue negotiations with the French side to buy 18 used Mirage 2000 jets as of 2012.
According to Antonov State Enterprise, the first 3 An-32 aircraft will be delivered to Iraq by the end of this year (2010), and another 3 each in the years 2011 and 2012.
The Iraqi Army Aviation Command received 3 Bell T-407 training helicopters on 11 December. These unarmed helicopters will be used to train pilots with the Iraqi Army Air Corps’ 21st Squadron to fly the Iraqi Armed 407 which is an Armed Scout with forward-firing ground attack capabilities. The IA-407 is equipped with Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and data-link capabilities, via its surveillance turret. A total of 27 IA-407s are scheduled for delivery to the 21st Squadron in late 2011 and early 2012.
Iraqi Navy and Marines
The second of 15 ordered Swiftship Patrol Boats is delivering.
“Military Sealift Command-chartered heavy lift crane ship MV Ocean Titan delivered the second of a new class of U.S.-built patrol boats to Manama, Bahrain, today. The 115-foot boat is destined for Iraq, where it will be turned over to the Iraqi navy and used primarily to patrol coastal waters and provide security for the country’s oil platforms.”
The Iraqi 1st Marine Brigade is moving to Bucca. Bucca is converting to a commercial center with offices, warehouses, aviation, and fuel services to support investors. By basing Iraqi Marines at this site, the Iraqi Government is providing security for the new commercial center. This is also the first mention of a 1st Marine Brigade, which infers there is a 2nd Marine Brigade forming. Camp Bucca was turned over to the Iraqi Marines in July 2010.
Ministry of Interior
Phase III Carabinieri training continues in the Iraqi Federal Police:
“Members of the Iraqi Federal Police and Zerevani, Kurdish regional government police forces, graduated from a specialized NATO Training Mission-Iraq training course Dec. 19 at the Federal Police Special Training Academy at Camp Dublin. They join more than 9,400 members of the Iraqi Federal Police that have graduated since its initiation in 2007. This is the 15th Federal Police class graduation with 749 students from Basrah, Baghdad, Mosul and regions in northern Iraq.”
It is possible that some of the Basrah Emergency Police tribal levees are being disbanded.
“Iraqi tribesman prepare their weapons during a weapon handover event to the Iraqi government in Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad December 11, 2010. Several Iraqi tribes handed over their weapons, acquired during the Saddam Hussein era, to the Iraqi government, as part of a security plan to improve the security situation in southern Iraq.”
NATO Training Mission Iraq graduated 120 Oil Police Directorate officer instructors on 9 December 2010. This is the first class of Carabinieri trained Oil Police.
Originally published by DJ Elliott at Montrose Toast. The January 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