The Jun 2007 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB Page. The significant changes to the Order of Battle are summarized below.
On May 30, 2007, the Kurdish Regional Government went to Provincial Iraqi Control. That makes 7 of 18 provinces turned over. (Muthanna, Najaf, DhiQar and Maysan in south; Dohuk, Arbil and Sulmaniyah in the North.)
In Baghdad, the second rotation of troop augmentees is underway with no reported difficulties. Elements of the 2-1 Iraqi Army (IA) Brigade are reported in the western Rasheed District of Baghdad. The 2-1 Brigade is normally at the Fallujah , and Fallujah is still IA battlespace. The 4-1 IA was due to complete its 90 day deployment and rotate back to Anbar in April. We estimate elements of the returning 4-1 Brigade relieved the 2-1 in Fallujah on completion of the Baghdad Deployment.
The IA 4-2 Brigade was reported operating back in Ninawa Province indicating a return from Baghdad. Since the 1-2 Brigade and the 3-4 Brigade preceded the 4-2 Brigade in deployment to Baghdad, they are also listed as back in home areas. The May 31 brief slides from MNC-I place the 4-1 IA Brigade in Baghdad and Anbar at the same time and does not list the 4-10 Brigade in Baghdad (estimate that is a typo). There is a distinct shift of ISF forces to the outer belts illustrated in these slides. Notice that both 2-9 and 3-9 Brigades are illustrated as Tank Brigades indicating that 9th Mechanized Division may be converting to 9th Tank Division. On 29 May “Iraqi soldiers and U.S. paratroopers joined forces to conduct Operation Al Nasir Al Ahmar (“Red Eagle,” in English), a battalion-sized cordon and search operation in the northern section of the Adhamiyah District May 26. The 3rd “War Eagle” Battalion, 1st Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division was the main effort for the operation, with support provided by paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment.” This is the first report of an IA 11th Division element operational and is likely to be a re designated Battalion.
In Diyala, “forces from the Iraqi 2nd and 4th Divisions, backed by U.S. troops, started on Monday a wide-scale security campaign to track down armed groups all over the (Diyala) province,” as forces start to augment Diyala’s 5th IA Division instead of Baghdad. Four days after a Commanding General, Iraqi Ground Forces Command inspection and meeting where the 5th IA Division’s CG was reported unsure of his Division’s readiness to transfer to Iraqi Ground Forces Command, the 5th Division’s Commander was relieved. “Iraqi military officials also said the commander of Iraqi troops in Diyala province had been replaced after allegations that he was biased against Sunnis. Maj. Gen. Shaker Hulayel, commander of the Iraqi 5th Division, was replaced by Brig. Gen. Abdul-Hussein al-Timimi, according to another Iraqi general, Saman Assi Talabani. “I think it is a good decision and the replacement should have taken place months ago,” Talabani said, citing “a lot of mistakes” that had “made the security situation worse and out of control.” This did not delay the transfer of 5th IA Division to the IGFC. The 7th IA Division in western Anbar is the last remaining under US command.
Progression of Iraqi Army units ‘in the lead’ as of June 2007. Map courtesy of MNF-Iraq. Click map to view.
Al Sabaah reports that the Iraqi “Minister of Defense has announced that the Iraqi forces are studying now the state of rising their military maneuvers at a level of airborne brigade with all their supplies in the hot areas, after were on level of airborne battalion which have been supposed to fill any security gap taken place as soon as sudden withdrawal happened by the multi-national forces.” Al Sabaah’s machine translator has consistently used Brigade for IA Divisions. This indicates the planned expansion of Iraqi Special Operations Forces to a Division or the formation of an Airborne/Airmoble/Air Assault Division.
During the May 31 MNC-I brief, the General indicated which of the 10 active IA Divisions were most capable: “The 8th Iraqi army in the center of the country, the 10th Iraqi army in the south, and the 2nd and 3rd Iraq armies in the north are performing well and providing security for the populace.” He also indicated that he thought the IA needed further expansion: “We have 150,000 coalition forces here right now — or, excuse me, 150,000 U.S. forces here right now, and they’re going to have to — they don’t need 150,000, but they’re going to need some — a number above what they have now. So my guess is they’re going to have to increase the size of their army in order to accomplish the mission.”
The Iraqi Army grew by a Division’s worth of personnel during the month of May:
May 2, 2007: 137,800
May 9, 2007: 141,000 [+3,200]
May 16,2007: 151,800 [+10,800]
May 30, 2007: 152,500 [+700]
Total gain: 14,700
While the ISF added 14,700 personnel (12%) to its operational force, no new Iraqi Army units have been officially announced. Part of this increase will be for the planned 10% overmanning and probably half of this is new IA Brigades formed.
The IA is training 70,000 new troops per year (growing to 90,000) with 18,000 per year needed to replace attritional losses. The cadre requirements for the new forming units is causing fluctuations in IA unit capabilities and ratings. Approximately 200 experienced personnel and 550 new Junji are required to form a new IA Battalion. The experienced leaders are pulled from lead battalions. On 9 May, General Pace briefed that: 10 IA Battalions were independent, 88 in-lead, 27 partnered and 29 still forming. Yet one week latter Brigadier General Wiggens said “Currently there are 89 battalions where Iraqi forces are either in the lead or are independent; more specifically, there are nine independent battalions and 80 battalions in the lead.”
While the 1st IA Division and to lesser extent 7th IA Divison are reported coming on line for Logistics self-sufficiency. Approximately 36,000 more IA nationwide are needed for logistics support (12,900 current). The FY2007 Supplemental Bill (finally passed into law) includes funding for IA Force enhancements to include equipping and training 33,000 more personnel for Logistics, Sustainment, Maintenance & Support elements (Engr, EOD, MI, MP). Weapons including assault rifles, machine guns, night-vision devices, howitzers, mortars, airlift, air assault, UAVs and Offshore Patrol Vessels are also funded by this law, as is the requirement to form an I SOF utility helicopter squadron and initial acquisition of a turboprop trainer (T6 like) with counter-insurgency capabilities. Reports of elements of 8th IA Division receiving Forward Artillery Observer training at Kalsu indicate that the 8th will be first to receive the new howitzers and mortars.
Other announced acquisitions and weapons deliveries include:
• The 2nd delivery of 5 Huey IIs to 2nd Squadron. (10 operational. 16 total planned for 2nd Squadron.) which is to get a “counter-terrorism configuration introduced in near future.” This indicates that 2nd Squadron will be employed as I SOF support.
• An engineering contract for expansion of IA Barracks and facilities to support the new forming forces.
• An FMS sale of medical supplies, equipment and training (a major weak point in the IA).
• There is reports of plans to purchase anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles by the MoD.
In the Ministry of Interior forces:
• The only active INP not accounted for on the 31st MNC-I brief slide is the 6th Brigade, confirming they are the INP Brigade at Numaniyah (off the map) for Phase II training.
• The Department of Border Enforcement is reported to still have serious logistics problems (and, in my opinion, could use expansion and motor/mechanized elements).
• In Anbar, the Provincial Security Force has expanded to a MoI light paramilitary Division organized into a three Brigade structure: “Provincial Security Force 1″ and “Provincial Security Force 2″ based in and around Ramadi plus a “Quick Intervention Brigade” based in Fallujah:”
Format changes to the OOB include:
• Page 9 is now the Joint IA/INP page with all ISF units assigned to the Joint Baghdad Operational Command (BOC) Districts listed there.
• Page 7 (IGFC Baghdad) retain Iraqi Army elements in Baghdad Province
• Page 10 retains the INP elements outside of the Baghdad City Districts.
Note: OPSEC in military press releases has tightened up considerably over the last month.