The September 2007 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB Page. Significant changes include a shift in focus to re-enforce Basrah, the establishment of three more “Operational Commands,” the expansion and development of the Iraqi Air Force, and the potential reduction of the Iraqi National Police for lack of available competent and trustworthy leadership. The significant changes to the Order of Battle are summarized below.
During August, three new “Operational Commands” in Samarra, Basrah, and Karbala were formed. These headquarters are joint corps-level (or greater) commands and represent a significant increase in Iraqi command and control. Of particular significance, was the establishment of the Basrah Operational Command under the command of General Mohan (four-star equivalent). The establishment of the Basrah Operational Command, 14th Division, addition of at least two more brigades to the two already stationed in Basrah, and the dispatch of the first expansion battalion from Iraqi Special Operations Force indicate serious concern for the situation in Basrah. As the Vice Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Joint staff said: “We do not have enough forces there. That is why we are having a new division, the 14th Division, to be built in Basrah, especially with the possibility that the British might be leaving us in time.” (Note: MNSTC-I PAO has confirmed that the nomenclature 13 is not being used; thus, the 14th Division is the designated number for the next Iraqi Army division.)
The first class of Iraqi Air Force cadets is graduating on September 12 and some will go on to flight training. A contract for 18 Cessna C-172 aircraft (including an option for 10 more), for use as Iraqi basic trainers has been signed and the Jet Rangers are being transferred to the Kirkuk Flight Training School. Other contracts include flight training devices and the conversion of 16 more helicopters from US stocks to Huey II standards.
Training, equipping, and manning improvements continue. US personal weapons continue to be issued and trained on by the Iraqi 7th, 8th, and 9th Divisions. This upgrade continues in parallel with an increase in manning of Iraqi Army units. Examples of this increased manning include the 1-1 Brigade (fully manned), 1-7 Brigade (80 percent), and the overmanned 4-6 Brigade (5000 personnel). Over 107,000 are expected to be trained for the Ministry of Defense this year (by end year). Over 14,000 are to graduate during September with the completion of cycle six. The major difficulty is training leadership in the officer and (especially) non-commissioned officer ranks. Current Iraqi Army strength is 125 battalions and 37 more are forming.
Ministry of Interior’s National Police (NP) continues to receive negative reporting while it is reformed. All of the NP division and brigade commanders and over half of the battalion commanders have been relieved over the last year. There are 1,500 files under review for dismissal and potential charges. Thirty “very senior” officials have been removed. The situation is so bad that the Iraqi Minister of Interior is considering the reduction in size of the NP due to lack of available competent and trusted leadership. Elsewhere in the Ministry of Interior, the regular Iraqi Police have been authorized to expand by 30,000, from roughly 135,000 to 165,000; 12,000 of those personnel will be added to Baghdad over the next 6 months; 6,000 have been vetted and are in training for Diyala; and 7,000 have been vetted and have been hired for Anbar. Reporting of the deployment of a “new security force” continues as Kurdish Regional Guards are fielded to protect infrastructure.