The July 2008 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB homepage. The significant changes to the Order of Battle that occurred in June are summarized below.
Provincial Iraqi Control. The formal ceremonies for the transition of Anbar and Qadisayah provinces were scheduled for June 28 and June 30. Those would be the 10th and 11th of 18 provinces to turn over. Weather postponed both of these ceremonies. However, the de facto turnover of provinces occurs prior to the scheduling of the official ceremony. In addition, the Wassit Province Police Chief thinks Wassit is ready for turnover.
Iraqi Special Operations Force (ISOF). The formal transfer of ISOF to the Counter-Terrorism Bureau is planned for 2009. The recently approved growth of the ISOF, including regional commando battalions, regional counter-terrorism centers, and the new garrison support unit, exceeds the training production capacity of the Iraqi Special Warfare Counter-Terrorism School. Basrah and Mosul Commando Battalions initial operational status was in January 2008. The Diyala Commando Battalion is forming with initial operational status planned for October 2008 and full capability in January 2009. The Al Asad Commando Battalion’s initial capability is planned for September 2008 with full capability by November 2008. The 15th Special Operations Squadron currently is receiving night-vision flight training in US helicopters, but the 15th is not expected to reach full operational capability until the end of 2009 because of equipment delivery problems.
Iraqi Air Force. The Iraqi Air Force continues to gain aircraft. Starting June 2008, King Air 350 deliveries are stabilizing at five per month. Four more Mi17 helicopters are to be received this year and 24 more in 2009. Current training of Mi17 pilots includes air-to-ground rocket training at Kut. Eight 314-B1 Super Tucano light attack and training planes are being delivered for use in Iraq. The only detail to be mentioned of the French weapons deal under negotiations is the potential buy of 50 Gazelle attack helicopters. The Iraqi Air Force is also getting flight simulators for C130J via FMS, indicating the deal for additional cargo aircraft has been made. The Iraqi government plan calls for a minimum of 376 aircraft by 2020.
Iraqi Navy. The Iraqi Navy has formed a new Marine battalion. The 2nd Marine Battalion has assumed primary security of Umm Qasr port facility, while the 1st Marine Battalion has the primary oil terminal point defense security. The Navy plans to receive two offshore support vessels in 2009, with the first in October; four Patrol Ships, with the first in June 2009; three Patrol Boats, with the first in April 2009; and 36 Patrol Craft starting in early 2009.
Iraqi Army (IA) Logistics Commands. The expansion of the Taji Supply Depot appears to be on schedule. The Iraqi Army is merging its two main spare parts depots for military equipment into a new facility at Taji National Depot. Construction has begun on the facilities for the Shaibah Location Command supporting the 14th Division. This is one of the 13 currently planned Location Commands to be operational by the end of 2008:
• Eight divisional location (support) commands have become operational and are located at Taji (Baghdad), Kirkush (Diyala), Al Kasik (Ninewa), Habbaniyah (Anbar), Numaniyah (Wassit), Rustamiyah (Baghdad), K1 (Kirkuk) and Ur (Nassariyah).
• Five more location commands will be operational by the end of 2008 and will be located at Ghizlanee (Ninewa), Tikrit (Salah ad Din), Al Asad (Anbar), Al Memona (Maysan) and Al Shaiba (Basrah).
Interestingly, only two location commands are in the Baghdad area supporting three divisions, while three location commands are to be located in the southern provinces within a 70-mile diameter area supporting only two divisions. Despite this indicator of a probable move of an Iraqi Army division from Baghdad to Maysan, Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq (MNSTC-I) Public Affairs Officer (PAO), Lieutenant Colonel Wellman replied to a request for information:
“The Baghdad area LCs (Taji & Rustamiyah) support all 3 Baghdad area Divisions (6, 9 & 11). The Al Memona LC is in support of the 10th and 14th Divisions, the 10th is also supported by the LC in Ur and the 14th is additionally supported by Shaiba. There is no relocation of an existing division that we know of, just three geographically disparate LCs supporting two divisions.” [bold face added]
The Bayji National Ammunition Depot and its new forming Support Battalion remain on schedule for turnover to the Iraqi Army in October 2008. Nine Motor Transport Regiments are operational and three more are to be operational this year. A General Transportation Regiment is also in force generation to support the Taji National Depot and is to be initially operational in September 2008. Also,
“the Taji National Depot Complex will provide continued technical trade training for graduates of the Iraqi Army Service and Support Institute. Training of these specialists has begun for the tracked and wheeled vehicle depots. The Iraqis will begin to assume control of these facilities by early 2009; however, Coalition advisory and transition team support will remain necessary for some time afterward. The supply depot reconstruction and refurbishment will reach completion by the third quarter of 2009.”
Iraqi Army (IA) Force Development. The latest 9010 Quarterly Report to Congress reports 139 Iraqi Army battalions operational, eight in force generation, and 14 more planned. This does not include the 17 former Strategic Infrastructure Battalions (SIBs) that are being retrained and redesignated as IA light infantry battalions. Eight former-SIBs are fully operational, six more are at initial operational status, and three are awaiting training. 116,000 Iraqi Army personnel are to be trained this year.
“Throughout the rest of 2008, the IA will grow one division headquarters, four brigade headquarters, 17 infantry battalions, five additional logistics commands, three motor transport regiments, one general transport regiment, one logistics battalion and an Army Ammunition Depot.”
Two Iraqi Army Brigades have been commissioned. On June 30, the 12th Brigade, 3rd IA Division graduated the Unit Set Fielding program at Besmaya. On July 2, the 53rd Brigade, 14th IA Division graduated the expanded Unit Set Fielding program at Numaniyah. With the graduation of these two brigades, the IA has now fielded 51 out of 54 planned brigades planned for the end of 2008. As part of the Unit Set Fielding program, M1114 uparmored HMMWVs are provided to new motorized brigades. Turnover of M1114s is planned to continue at the 400 per month rate that started in May. Additional firepower is also being added to existing formations. New mortars have been added to 8th Division in Diwaniyah and they are also adding heavy weapons elements to the battalions. According to MNSTC-I PAO, Lieutenant Colonel Wellman:
“The Iraqis are fielding mortars in the force gradually as part of their continuing build towards self sufficiency. They plan to issue 120mm batteries at the division level, 81mm at the brigade and 60mm at the battalion level. There will be 18 mortars per battery at the upper levels eventually. I don’t have a time line handy for the fielding but it is being trained at Besmaya range complex and locally at the units such as 8th IA in Qadisiyah.”
Iraqi National Police (INP). Advanced training of the INP continues. On June 21, the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 2st INP Division graduated Phase III Carabinari training at Camp Dublin. The 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st INP Division is in the new class and is scheduled to graduate in late July. The current program is for eight courses (battalions). Discussions are continuing on extending this training up to 12 or possibly more battalions. The INP is currently authorized 44 battalions, including the ERU. Part of that expanded authorization is the forming 3rd INP Division:
“The Al Askarian Brigade is the first of three brigades in this new [3rd] division, and it is already generated and operating. Force generation for the second and third brigades has yet to begin.”
Also the INP Sustainment Brigade is scheduled for completion at the end of the year. Currently, it has a headquarters, medical, transport, maintenance, and a logistics company. Only 865 of an authorized 2687 personnel assigned. On June 28, the INP Sustainment Brigade received 82 Ford F-550 cargo trucks, probably for the forming transport battalion. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has determined that it is currently unable to maintain its share of M1114 uparmored HMMWVs, so they have signed an agreement with the Ministry of Defense to maintain MoI’s vehicles. The Iraqi Army Supply Support Institute started training MoI maintainers in April. Additional training from the coalition is being received by the 1st National Police Mechanized Brigade, in route clearance.
Iraqi Police (IP). The Baghdad IP is rapidly growing to 25,000. As part of Phase II planning, Baghdad IP is expanding to 35,200 by February 2009. The MoI training base is currently capable of 79,850 enlisted and 3462 officers per year. This is planned to increase by the middle of 2009 to 117,100 enlisted and 5472 officers per year. The MoI is establishing 12 new training centers and expanding eight more.
• The 17 existing training locations are: Al Kut, Baghdad Police College, Basrah Training Center, Dahuk, Diwanniyah, Camp Dublin, Habbanniyah, Hillah, Irbil, Kirkuk, Mosul, Najaf, Numaniyah, Salah ad Din, Solidarity, Sulaymaniyah and Lulaymaniyah Officer College.
• The 11 new projects are: Baghdad Police College-North ([in Mosul], November 2008); Baghdad Police College – South ([in Basrah] October 2008); Baghdad Basic Recruit Training Center-East (March 2009); Diwaniyah Police Training Center (PTC) (November 2008); Diyala Basic Recruit Training Center (BRTC) (November 2008); Maysan BRTC (January 2009); Kirkuk BRTC (January 2009); Karbala BRTC (February 2009); Dhi Qar BRTC (February 2009); Najaf PTC (December 2008); Muthanna BRTC (December 2008); and Irbil (August 2008).
• The eight expansion or refurbishment projects are: Baghdad Police College (Phase I) (Complete); Baghdad Police College (Phase II) (October 2008); Baghdad Police College (Phase III) (January 2009); Mosul PTC (November 2008); Tikrit PTC (December 2008); Habbaniyah PTC (November 2008); Solidarity National Police Training Center (June 2008); Al Ferat (December 2008).
Additionally, the 30 provincial Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics (ISWAT) teams have been renamed Company Special Weapons and Tactics (CSWAT) and was given additional emphasis. Of those 30, 18 are to be equipped by the US and the remainder by MoI. Training is being standardized. The Hillah SWAT Battalion (Scorpions) is possibly being expanded to a brigade. Four Emergency Response Unit Battalions (ERU) have formed or are forming in Wassit. Diwaniyah IP is to receive 300 “armored vehicles“. This would be enough to motorize the entire Diwaniyah IP Emergency Response Brigade (ERB). The provincial CSWATs, ERUs, and ERBs are probably planned to eventually become components of the INP.