Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: August 2008 Update


Iraqi and Coalition forces Order of Battle as of July 31, 2008.

The August 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 July are summarized below. There are major changes to the order of battle pages and map due to new formations, re-subordinations, and reorganizations.

ISF Weapons and Support Purchases. The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program notified the US Congress of Iraqi government plans to purchase up to $10.8 billion worth of weapons, equipment, and support services in the last week of this month, including enough armor for a division equivalents and light attack helicopters.

• On July 25, the first notice was of the possible $1.5 billion sale of six C-130J-30 aircraft, ancillary equipment, and support. On receipt, this triples the number of C-130s in the Iraqi inventory.
• On July 28, the possible $206 million sale of 160 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles (ASVs), 4 Heavy Duty Recovery Trucks, ancillary equipment, and support was announced. This is two light mechanized brigades worth of these vehicles when the normal support vehicles are added. Considering how the Iraqi National Police is the only ISF user of these vehicles, the INP is the probable recipient.
• On July 30, the possible $2.4 billion sale of light attack helicopters, probably for support of Iraqi Special Operations Forces and enough mortars to equip 28 Iraqi brigades and a training establishment was announced. The sale includes:
• 24 Bell Armed 407 Helicopters or 24 Boeing AH-6 Helicopters
• 565 M120 120mm Mortars
• 665 M252 81mm Mortars
• Plus weapons (including Hellfire), ammunition, spares and support

• Also on July 30, the possible $1.6 billion sale of technical assistance for expanding and repairing Iraqi Security Force infrastructure was announced. "The scope of the program includes provision of technical assistance for Light Armored Vehicles, Range Facilities, Training Facilities, Tank Range Complex Facilities, and Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter Facilities in support of Government of Iraq (GoI) construction projects throughout the country of Iraq." This is the expansion of ranges and training facilities to support these purchases.
• And again on July 30, the possible $3 billion sale of enough armor to equip four Light Armored Cavalry Brigades plus replacements for lost equipment was announced. It is not clear whether these LAVs are to replace earlier ordered BTR-3E1s or in addition to them.

• 392 Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs) which include 352 LAV-25, 24 LAV-CC, and 16 LAV-A (Ambulances); plus ammunition, support equipment and training.
• Replacement equipment including: 5 LAV-R (Recovery), 4 LAV-L (Logistics), 2 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, 41 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR), 2 MK19 40mm Grenade Machine Guns, 773 9mm Pistols, 93 M240G Machine Guns, and 10 AR-12 rifles.

• On July 31, the possible $2.16 billion sale of enough tanks and support vehicles for two Armored Brigades minus armored personnel carriers was announced:

• 140 M1A1 Abrams tanks modified and upgraded to the M1A1M Abrams configuration
• 8 M88A2 Tank Recovery Vehicles
• 64 M1151A1B1 Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV)
• 92 M1152 Shelter Carriers
• 12 M577A2 Command Post Carriers
• 16 M548A1 Tracked Logistics Vehicles
• 8 M113A2 Armored Ambulances
• 35 M1070 Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) Truck Tractors
• 40 M978A2 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) Tankers
• 36 M985A2 HEMTT Cargo Trucks
• 4 M984A2 HEMTT Wrecker Trucks
• 140 M1085A1 5-ton Cargo Trucks
• 8 MMWV Ambulances w/ Shelter
• 8 Contact Maintenance Trucks
• Plus spare parts, support and training

The proposed purchase of equipment like M1 tanks and 120mm mortars indicates the Iraqi Army is beginning to look beyond its current role as a counterinsurgency army and is starting to build for its next (and ultimate) role as a national defense army defending its borders from external threats.

Iraqi Air Force. The Iraqi Air Force took delivery of eight more Cessna 172s and three Cessna Caravan 208s for training. The additional aircraft will allow more than 130 new pilots to train and graduate each year. "They will double in size within the next year, giving them up to 6,000 Airmen and 133 aircraft by the end of 2009." The possible orders of six C-130Js, 24 light attack helicopters and their support equipment/weapons is part of that expansion.

Iraqi Navy. The Iraqi Navy is to start commissioning four Patrol Ships in Italy starting in April 2009. The ships will be commissioned at three-month intervals and the first is to arrive in Iraq in July 2009. The two Offshore Support Vessels and first three Patrol Boats (of 15) start arriving from Malaysia in September 2009. The Iraqi Marines formed the 2nd Marine Battalion when 500 Iraqi Army troops were transferred in March for the Basrah operations. The 1st Iraqi Marine Commando Battalion continues to perform the vessel board, search, and seizure role as well as platform security. The 2nd Iraqi Marine Security Battalion is the security element for the port of Umm Qasr and continues its training. The Navy/Marine force is planned to be 3,000 personnel by the end of 2010. It is planned to grow to 4,000-5,000 after that, depending on how large the Marines grow. This indicates the Marines are to grow to a brigade sized force. The ship "Al Shams" was recently taken delivery. It is an Offshore Support Vessel supporting the channel pilots and providing medical/security presence at the mouth of the channel approaching Umm Qasr.

Iraqi Army (IA) Force Development. On June 4, a senior Iraqi officer mentioned that "We have now over 16 military divisions...." This indicated that the Army had three more divisions than previously identified or that the officer misspoke. On July 4, the 17th Division was first mentioned along with the new formed 23/17 Brigade operating in south Baghdad Province. On July 7, the 2-25/17 Battalion was reported operating. These reports indicated that the oversized 25th Commando Brigade of the 6th Division had split into multiple brigades and was transferred to a new forming 17th Division. Further reports indicated the 22nd, 24th, and 54th Brigades in the city of Baghdad were retained by the 6th Division. It was finally announced on July 31 that the 17th Division was formed by splitting the southern Baghdad Province elements of the 6th Division off. This announcement also mentioned that a third brigade had already been formed from the oversized 25th Brigade and that the 25th Brigade commander was promoted to 17th Division commander. The 25th Brigade was a source of Iraqi Special Operations Force recruits and the 17th Commando Division will probably retain that role. The 25th Commando Brigade was responsible for commando training at Kalsu and all of its battalions have gone through this training. The adjacent 33/8 Brigade is also double standard strength and probably will split to provide the 17th Division its fourth maneuver brigade when a new brigade headquarters is formed. The other two divisions, which are not being mentioned, are the transferred 30,000 peshmerga. They are the 15th and 16th Divisions. Because of the political sensitivity of these Kurdish transfers, little information is available beyond their existence.

The orders of 565 M120 120mm Mortars and 665 M252 81mm Mortars represent the start of forming indirect fires elements for the battalions and brigades. Those are enough mortars to equip the mortar components of seven divisions and a training establishment. The sale of 392 Light Armored Vehicles and 140 M1A1 Abrams tanks is enough armor to equip a division equivalent. The Iraqi Army also continues to field new formations:

• The 4-5/2 Infantry Battalion graduated from the Unit Set Fielding program in Ninawa on July 6.
• The 53rd Brigade, 14th Infantry Division, graduated from the Unit Set Fielding program at Numaniyah Regional Training Center on July 2.
• The 4-36/9 Mechanized Cavalry Battalion completed an advanced "warrior" training course at Camp Taji and was commissioned on July 10. This battalion is equipped with M113 ACAV variants and is the first-ever battalion of Iraqi soldiers to graduate from the Warfighter Training Course at the Phoenix Academy in Taji.
• Additionally, the 4-34/9 Mechanized Cavalry Battalion is undergoing the same training at Taji. This battalion is equipped with Type 63 ACAV variants.
• On July 26, the first operational report of the Presidential Brigade was mentioned in Baghdad.

Iraqi Special Operations Force (ISOF). The possible sale of 24 Bell Armed 407 Helicopters or 24 Boeing AH-6 Helicopters is probably intended for ISOF support. AH-6 "little birds" have been the standard US Special Operations light attack helicopter for decades. This probably means a second ISOF support squadron will be formed. The Counter-Terrorism Bureau is pending legislation to designate it a separate ministry, so any plans to expand beyond the current six battalions are unofficial. Until the legislation is passed and force levels authorized for the new ministry, no changes in force structure can be planned "right now".

Iraqi National Police (INP). As predicted last month, the provincial SWAT Companies (CSWAT), Emergency Response Units (ERU), Emergency Battalions (EB), and Emergency Response Brigades (ERB) are becoming components of the National Police. In response to a request for information, Lieutenant Colonel Wellman, the Chief Public Affairs Officer of Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq said:

"It is my understanding that those units [Emergency Response Units/Brigades] are all being rolled into the National Police command but will have to confirm as well the details and precise chain of command. I have no info on the KRG stuff [Kurdish Special Police] that is releasable at this point."

The transfer of elements of the Kurdish Special Police to the INP as part of this reorganization is under discussion on numbers and composition. These additions to the INP fit with the repeatedly stated plan to have an INP brigade in every province. By transferring these formations, they get a higher degree of support and training, while the INP expands to the size of the "objective counter-insurgency force" that the IA was built to at the end of 2006 (10 Divisions). This facilitates the take-over of internal security by the INP while the army concentrates on its primary role of external threats. The first of these provincial units already transferred are the Karbala National ERU, the Baghdad National ERU, and the Baghdad National ERB. The INP page and the OOB map have been changed to reflect these units.

Training continues in the INP with the 3-8/2 INP Battalion preparing for Phase III training, starting at the end of July after the 1-1/1 INP Battalion graduates. The1st INP Mechanized Brigade graduated from a 10-day Route-clearance training course in Baghdad's Rasheed District on July 19. This was the first INP brigade to receive this type of training. The above-mentioned possible sale of 160 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles (ASVs) and ancillary equipment/weapons is probably for the formation or conversion of two more INP mechanized Quick reaction brigades. One per existing/currently forming INP Divisions.

Department of Border Enforcement (DBE). The Coastal Border Guard (CBG) originally referred to as the Coast Guard and Inland Waterways Dept (CGIWD) has been rarely mentioned. In response to a request for information, Major L A H Jones, SO2 DBE, Multi-National Division-South East, provided the following information (edited for clarity):

• The CBG is deployed on the rivers in DBE Region IV to combat riverine smuggling. Headquarters is in Al Mqil, and there are four groups under its command:

• Al Faw Group
• Shatt al Arab Group
• Basra Group
• Umm Qasr Group

• They have responsibility for all inland waterways, north from the marsh areas of the Shatt-Al-Arab up to Cigar Island and from Buoy 36 in the Khor-Al-Amayah. They have approx 750 personnel and are commanded by Brigadier General Radim. Their Key Tasks are:

• Patrolling inland waterways to interdict smuggling
• Ship Port of Entry protection
• Policing lawful entry points to Iraq for goods and persons

Speculation. What follows is pure speculation on the near future of Iraqi Security Forces. Recent developments suggest this scenario, but the final decisions can't be predicted with certainty.

Until legislation is passed, any projection of ISOF expansion is guesswork. However, the structure of ISOF indicates an informally planned three-tier organization:

• Tier one is the 2nd Counter-Terrorism Battalion. This is the "delta force" equivalent. Might expand but slowly. About 3 percent of commandos pass the course to join.
• Tier two is the expansion to five regional commando brigades. Currently these are only battalions and two are still forming. The structure of their support indicates probable expansion to binary brigades.
• Tier three is probably the National Police component. The transfer of one SWAT company or more per province would provide a local element on the ground. This would explain why USSOF is training 30 SWAT Companies.

The order of 140 M1A1s and 392 LAVs corresponds to an existing Iraqi Army structure. The 37th Cavalry Brigade is unique in the Iraqi Army and is probably a test bed for armored cavalry formations. It is equipped with 35 EE-9s (wheeled light tanks) and 98 BTR-80s. The BTR-80s were found to have insufficient armament. The tank and LAV orders correspond to four brigades of 35 M1A1s and 98 LAVs -- the same mix of vehicles. A recent brief stated that nine of 14 planned location commands and 10 of 12 Motor Transport Regiments (MTR) had been formed. The 9th Armored Division does not have a MTR. Instead it has a support battalion per brigade. This indicates that another division will be heavy, an Armored Cavalry Division, and the armor will be concentrated in it. The following are probable candidates for this conversion in order of probability:

• 11th Division in east Baghdad. This division is still forming and could be easily converted. Its forming MTR could be provided to the 17th Division. An M1A1/LAV equipped Division in Iraqi colors based in Baghdad would be a serious show of increasing army power.
• 1st Division based in eastern Anbar. This division is part of the Quick Reaction Force and an elite force. Its MTR could also be easily transferred to the 17th Division. This is a traditional heavy division in the Iraqi Army.
• 7th Division based in western Anbar. This division is part of the Quick Reaction Force.
• 5th Division based in Diyala. This division is in a hot area and also guards the primary approach to Baghdad from Iran. This is a traditional heavy division in the Iraqi Army.
• A new division. The 2nd and 4th Divisions have nine battalions excess to standard organization. Like the battalions split from 6th and 8th Divisions, a new division could be formed from these. Even if this does not get the armor, these battalions will probably be split off to form independent brigades or a new division.


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READER COMMENTS: "Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: August 2008 Update"

Posted by Ravi at August 4, 2008 11:34 AM ET:

Impressive job, as always.

Posted by Icon at August 4, 2008 1:21 PM ET:

Is there such a thing as a publicly available Order of Battle for the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Thanks.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 1:36 PM ET:

Icon

No. Just a lot of propaganda from their side and "sorry, that is classified" from ours.

One rule in reading AQ (or any insergent) propaganda:
They always exagerate excessively their strength and success. Part of the rules of the game.
- Their objective is to appear stronger than reality, unbeatable. When in reality, they are fighting with the tactics of the weak because they are so very weak.
- If they have five people in a cell doing bombings, it is a battalion, 10 is a brigade, etc.
- They will always claim more casualties than they actually killed, usually by a factor of three or more and wounded are claimed killed (3 WIA will result in 10 KIA claim).
- They love being called an insergent or militia since such terms confer legitimacy on them. Most of what they actually do would be familiar familiar to a Chicago Mobster or a gang member.

Posted by Wilno at August 4, 2008 1:44 PM ET:

God news!Mayby Irakis sucseed.

Posted by Alex at August 4, 2008 1:46 PM ET:

Quite a bit of heavy equipment. I guess they got tired of waiting on the Greek M-60 deal. Nice to see that they're also getting some more airborne firepower.

Still a long way to go though. 9 C-130s for a whole country? It's an improvement from 3, but the final number should probably be 30-40 with also a number of C-5s or some other long range heavy airlift platform.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 1:53 PM ET:

Alex:

Last fall the then CAFTT boss mentioned 40 as the target number of C-130s.
If they buy 6 a year, over 6 years...
2014-15...
And they plan to be able to fully defend themselves by 2018-20 according to their MoD...

Posted by pedestrian at August 4, 2008 2:17 PM ET:

No fighters for Air Force yet?

Posted by MattR at August 4, 2008 2:20 PM ET:

"And they plan to be able to fully defend themselves by 2018-20 according to their MoD..."

So I guess that's the real timeline. Makes sense.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 2:32 PM ET:

pedestrian

2011/12 is first planned jets. Briefed last fall.

They are still building up the non-sexy infrastructure and maintenance components at this point in time...

Posted by Neo at August 4, 2008 3:18 PM ET:

It appears that the IA was able to do the Diyala campaign without any major juggling of forces this time. It looks like a majority of the country now has adequate force coverage. For much of the spring finding extra troops was a challenge as victories over JAM in the south quickly expanded obligations beyond the number of troops available and the number of new units always lagged a bit behind the numbers needed. I had doubted that either AQI or JAM really had anything left with which to openly challenge weaknesses, but it is nice to see those weaknesses being closed for good. The only thing that looks a little iffy at this point is Sadr City, and any opportunity to cause further trouble there is quickly disappearing too. Iran could throw a monkey wrench into things but would have to do it themselves to make an impact. I don't see that happening this fall at least.

At some time in the near future, I would like to see the Iraqi government send a formal request to Muqtada al-Sadr to please "SHUT UP" and stop embarrassing his family name and causing Iraq's Shiite and Sunni populations further pointless suffering. In his case I wouldn't bother being tactful about the request either, just tell the man to shut up.

I might be brave enough to say operations in Iraq are starting to look a lot more and more like mop-up operations. There still is an ugly terrorism problem within Iraq, but the insurgency really does seem to be winding down. No sooner do you say that than a few suicidal women come exploding onto the scene, but such mass casualty attacks no longer create tactical opportunities for Al Qaeda, but are PR tools cynically aimed at those that who are still impressionable.

The game isn't in the bag, but it is my impression that things can now progress along in a rather methodical manor, at least on the military side of things. As things stand, we pretty much have to directly give the initiative back to the insurgency for it to have a real chance at a comeback.

By contrast the political side of things is always going to be challenging and a great deal needs to be done to make a nation out of Iraq, rather than a collection of ethnicities and religious sects. The political system seems to be fairly weak right now and probably needs space to get things working on the local level before really mending things on a national level. In the mean time, if the Iraqi executive and army can tightly hold to the view of Iraq as a nation, than there is a fair chance that things will eventually come together.

Our short term policy objectives should be aimed at holding and improving the present security gains while withdrawing the bulk of our forces from Iraq. In the longer term some maintenance protection will most likely be required to allow Iraq a security space in which to develop politically. In the mean time we need to avoid inflexible security goals set solely by external political considerations.


Posted by Neo at August 4, 2008 3:54 PM ET:

Please continue your discussion guys. I didn't intend to blot out the thread with an overly long comment. It was just my overall impressions on how the situation seemed to be progressing after looking at DJ's detailed analysis. Though the bit about a formal request to Muqtada al-Sadr was a bit tongue-in-cheek.

Posted by Alex at August 4, 2008 4:13 PM ET:

Michael Yon has written that in his opinion, the Iraq war is "over" and from here on out, activities on our part will look more like a UN peacekeeping operation rather than a war. I'm not sure how I feel about a comparison to UN peacekeepers (Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, the list goes on), but I see his point. I think this might be a bit overoptimistic, since we're not sure yet what Iran will do. I personally don't think that Assad in Syria has the guts to do anything, but I wouldn't take any kind of bet on what the mullahs in Iran are up to.

I also was thinking, what if that Greek M-60 deal pulls through in the end after all? That plus M-1s is going to be a LOT of heavy armor.

A strong Iraqi military plus a free press, and also maybe a strong economy if the Kurdish oil fields come online might be just as subversive to Iran as Iran's support for the Shi'ite nutcases has been subversive to Iraq. The next 5 years are going to be very interesting for Middle Eastern politics.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 4:36 PM ET:

Alex

"I also was thinking, what if that Greek M-60 deal pulls through in the end after all? That plus M-1s is going to be a LOT of heavy armor."

If Iraq is doing what I think they are doing, the objective of the IA is armor parity with Iran in the next three years. Between the HA and the USMC, I have 1074 M60 and 400 M48s being disposed of...

Iran has 1800-2100 tanks depending on who's number you use. I have seen lower numbers listed but, they discount the over 40 years of Iranian experience at tank rework and repair...

Posted by Trophy Wench at August 4, 2008 6:05 PM ET:

I have been reading up on these orders for the last 3 days and all I can say is wow. Its truly amazing to see how far they have come in terms of capability! That being said, The LAV 25 contract did, for me at least raise an eyebrow. Considering that the IA is only months away (presumably) from getting their first deliveries of BTR-3's, we now see that the IA has once again gone over to a completely different system. That being said the LAV series and their derivatives are all exceptional systems nonetheless. My theory is that the Iraqis are going do develop their army in similar fashion to Saudi Arabia; wherein they [the Saudis] have an overwhelmingly American supplied force but for their non American equipment they segregate into separate units. Case in point is the Saudi 20th Mechanized Brigade where all of their kit is French in origin. Could the IA be attempting to do the same thing With the 9th armored among others?

Posted by jack winters at August 4, 2008 6:24 PM ET:

Hi DJ

Great job I know it must have been difficult especially that everything happened in the last week. Just a reminder Iraq ordered 64 M1151A1B1 not 4 and there was no mention of the 92 M1152 Shelter Carriers

A couple of questions

-Why the switch we all assumed Iraq's new ILAV would be BTR 3s why did they go for US LAV's ?? If they didn't switch and they will use both isn't that too much; using different types of LAV's?

-There was no mention in the equipment list of the 8 Super Tucanos'?

-Iraq apparently will use hellfire M on their new helo's but can a little bird carry Hellfire and the type of engine they ordered is only used on little bird can it be used on ARH 70's?

Posted by Academic Man at August 4, 2008 9:42 PM ET:

DJ:

Noticed that the Iraqi AF is scheduled to start receiving jets around 2011/12.

Question: Will these be right off the assembly line? Or will they go the route that other nations have gone down, and order updated, remanufactured, older-model jets?

Thanks in advance, and good work.

Posted by masayo at August 4, 2008 10:17 PM ET:

Regarding jets, I'd like to see them have compete the BAE Hawk, the Aermacchi MB-339 and maybe if the want FMS support the T-45 (since it will be in service in the US for another 20 years). Longer term, "proven" F-16 C/Ds or F-18 C/D and then JSFs further down the road.

Posted by BobK at August 4, 2008 10:26 PM ET:

DJ

Since this is unofficial and public info developed on your own time, I cant help but think just how good the stuff was you did when you were doing this for the military and friends with resources.
Thanks for the work and detail!

Posted by Trophy Wench at August 4, 2008 10:41 PM ET:

Is there anyone else here who thinks that the JF-17 is a good option for the IQAF? It's pretty cheap for a gen. 4+ fighter and is pretty compatible with anything that the west has. In fact the designers of the aircraft used the F-16 as a benchmark with which to base the aircraft's capabilities, so it is designed to match if not exceed the performance of the F-16.

Ultimately, I see it as a 3 horse race between the F-16E (B60), the Mirage 2000-9, and the JF-17. Nevertheless, I still see the F-16E coming out on top when the time comes for the Air Force to buy fighters.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 10:47 PM ET:

Trophy Wench

Segregating weapons types by Division is practial logistics. I fully expect this to be the norm in the IA.

Note: The IA has already said the Russian Tanks will be segragated into the 9th Div. That does not apply to the BMP1s though. One Bn of BMP1s is in the 11th Div and two are in the 7th Div. The 11th also has a mixed Bn of ILAV and MTLBs.

I suspect the BMP Bns will be broke up and be the mech companies for the Tank Bns.

As to the mixed MTLBs and ILAV, think of that bn as the Engr and EOD components for the Bdes.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 11:11 PM ET:

JW

Thanks for the corrections. Lumping the FMS notices at the end of the month was rude of them and I was scrambling a bit.

- I have an RFI in on whether or not the BTR-3E1s were cancelled. If not, My bet is they go to Independent Cav Bdes like the Presidentials although it is possible that they will form another heavy Div. Iraqis like to concentrate their armor, which means when you see individual Armor Bns in Divs/Bdes, they are likely destine to get more.

- The Tucanos are listed under U/I COIN Aircraft. Still do not have firm confirmation on numbers and type(s). Should sort out this year.

- The King Air 350 ISR birds are fitted with hardpoints and fire control for Hellfire and the AH-6 can fire them as well.

As to engines, I will have to check. I suspect they want the little birds for ISOF and wrote the requirement accordingly.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 11:18 PM ET:

Academic Man

Jet orders are still in discussion as far as I can find out. I do know that the South Korean Jet Trainer is on the list of possibles.

It would be less expensive to take some used airframes off the USAF's hands, if hey are still servicable.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 11:20 PM ET:

masayo

Both F16 and F18 have been mentioned by the IZAF's Commanding General. But, no decisions announced.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 11:25 PM ET:

BobK

Thanks.

When I did a stint instructing Basic Reserve Intel Course at Moffet, my students thought I was a bit intimidating at times. When we finished testing a modul, I would set down and tell them where the curriculum was out to lunch.

"A job worth doing is worth doing well."

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 4, 2008 11:30 PM ET:

Trophy Wench

Do not discount the Hornet. As I mentioned, the boss of the Iraqi Air Force has mentioned them as a possible. They have seen them in use with the USMC/USN out of Al Asad.

Possible we might sell off some of our A/B/D/D versions cheap as we upgrade to E/Fs...

Posted by jack winters at August 5, 2008 1:02 AM ET:

DJ

-What happened with the T-72 tank order from NATO is there anything new? And are the M1's new build or used?

I know we don't talk much about individual equipment but I'm puzzled with the M72 antitank order it's not a big order I thought they are use to RPG's??

-Is there any info on what type of howitzers they're going to get in 2009?

thanx

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 1:17 AM ET:

jack winters

-What happened with the T-72 tank order from NATO is there anything new?

To quote NTM-I PIO:
"The inspection team has returned, but the detail you are seeking is commercially classified information."
That means they have the tanks in refurbishment before delivery. They also would not answer numbers, which means more than 70...

- And are the M1's new build or used? New.

- I know we don't talk much about individual equipment but I'm puzzled with the M72 antitank order it's not a big order I thought they are use to RPG's??

Probably testing to consider them in place of RPGs.

-Is there any info on what type of howitzers they're going to get in 2009?

Nothing. But, since they are already ordering the mortar components, that means the howitzer order is not far away.


Posted by Academic Man at August 5, 2008 6:07 AM ET:

DJ:

Interesting note on how the Iraqi AF should use used USAF airframes for its jet force. I wonder why there hasn't been any thought given to set the Iraqi AF with rebuilt F-5's as a lead in to more advanced airframes. The Brazilians and Chileans have already shown that the F-5 can be upgraded fairly effectively.

As for the Iraqi T-72s: have they been upgraded so that they don't blow up when hit and leave the turret about 4-5 meters from the hull, and leave the crew KIA?

Posted by Neo at August 5, 2008 10:57 AM ET:

I might point out that we are getting just a bit ahead of events here. Isn't it a little too early to be talking about heavy armor and fighter aircraft. This would be coming on line around 2014 - 2018 so I wouldn't be picking out the ordinance just yet. I can only hope that political developments over the next few years make some of the longer term speculation relevant. In my mind procurement for more light armor, transport, air reconnaissance, and light air transport seem more pressing issues, if we are talking near future.

For current developments, I might point out that we are quietly passing what I consider to be a very significant milestone. Combined Iraqi and MNF forces now have enough forces to at least meet minimum coverage requirements for all significant areas of Iraq. Some might complain that things are still thin in many areas, but there aren't too many places where insurgents can pop up without immediately having someone in that battlespace. This single fact has as much to do with the much improved security situation. Things should only improve as increasing numbers of IA and INP forces fill in over the next two years.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 11:46 AM ET:

Academic Man

Nothing said excludes the possibility of some F5s.
But not as fighters, light attack. In that neighborhood, every air force has fighters that outclass them in that role.

As to the T-72s, they were modified to NATO standards. Donations from NATO countries. But, if the ammo in any tank detonates internally, the turret probably will be ejected. Physics.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 12:56 PM ET:

Neo

Leadtime Neo. Decision-to-order-receive-train-operational. Decisions do not result in instantainious fully equipped and operational commands.

- The 140 M1s and the LAVs in this month's notices will not start arriving until next summer at earliest. The units that get them will not be fully operational with them for 6-12 months after that. The IA wants to own the ground portion before 2012 and 2009 is the year that the IA is to start transition to external threats. 2012 is only 3.5 years away...

- Two-three years for a new built fighter from initial decision to initial receipt and then production rates are probably going to mean only one-two squadrons worth per year. Then there is the training. Pilots converting to jets and then to fighters are a year in training and that is only individual training, Squadron and group level training will be another year beyond that to be truely competant. They will need to have made the decision this year for them to start receiving them in 2011/12, they should have made it already...

The light armor (8,500 uparmored HMMWVs) and Recon (KA350 and C208 ISR) are already arriving. All of that was decided over the previous 12 months.

- The HMMWVs are delivering faster because they are transfers from existing stocks in theater. As we go to MRAP, they get our HMMWVs. All 8,500 to be delivered by the end-2009.

- The ISR (recon) birds were ordered last summer/fall and will complete delivery by next summer.

- They are also getting 24 King Air 350s for utility transport and should have those by end-year.

I would recommend you review the notes and equipment pages of the OOB...

As to that milestone of yours, we passed that a bit ago. It just became glaringly obvious recently.

But, that is not what the topic of this article is about.

- The article is about Iraqi OOB and Security Force Development.

- Not the current operations on the ground or the propaganda/politics. (Notice almost no reference to Diyala's operations in this article, despite them kicking off on the 29th.)

- Your earlier comment was borderline, this one indicates you have lost site of what the topic of this thread is, do not let there be a third OT/hijack attempt.

I would hate to have to put on my moderator hat.

Posted by jack winters at August 5, 2008 1:48 PM ET:

Hi DJ

On the Diyala operations one note that will add to this thread is that today Abdul Raheem Khalef spokesmen for the Diylala operation said today on Iraqi T.V that the Iraqi army captured two working T-55 Tanks in a field from insurgents. I presume the IA will add them to their inventory

As for the aircraft a lot of people forget that the commanders of the new Iraqi Air force were pilots or commanders in the old one. They loved the Russian Sukhoi aircraft for its two engines and it's maneuverability capabilities but they hated the technology in it, they also loved the French F1s'; this will tell you they will either go for an F16 block 52+ or higher like so many countries or they will go for brand new F15s' like what the South Koreans' got or Singapore; they showed that they're willing spend big bucks on high ticket items. As for F 18s' Kuwait has them and they have been trying to get the new F18EF for a long time and I don't think the US will sell those to Iraq??

What do you think DJ

Posted by masayo at August 5, 2008 1:55 PM ET:

I wonder if we will attempt to transfer MRAPs when combat brigades start drawing down in numbers and remaining unit have been fully upgraded. I'm not sure senior leadership of the Marine Corps or Army know what to do with them once most unit have returned to garrison. Of course I'm not sure the Iraqis will need them either if they feel that the insurgency has been defeated, not sure about the value in a converntional battlefield.


Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 2:06 PM ET:

jack winters

My bet is the initial buys will be used F16 and/or F18A/B/C/D.

After they get a basic air defense, they I think they will look at more advanced birds.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 2:14 PM ET:

masayo

I have been taking bets on a significant number of MRAPs being donated/sold to ISF for over 18 months now. And I am not including the 1050 ILAV Badger varients the GoI bought direct from the manf.

We will probably keep the level I and EOD varients.
The rest are likely to go to the 10 divisions of the INP and the five of the DBE. Light APCs (MRAP) would be perfect for border patrol and internal security roles...

Posted by Neo at August 5, 2008 2:34 PM ET:

DJ,

Thanks for your explanation. I'm not knowledgeable on the subject, but I do think we would need a little luck to get things that far along by 2012. Success may be uneven. There are just too many places for things to hang up along the way. That is both organizational and political hurdles both inside and outside Iraq. Getting the mechanized brigades fully equipped seems to be a priority everyone will push on, because the more the Iraqis have, the fewer we have to keep in theater. Air Force development is something that will come along very slowly, as you have indicated. I wouldn't be surprised if it takes longer than the possible timeline you have suggested. There are also regional political considerations and consultations with some of Iraq's (friendly) neighbors before Iraq deploys any sort of tactical aircraft. There are a lot of outside things that can still impact that.

"As to that milestone of yours, we passed that a bit ago. It just became glaringly obvious recently."

It did turn out that way. Fortunately, JAM folded quickly. Had they been a little harder to overcome and tied down more troops I'm not sure there was much more, immediately available to throw at them. That could have slowed things considerably. That's why I might have some reservations about saying there were enough forces this spring to cover all realistic contingencies. I like it when things are "glaringly obvious". Than the average laymen like myself can appreciate it (journalists, academics, and politicians take a little extra time too). I'll take a glaringly obvious hint and be quite now.

Posted by Icon at August 5, 2008 2:37 PM ET:

DJ

Thank you for the comment on Thug Order of Battle.

In another post, "job worth doing," you quoted the lyrics of the songwriter Ian Hunter's "The Artful Dodger:" http://www.hunter-mott.com/lyrics/artful_dodger.html#TheArtfulDodger

On a more serious note: how come the Pakistanis get F-16s in their counter-terrorism efforts but the Iraqis don't have them now? My guess is that the Pakistanis are shaking the U.S. down; its clear they are not keeping the terrorists up at night worrying about their efforts at counter-terrorism.

Thanks for the helpful comments.

Posted by Johnny C at August 5, 2008 2:48 PM ET:

Hi DJ, great work. I've got a quick question - I don't see much in the way of SAM or AAA platforms. Are there any plans to acquire some?

While I'm sure the USAF/USN would provide protection in the event of any near-term conflict, would it be wise for the IA to purchase some Anti-Air systems? Maybe some older Patriots or LAV-ADs?

Cheers.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 3:00 PM ET:

Icon:

Pakistan Requested and PURCHASED F16s.
They were not given them.

Iraq has yet to decide what its Air Force will have when it grows up...


Johnny C:

There was mention of MoD shopping for ATGW and SAMs in Europe last year. Nothing appears to have resulted from that. I suspect sticker shock.

The US does not field that many SAM systems as is. We are not going to donate them. Also, missiles have a shelf-life. The propelent tends to crack and concentrate over time. Bad propelent results in missile blowing up on launch or shortly thereafter. If they get SAMs, they will be new...

Posted by Alex at August 5, 2008 3:06 PM ET:

Icon,

Keep in mind that Pakistan has already had decades to build the infrastructure, logistics, training, ect. to support aerial combat. In Iraq, everything was either blown up in 1991 or 2003, or literally thrown in the desert by Saddam, so we're basically starting from scratch.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 3:18 PM ET:

Alex

Thanks for pointing that out. I should have mentioned it.

Rebuilding infrastructure and support is a major part of the current budget. Especially in the AF. Without those, the birds are static displays for kids to play on.

Posted by jack winters at August 5, 2008 4:50 PM ET:

DJ

I'm reading the equipment table; and your assuming a lot of equipment is going to go to Iraq from Greece, I know that Greece has to dispose a lot of its equipment

But why the assumption they are all going to Iraq, I know the BMP1's that iraq has came from Greece but the sheer number of vehicles 2000 M60 tanks, Bmp1 and M113's your assuming a lot aren't you? I mean they're going to give it for free? And if this is what's going to happen then when will Iraq get all of this stuff?

P.S Where are the Notes? thanx

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 5:28 PM ET:

jack winters

Notes fixed. Not sure what happened there...

Not all of the tanks are estimated to be coming from Greece. Some are USMC. Same with the M113s. This is not an assumption. It was not made up out of thin air. The assumptions are that the deal is still on and that they might be upgrading them...

I did not see Greece and guess that the pattons were going to Iraq.
- I read the transcript of the second ranking Iraqi General saying they were getting M60s and M113s for three mech divisions (approx 200 tanks/400 APCs per div).
- Then I checked the 29 countries that have M60s.
The 403 USMC was replacing on the MPS wasn't enough to fit that description and we had sold or donated the last of the army's in the 90s,
Greece was disposing of Pattons as they replaced them with Leopards.
The other 27 countries were not disposing of their M60s.
- Then the HA announced that they were offering donating 13 M60s to Afghanistan, latter changing it to Leopards. Why the change? Why donate tanks you are upgrading to, unless you have a buyer for all of your pattons? If they did not have a buyer for all of their pattons, they would not have replaced the offer with Leopards. No other country could be found that would be buying that many pattons. They were all upgrading to newer...

As to the M113s, they already have 233, and the 434 listed BMP1s are MNSTC-I's on hand numbers. I am only assuming that the IA will buy the remaining 120 HA BMP1s and additional from NATO to fill out TO/E of the forces they are building to.

I assume a large percentage of used armor because it will not cost as much as new. Look at that M1 price tag. The same amount buys all 1474 of the pattons and the M113s....

Note: The mortars listed above are enough for seven Infantry or motorized Divs. IA has 16. Why only so many? Could it be that they want Self-Propelled systems for the Heavy Divs and the remaining nine divs are to be heavy?

Keep an eye out, there are more purchase announcements to come. And not all will be thru FMS...

Posted by Trophy Wench at August 5, 2008 10:24 PM ET:

DJ: In response to your responses of my comments and starting off with the segregation issue, I was hoping that you would say that. Although the fact that they are still using the MT-LB is still a tiny bit surprising, but I guess you can chalk that one up to 'nothing better to replace it.' (Also, if that RFI confirms that the BTR-3 deal is in fact deleted, then the LAV deal makes perfect sense.)

As for the AF speculation, of course I had taken into consideration the Hornet. The list that I had commented on were all aircraft that I considered the IQAF would buy first and in the greatest numbers. In other words, all lightweight, single engine, multirole fighters. Hornets (Super Hornets in this context) are in all likelihood going to be the main competition for what I expect the French to eventually try and shove down Iraq's throat; Rafale.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 10:31 PM ET:

TW

I wish I could dispute you but that fits with my read of the situation with one modification.

I do not think they are going to get "Super Hornets". Just Hornets. A-18A/B/C/D. Not E/F.

I hope the French do not get the fighter contract. Rafale is not that good.

Posted by masayo at August 5, 2008 11:01 PM ET:

I recently saw that the US Army has decided to retire the M113s (now mainly in supporting roles in mechanized divisions). I suspect that this has been figured into the equation of equipment numbers.

The Iraqi MOD and what ever group that is advising them seem to making some pretty astute moves, for the most part looking for bang for the buck (the advisory group must be a SAO or MAAG on steroids). I therefore think the Iraqis will stick to the plan of ramping up, perhaps used T-45s or Korean T-50? or a mix procured sometime in the next couple of years, then used F-16s or F-18s and then see what is the best choice in 7 or 8 years out. The problem with buying new is that it costs about 4.5 billion for a batch of about 50 aircraft (including spares/some Missiles, training, etc (based on a reasonably recent sale to Poland of F-16s). 200 of these babies will eat your budget at a time when they still need to fully equip their Army and build infrastructure.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 5, 2008 11:13 PM ET:

masayo

Agree on air.

On the M113s, the number listed in the goal column is the minimum to fill combat TO/E. Not support.

My off the books numbers using US TO/E for model and M113s in logistics role as well as combat is in the 2300-2800 range...

The varience is because I do not know if they will use M113s for SP mortar or not in the Mech formations...

Posted by sdysart at August 6, 2008 9:22 AM ET:

The discussion about what armaments the Iraq army needs, and what they can get to fill those roles is facsinating. Thanks for letting me be a fly on the wall.

Posted by Trophy Wench at August 6, 2008 10:57 PM ET:

DJ: You had mentioned that the MoD was looking into the T-50 as a jet trainer, do they also see it as a potential contender for a light fighter as well or is it too soon to tell? Because if that is the case, then It could present the future IQAF with a whole new (though not necessarily better) level of capability. A fourth competitor in my three horse race, so to speak.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 6, 2008 11:15 PM ET:

TW

Too early to tell.

Posted by Dave E. at August 7, 2008 8:23 PM ET:

Maybe I missed this, but what about support for the local police at the station level? Is that a provincial function and each province has or is building it's own maintenance and logistics capability? Or is it planned for them to be supported by the INP logistics and support structures. Who is supporting the local stations now?

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 7, 2008 8:47 PM ET:

Dave E:

Central government alocates money and resources to the provinces and they supply the local IP. Part of the Provincial Budget.

The big deal about the ERBs transferring to the INP is that the Provinces no longer are controlling these paramilitary police brigades and do not pay or support them either. Central control, training, manning, and supplied. Yet they are available as requested to back the local IPs.

Posted by Dave E. at August 7, 2008 9:15 PM ET:

Ok, thanks for the info and the usual excellent OOB update. Any idea on how well the provinces are doing in supporting those local police? Meaning vehicles work, they have ammo, fuel, food and water for prisoners, etc. Are the provinces stepping up or do Coalition Forces still support many of these local stations in that regard?

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 7, 2008 9:41 PM ET:

Varies province to province.

Which is one of the reasons I suspect for the ERB transfer. That and taking the Provincial private armies away...

The PIC provinces are independent in that regard. Effective police control is (normally) a requirement for PIC. (Basrah PIC was pure political.)

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 7, 2008 10:54 PM ET:

Don't ask me how many will be donated to Iraq or Afghan or etc...

http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/archive/2008/07/25/u-s-army-to-retire-m113-apcs-not-suitable-for-current-wars.aspx?CommentPosted=true#commentmessage

I am thinking they might do what they did with the HMMWVs. As units leave, the M113s are left behind. That would leave the Iraqis to refurbish them. As APCs, tracked Logistics, Mortar Carriers, etc...

Posted by Trophy Wench at August 10, 2008 10:52 AM ET:

DJ: you may be pleased to know I have just come across some new information on the IqN including (dramatic pause) line drawings of their new ships!

http://www.mnf-iraq.com/images/stories/Press_briefings/2008/august/080810_slides.pdf

Though the slides don't give much information on the ships the drawings indicate that these mysterious Malay ships will have generally the same combat capabilities as the Dicotti's (or rather Saettia Mk4 as they now seem to be called.)

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 10, 2008 4:50 PM ET:

Thanks TW.

The base and AOR laydown on slide 10 was very usefull. I am updating DBE/CGIWD/Customs locations and units. Very little out there on these elements...

Posted by Joe at August 16, 2008 4:32 PM ET:

Very impressive, i dont believe the general public knows how well of a job these people are doing. Its a shame.

Posted by DJ Elliott at August 19, 2008 8:58 AM ET:

FYI: It is confirmed that the 336x BTR-3E1s was canx...