Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: September 2008 update

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

The September 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 August are summarized below.

Provincial Iraqi Control. On Sept. 1, the delayed Anbar Provincial Iraqi Control ceremony was held. This is the 11th of 18 provinces to transfer to Iraqi control. Wassit and Babil provinces have been nominated for transition and are expected to transfer before the end of the year.

Iraqi Provincial Control. From AFP.

Also of note, the US 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division is systematically turning over southern Baghdad Province to the Iraqi Army's 17th Commando Division while the US 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division is turning over the Rasheed District of southeast Baghdad. These are prepatory actions to turning over Baghdad.

ISF Weapons and Support Purchases. Colonel Lawrence G. Avery, Jr., Deputy Director and Air Force Program Chief, Security Assistance Office, Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq, asked whether the announced LAV purchases might be to replace the earlier BTR-3E1 planned purchase, stated:

"As an update, the BTR-3E1 FMS [Foreign Material Sales] case was cancelled by the GOI [Government of Iraq]. There were requirements changes and resulting price differences that made the program un-executable. We believe the GOI may still pursue BTR-3E1s or a similar capability, but they have not asked for our help. It is not really the same requirement as the one for the LAV, although one could argue the same purpose on the battlefield. The BTR-3E1s was a part of initial Force Generation of the Iraqi Security Forces to fight and win the Counter-Insurgency fight. The LAV case is a part of Force Modernization, building a future force for the strategic defense of Iraq. In addition to the LAVs, Force Modernization includes M1A1 tanks, Mortar Systems, Armed Scout Helicopters, and C-130J medium airlift aircraft."

This means there is still a funded unfilled requirement for an additional eight new battalions equipped with a BTR-3E1/LAV type vehicle for internal security. The options include equipping the Iraqi Army 1st (Quick Reaction Force) Division, independent Iraqi Army battalions and/or brigades, or three additional National Police Mechanized brigades. No matter which option they are intended for, another order for LAVs to replace the cancelled BTR-3E1s and fill this requirement is probable.

Iraqi Army (IA) Force Development. In November 2007, the planned sequence of forming support elements was briefed. At that time maintenance units were the priority, followed by engineers, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), medical, intelligence, food service, armorers, etc. As of August, 10 of 12 divisional motor-transport regiments and nine of 14 location commands are operational. The remaining are to be operational by spring.

Maintenance training continues and the 1st National Ammunition Depot Support Battalion graduated unit set fielding on Aug. 20. Route clearance training is occurring across the Iraqi Security Forces, which indicates logistics/maintenance support training is far enough along tt shift emphasis to engineer/EOD and medical. Medical has only 160 of 800 physician billets filled at this time. While the emphasis has shifted, combat formations continue to be organized.

"Created from the 25th Iraqi Army Brigade, the 17th IA Div. officially stood up in mid-July when Maj. Gen. Ali Jassim Muhammad Hassen Al Frejee was promoted to his current rank. Al Frejee and his unit will continue to transition into a lead security element in the Southwest Baghdad area now under the authority of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)."

The 17th Division is in the process of fully equipping its motor-transport regiment and engineers. "Furthermore, Ali [Cmdr 17th Div] would like to establish reserve components ready to support missions when in need, as well as an extra battalion of commanders. This will require approval from the Ministry of Defense." This is the first mention of a proposal to form reserve components in the Iraqi Army and also indicates the 17th Division's fourth maneuver brigade is pending approval. The assimilation of two Kurdish divisions is also progressing.

Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari confirmed the Peshmerga would be integrated into a Defense Ministry division and based in Kurdistan from August 25. "The 34th Peshmerga Brigade will leave Diyala to join the 15th mountain division within Kurdistan."

This is the first report identifying a component of the Iraqi Army's new 15th Mountain Division and indicates it is to be the Sulmaniyah-based division. The new 16th Mountain Division would therefore be the Arbil/Dohuk based division. There has also been the first operational reports of the 3-46/12 Battalion (former 11th Strategic Infrastructure Battalion) north of Taji and the new 3-29/7 Light Infantry Battalion southeast of Rutbah.

Iraqi National Police (INP). The National Police continues to improve and add forces to its command.

• On Aug. 28, the 1-1/1 INP Battalion graduated Phase III Carabinarie training and the program is to increase to training two battalions at a time starting in October. A total of 11 to 13 battalions are to be trained by the Carabinarie and in turn train their respective brigades.
• Two more Emergency Response Brigades (ERB) have transferred to "National" ERBs. The Sharqat ERB in northern Salahadin and the Baqubah ERB in Diyala are now under national command. This indicates that they are transferring two ERBs a month.
• The Ministry of Interior plans to form its first helicopter squadron in Baghdad. The type of helicopters under review for purchase indicates a special operations squadron configuration. Combined with the Baghdad-based INP Emergency Response Unit, this could indicate the planned formation of an INP Special Operations Brigade.

Iraqi Ministry of Interior Regions and Brigade distribution.

The Ministry of Interior has also announced the formation of a regional court system. The system will have regional courts located in Irbil, Mosul, Baghdad, Hilla and Basra.

• Region 1 court will be based in Irbil, and serve the Irbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Dahuk areas.
• Region 2 court will be headquartered in Mosul, and will serve Ninawa, Kirkuk, and Salah ad-Din.
• Baghdad will be the headquarters for Region 3, and will be responsible for cases from, Baghdad, Diyala, Wasit, and al-Anbar provinces.
• Region 4 court will be at Hilla with responsibility for cases from al-Qadisiyah, Babil, Karbala, and Najaf.
• Region 5 court will be headquartered in Basrah and will serve Basrah, Maysan, Dhi Qar, and al-Muthanna Provinces."

This is probably an interim organization and subject to change since Region 3 has an inordinately large percentage of the Iraqi population and land area. Region 3 will probably lose Anbar, Diyala, and Wassit to adjacent regions when they are fully formed and operational. It does indicate the division of INP forces into the same five regions (corps) composed of two or three divisions in each region for a total of 11 INP divisions. Of note, Region 1 is the de facto Kurdish Corps.

Speculation on Iraqi Wartime Mobilization. Previous predictions of planned Iraqi Mobilized forces indicated 36 divisions. Further information indicates a currently planned force of more than 38 Iraqi Security Forces divisions in nine corps. This does not include a future organized reserve force, since it is not formed or forming at this time. The breakdown is:

• One Iraqi Special Operations Force Division (currently expanding to two brigades, probably planned to be five). The ISOF and the Iraqi Army's 17th Commando Division would probably be army and/or corps reserve in wartime.
• Four Iraqi Army corps and 21 Iraqi Army divisions. This includes the announced planned four corps, the 16 existing/forming or transferring divisions, three additional Kurdish divisions to transfer in the future, and two other new divisions in southern Iraq. The two additional divisions in the south are indicated by the split in 8th Iraqi Army Division's headquarters (Diwaniyah) from their logistics (Numaniyah) and the location of two logistics support commands (existing/forming) in 10th Iraqi Army Division's area (Nasariyah and Maysan). While there has been discussion of reserve forces, no plan for them is apparent above the division level at this time.
• Five planned Ministry of Interior Regions (Corps) with at least 11 planned total National Police divisions and five existing Department of Border Enforcement Regions (divisions). These 16 plus Ministry of Interior divisions would fill the role of motorized infantry divisions under total mobilization.


READER COMMENTS: "Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: September 2008 update"

Posted by KnightHawk at September 5, 2008 2:17 AM ET:

Thanks for yet another info packed OoB DJ.

Posted by anand at September 5, 2008 3:34 AM ET:

14 location supply commands will support 14 IA divisions. Are two more location supply commands being built for 15th and 16th divisions in the KRG?

Are the maintenance battalions (1 per division) and base defense units for each division located with the location supply commands? Presumably the location commands serve as a central hub for the MTRs, from which they resupply the rest of the division.

Why are there only 12 MTRs? 9th doesn't need an MTR. But 11th, 12th, 14th, and 17th IAD do. This is a minimum of 13 MTRs, and presumably two more for 15th and 16th IADs.

Also please ask for an update regarding the construction engineering companies (1 per division,) as well as each brigade's BSTB's EOD company and combat engineering company. Are all the EOD companies and combat engineering companies complete for each combat line brigade?

Posted by whisker at September 5, 2008 7:59 AM ET:

Thanks for the updated map Bill.

Posted by masayo at September 5, 2008 9:38 AM ET:

Just a note, WSJ is reporting that Iraq has/will be submitted a request for 36 F-16

Posted by Andrew R. at September 5, 2008 11:26 AM ET:

Do you know if there's any word yet on those Slovakian T-72's?

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 5, 2008 1:06 PM ET:

masayo: 36 F-16

- Thanks, saw that. Figure 2-3 years to approve, buy, build, deliver, train, and become operational....

Andrew R.: Slovakian T-72's?

- I asked NTM-I last month. They are still closed mouth on the subject. Still talking negotiations....


14 location commands?

- Remember who is making the comments. Officialdom is not acknowledging or responding to inquires about the KRG divisions due to the political sensitivity. Also, those are already existing formations.

maintenance battalions:

- Colocated centraly based support units. Effectively they are a Sustainment Brigade in all but name.
- The BDU is headquartered with the Div HQ and is part of DivTroops. Elements are located at every subordinate brigade garrison.

Why are there only 12 MTRs?

- Read last August's Update speculation under 11th Div. Heavies don't get MTRs...

"Also please ask for an update regarding the construction engineering companies (1 per division,) as well as each brigade's BSTB's EOD company and combat engineering company. Are all the EOD companies and combat engineering companies complete for each combat line brigade?"

- 1. It is a Construction BATTALION per Div.
- 2. No they are not ready or complete.
As previously reported, there is a plan to finish filling out the engineering components in 2009/10.
As reported above, they have JUST SHIFTED to emphasizing Engr/EOD...
- 3. I normally do not waste officialdom's time asking already answered questions....

Posted by Joakim Ekström at September 5, 2008 4:26 PM ET:

Thanks for a great OoB!

Regarding Petraeus' recommendations, I am more and more leaning towards the position that maybe it's best to draw down slowly. Historically, forces have been drawn down too quickly as soon as the sun comes out. And I feel certain that the Iranians will analyze their mistakes and launch yet another Hezbollah-like campaign in Iraq, so maybe it's best if the Iraqis can get as much time as possible to consolidate and prepare for the Iranian onslaught.

Posted by anand at September 5, 2008 6:37 PM ET:

DJ, I meant one construction engineering "battalion" per division. Typo ;-)

"As previously reported, there is a plan to finish filling out the engineering components in 2009/10." This is for the construction engineering battalions. I thought the EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) and combat engineer companies are being built first? Maybe consider asking about how many EOD and combat engineering companies have been created.

DJ, you might be right about 11th becoming mechanized and not needing an MTR. Currently 12th and 17th IADs' MTRs are forming. 14th IAD has formed.

DJ, if the GoI put up $5 billion to buy 36 F16s, and associated engines, missiles, armaments and logistics, they could be operational within 3 years of payment? That is pretty quick. Might the Iraqis buy used upgraded F16s?

However, I still think Iraq would be better served with A10s, A29s (from Brazil), Su-25s or similar tactical air support aircraft. The F16's air superiority capabilities would unnecessarily unnerve Iraq's neighbors. I also think the Iraqi air force should allow competitive bids from all new and used aircraft venders, so that they can negotiate the best possible deal.

Is there any word on any other combat fixed wing aircraft other than the F16s?

Unrelated question:
Iraq's M1A1M tanks, when and if they are delivered, have depleted uranium armor. Might any of Iraq's T72 and M60 tanks be upgraded with depleted uranium armor in Israel? I doubt there is a way to get an answer to this question. But I am curious none the less.

Another question:
Maybe consider asking how many of the 16 (or 14 if you exclude the KRG transfers) planned maintenance battalions have been created? Based on what we know, each division and corps support brigade will probably include 1 maintenance battalion. 4 corps headquarters + 16 division HQs means that at least 20 maintenance battalions have been formed.

Regarding the supply location commands (or Base supply units), will all be comparable in size? Initially there were 5 regional supply units (RSUs.) Will the RSUs be larger than the remaining location commands, or will all the former RSUs be comparable in size to every other location command?

Posted by anand at September 5, 2008 6:42 PM ET:

"4 corps headquarters + 16 division HQs means that at least 20 maintenance battalions ARE PLANNED."

Another question. Is each Location supply command simultaneously under a division HQs and the ISC?

In cases where a location supply command supplies two divisions, will it belong to the division HQs in whose battle space it resides? So for example, 10th IAD plans to have two location commands while 11th IAD plans to have none.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 5, 2008 8:09 PM ET:

Joakim Ekström:

- Possible.
More likely they are holding for the elections. That has the largest possibility of problems.
Or the press got the story wrong. That would not be a first.
We will know next week what the story really is. I allready know which three brigades will not be replaced if they go that way.


Review the last 9010 report. Also note that 35th Bde has a 2nd Engineer Company. They would not be expanding the bde engineers unless the initial companies for that level were formed...

A bit of math for you. 21 Divisions planned. 9 are intended to be heavy. How many MTRs do you require for the Infantry Divisions that remain?

The report indicates new F16s to be bought. Three years. The question is are they buying 36 per year? 180 operational in 7-8 years? And how many of that 36 are trainer versions? I bet that is three squadrons of 12. One with trainers. And only the first increment...

If you do not have air cover, who cares how much ground attack capacity you have. The Gazzelles and AH-6s can provide that...

"Is there any word on any other combat fixed wing aircraft other than the F16s?"
- Other than the 32 Turboprop COIN birds previosly reported, no.

Iraq's M1A1M tanks, when and if they are delivered, have depleted uranium armor.
- No they do not. The DU is used in the SABOT rounds fired, not the armor.

You already have two Maintenance Depots (Bdes) for army level. Watch the development of the four corps. Expect a Sustainement Bde each for corps level.

Ignore the RSU structure. It went away. Watch the corps.

Redo your math to 21 divisions and remember the existing Taji Maintenance Bdes.

LCs are Divisional Sustainement Battalions in all but name. Expect each div to get one. 10th Division and 8th Division are areas where additional divisions are planned. The south is too thin on divisions.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 6, 2008 12:50 AM ET:

One bit of clarification.

While I do not expect more than 12 MTRs to be built for the IA, I do expect 3-6 more GTRs beyond the one forming now:
- One per Corps Sustainment Brigade (4 Corps) and
- probably one per Army Group Sustainment Brigade (3 wartime Army Groups).

I am also looking at the INP and DBE divisions getting MTR/GTR formations.
- One GTR per MoI Region (5 Corps)
- One MTR per DBE Region (5 Divs)
- One MTR per INP Division (11)

Posted by Bob Nichols at September 6, 2008 8:26 PM ET:

My info is that the T series Iraqi tanks had DU platers sandwiched with steel for front and back plates as armor. That would be about 3600 of them. Pretty much all wasted. Real nasty stuff. Very dangerous. I'm a newspaper correspondent in San Francisco.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 6, 2008 11:00 PM ET:

Bob Nichols

"T series Iraqi tanks" does not exist.
- There is no such series.
- Iraq had at most 1000 T72s at its peak, some of which had DU plates.
T simply stands for tank and the number is for the year a new series was initially fielded under the Soviet/Russian designation system. This system of tank designations was first implemented in 1920s but, had some variations. Became standard in 1940s.

If you re-read the comments, you will see that the comment about DU that I answered was:
"Iraq's M1A1M tanks, when and if they are delivered, have depleted uranium armor. "
- The US built Abrams does not use DU in its armor. Different matterials go into the British developed Chobham armor.
- Note: From the 1950s to the M1 introduction, the US used M and then the IOC year to designate new armored vehicle series.

- The earliest Soviet tank to use DU armor was the T64s (number indicates initial year fielded) and they did not export them.

The T72 export versions had those plates removed as part of their security measures. So as not to let NATO know they had armor that could defeat our ATGWs. The spacing on export models did indicate something had been omitted. In late-80s, a US intelligence officer was finally able to get into a non-export model, get a sample scraping, and survive Soviet security to make it back.

That piece of data resulted in the accellerated fielding of the TOW-II (tandum) warheads, since all of our existing ATGW warheads would be ineffective against that configuration of armor.

After that, the Soviets (and successors) exported their tanks with the DU (or tungston) armor plates and offered to refit previously exported tanks.

Posted by jack winters at September 7, 2008 9:11 AM ET:


I told you they were going to go for new f-16s not used f-18s, my friends in Iraq tell me that the idea behind the 36 number is they want six wings each wing with six aircraft, according to them. But I was surprised with what you said about the M1A1M Iraqi tanks are they really going to have DU armor?

Posted by ajacksonian at September 7, 2008 10:47 AM ET:

I remember reading, somewhere, way back at the start of '07, that part of the industrial stand-up in Iraq would be helping to get their own infrastructure stood up for supplying some level of equipment beyond expendables, starting with basic stores and supplies (outside of consumer items). The idea was at that point that Iraq should not be a country that lives off of natural resources, but have a strong industrial sector as that value added gains more wealth and helps to stopper the flow of money out of the country. Is anyone tracking that?

It isn't directly a warfighting thing, but industrial supply and capacity tells of national capability for their warfighters. That was in the 'spiral design' stage in Ramadi and re-starting factories there for consumer goods, and it would be interesting to find stats on programmatic follow-through. It gets very expensive to keep on importing lots of high tech and sophisticated stores and spares...

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 7, 2008 1:11 PM ET:

jack winters

For the third time. M1s DO NOT HAVE DU ARMOR. That was a Soviet armor system.

6 aircraft is too few for a squadron and wings are mult-squadron organizations in IZAF.

They might be looking at building 12 total squadrons (216 aircraft) over 5-6 years starting with six per squadron initialy.

What you are looking at is probably classic USAF organization of 2 squadrons. Four flights of four aircraft each with two spares.

But, the spares are probably trainer versions. If they are building six cadre strength, then most of this buy would be trainers...

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 7, 2008 1:17 PM ET:


Which is why the Pentagon helped restart factories, including the Iskandariyah Bus Factory.

It is also part of why the M1114 refurbishment is being done by Iraqis at Taji.

Technically, that is a State Department job and OT, but the military has been doing it since State wouldn't.

Posted by anand at September 8, 2008 3:07 AM ET:

DJ, might the Iraqi air force by T50 aircraft (South Korea) as trainers?

How about K1 and old M48 tanks that the South Koreans are replacing with K2s? (The South Koreans will keep their K1A1s.)

The IA should entertain as many competitive bids as possible to ensure the best possible deal.

Would the US congress have to approve weapons purchases from South Korea (because of embedded US technologies)?

I wonder about all the non FMS IA purchases that the IA is making that are not getting a lot of publicity.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 8, 2008 3:10 AM ET:


As far as I know, the production of those aircraft and tanks is primarily for the upgrade of the ROK military. The ROK military has the production priority. I have seen no indicators of export sales as yet.

I have told you before, but you apear to need reminding. Multiple links will dump your post in the spam junk file. And me or Bill might not ever notice and manualy retrieve it...

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 8, 2008 3:16 AM ET:

And the answer to USG approval is YES.
If they are using US military controlled components (engines, etc) then the USG has a veto on export.

(Just ask Israel why so few Kfirs were exported...)

Posted by anand at September 8, 2008 2:20 PM ET:


Non oil GDP growth remains one of Iraq's biggest challenges. The GoI has so far executed poorly by this metric. Unfortunately the Iraqis are on their own. They will not get any more grants from the US Congress or any other country.

Analysis of the Iraqi economy (and the capacity and performance of GoI civilian ministries) has been sorely lacking anywhere. Thanks to DJ (and Bill and CJR and others who have facilitated DJ's efforts from the sidelines), we have this type of analysis on the MoD and MoI. I hope someone tries something similar with respect to the other GoI ministries and Iraqi economy.

DJ, is there any way to research if any of Saddam's army tanks had DU armor? There have been many reports of DU radiation in Southern Iraq. Was this because of Saddam's old DU tanks being penetrated?

Are there any reports of DU rounds (anti tank, mortars) being used by Iraqi militias?

Did Hezbollah use DU munitions against Israel in 2006? The number of Israeli armored vehicles they damaged suggests Hezbollah had some pretty tough munitions.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 8, 2008 3:14 PM ET:


This is the last comment that will be allowed with the words "Depleated Uranium". All further mentions will be nuked. We are OT ATT...

The reality of DU (vice the mythology): The operative word in DU is "depleated". You get more ambient radiation from your microwave oven than you get from DU. That does not mean DU is entirely safe. Like all heavy metals, the human body is unable to isolate and purge it if ingested in any form. Like breathing lead fumes, it is poisen.

DU is used by US weapons to provide a dense penitrator for anti-armor and anti-missile systems. the 20mm CIWS uses DU and Tungston. The M1's 120mm gun fires Sabot rounds with 40mm diameter darts for killing enemy tanks. The darts are inert. The damage is due to the high-velocity of the dart punching a hole in the armor. The friction of that causes heat enough to ignight fuel vapors (no gas tank is perfect) and the impact on ready ammo will usually set them off.

The hazard is that the fragments spalled off a DU dart from penitration and the vapor from it are as toxic as breathing lead paint vapors in an unventilated room. If in open, the only worry is ingestion of fragments which is why you wear gloves when handling and wash before eating or drinking.

- Propaganda about DU in Iraq has been pervasive and consistently false. While some T72s were upgraded, they were in the Baghdad area. The DU noted in wreaks in the south was from the Sabot round's 40mm darts. It is not enough to poisen you unless you are directly handling it and then eat or drink without washing first. The effect is not radiation, it is heavy metals poisening.

"Are there any reports of DU rounds (anti tank, mortars) being used by Iraqi militias?"
- NO. Why? DU darts are only viable with high-velocity. Using it in those weapons would degrade their performance for no gain.

"Did Hezbollah use DU munitions against Israel in 2006? The number of Israeli armored vehicles they damaged suggests Hezbollah had some pretty tough munitions."
- NO. You are buying the propaganda again. The only difference in their Russian designed, Iranian made munitions was that they liked to add fragments and WP to them to cause more personnel casualties (ball-bearings). That reduces their anti-armor capability.

Thus ends the class on DU and other Fictional Mythologies perpetuated by enemy propaganda...

Posted by Trophy Wench at September 8, 2008 5:15 PM ET:

Speaking of [nuked] ... just kidding, I wont fuel the flames any more. But in all seriousness, I'm sure DJ that you have probably seen DID''s article on the Iraqi F-16 sale (or potential sale rather), and for fellow poster that haven't;

Usually I tend to agree with their assessments but the fact that they had explicitly talked about the unlikelihood of Desert Falcons being purchased I find a little disconcerting. Of course, the timing of this announcement is somewhat premature considering the development of the IQAF and the US probably would feel that the Iraqi only need the current B50/52+ series aircraft. But even 3-4 years down the road when their delivered but I would like to think that the Iraqis would or at least could have to capability to field such an advanced aircraft, especially since by that time other advanced aircraft of similar capabilities will be beating a path to their door. (Dassault, I'm looking at you.)

And finally, is the order for the Super Tucano's finally confirmed or is it still pending?

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 8, 2008 5:25 PM ET:

Nothing is confirmed until delivered.
They are not delivered yet...

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 8, 2008 5:29 PM ET:

As to F16s, they are speculating.
Pure guestamate.
Beyond that the Iraqis are looking to buy 36 F16s, there is no further info.
Just speculative verbage to pad articles and justify their existance.

Me, I await factual details...

Posted by jack winters at September 8, 2008 7:14 PM ET:


I know from your reporting that Iraq intends to have artillery units by 2009, any news on that? And what is the indication are they going to go for towed howitzers systems like the mortars, or are they going to get tracked self-propelled howitzers like the M109A6?

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 8, 2008 7:35 PM ET:

jack winters:

Nada on the FA.
And I am looking...

Posted by Trophy Wench at September 8, 2008 9:21 PM ET:

Fair enough.

Posted by anand at September 9, 2008 12:32 AM ET:

DJ, do all weapons purchases with US embedded parts (from Israel, South Korea, Japan, Europe etc.) have to go through FMS and need to be accompanied by a public release possible purchase order?

The reason I am asking is to estimate how many ISF weapons have been purchased from non US sources that are not covered by possible purchase order releases.

The ISF might have many armaments that we don't know about.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 9, 2008 12:45 AM ET:


No. FMS is a US sales program only. Those notices are seperate from other direct buys from other countries. Even if "US military controlled components" are involved. You will not find them there.

And the operative words are: "US military controlled components". Not all items that are militarily usefull are on that list.
E.G. Turbines are included on that list, other engines are not.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 9, 2008 1:50 AM ET:

Also, even if FMS is used to buy weapons for Iraq, if the weapons are not US, there is no requirement for a notice to congress.
E.G. At least 110 of the BMP1s bought from Greece were thru FMS, no notice. First word of them was when they arrived at Besmaya...

Most countries are fairly closed mouth about arms sales and do not have our rules about public notifications to their legislatures. The Revas purchased from South Africa I only found out about after they were delivered to the INP.

So, yes, there could be (and probably are) plenty of arms sales to Iraq that are not public knowledge ATT...

Posted by Joakim Ekström at September 9, 2008 10:13 AM ET:

DJ, which BCT is leaving Iraq in February without replacement? Thanks.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 9, 2008 2:39 PM ET:

It is not going to be a straight 1:1.
They are in the process of turning over the following Brigade AORs to ISF:
- MND-C: 3/101 in south Baghdad is turning over to 17th IA Division. Departs Dec. (Almost all of MND-C is overwatch for PIC.)
- MND-B: 1/4 in Rasheed district (Bayaa/Doura) is turning over to ISF. Scheduled to depart Jun.
- MNF-W: RCT1 and RCT5 of USMC are in overwatch and due to depart in Jan/Feb.
- MND-N: 1/10 in Kirkuk is also turning over AOR to ISF and Kirkuk would be PIC except for article 140.

The President said Feb and said army. The 25th ID is the only Div HQ alerted to replace the 1st AD and 4th ID in Jan/Feb, which means they are losing an MND in the reorganization.

The area not replaced will primarily be the triangle of death. 3/101 will be replaced by a battalion as part of the general thining out of south Baghdad Province and the western part of the city of Baghdad.

Note: If Art 140 is settled, 1/10 gets reduced after the elections. One of the RCTs also leaves after the elections. The only reason they are holding, is for the elections....

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 9, 2008 3:37 PM ET:

PS If you take a look at the planned replacement brigades in bottom left of map, you will find the 3/10 was deleated. That was done on 31 Aug. The 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division was already shifting its training to Afghanistan last month....

Also, most of the likely reductions are due to rotate in Dec-Feb, so they still have the option of adding to the announced cut, if the Iraqi elections occur (smoothly) in Dec...

Posted by Joakim Ekström at September 9, 2008 5:50 PM ET:

Yes, very interesting indeed. Thanks for the info. So perhaps 3/101 will leave without replacement and give its AOR to the 1/4 BCT which will then thin out over a larger AOR?

As stated earlier, I think it really is wise to be a bit risk adverse at this point in time. To walk this endeavor slowly through. Especially in light of the recent history in which drawdowns have been made too quickly. And of course because of the upcoming elections. Better to over do it than leave a job half done.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 10, 2008 12:17 AM ET:

Joakim Ekström

There is more to it.

One US Bde = 3500
One USMC Bn = 800
There are 8,000 being trimmed.
The rest is the loss of DivTroops.
Only the 25th ID is alerted to relieve in early 2009 and both 4th ID and 1st AD are due to rotate then.

Also, the reporting is that only a handfull of allied countries will remain when the UN mandate terminates. That is 2-3 more brigades leaving.

4 coalition brigade equivalents plus two maybe three MND HQs leaving total.

There will be a lot of restructuring over the next six months...

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 10, 2008 2:49 PM ET:

The 3/101 BCT is being replaced by a Battalion in South Baghdad Province.
Departs in November and is in process of turning over its Patrol Bases to 17th IA Division.

From today's Blogger's Roundtable with CO 3/101

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 10, 2008 3:37 PM ET:

Not confirmed: F16s.
MoD only asked for pricing of F16s thru FMS, not to buy. That is only shopping around...

Posted by Joakim Ekström at September 10, 2008 6:01 PM ET:

Very interesting indeed! So as I understand it, from listening to the bloggers conference call, the BCT will be replaced by a battalion-sized transition task force (TTF) containing support companies, military police, civil affairs, EW, route clearance teams, human terrain teams, intelligence teams and EOD. The TTF will only man six patrol bases. The EPRT will remain as I understand it. This certainly adds some detail to the thinning-out process!

It will be very interesting to follow this TTF to see how the tactic plays out. I hope this can be, as Col. Caraccilo suggested, a model for the rest of Iraq. Even though every Iraqi Qada is unique.

My impression is that the IA combat elements can stand their own, while the IA enablers still need Coalition partnering.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 10, 2008 6:20 PM ET:

I am seeing a lot of reporting of graduations of "Lionsclaw" academies. This is engr/EOD route clearance training, and so far, the only Divs I have not seen reported as getting this training are in Ninawa.

There is also more reporting of Medical and Intelligence training thruout the forces.

Normally it is 6-12 months, for ISF units to be considered proficient after graduating from a new training (practice makes perfect).
That means they want to hand off the support elements by early/mid-2010. Barring hickups.

That would leave FA and armor upgrades as in-progress.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 10, 2008 6:39 PM ET:

The 1/4 In Rasheed Dist/Baghdad is also turning over battle space. Which probably means that Rasheed and south Baghdad become one BCT AOR vice the current two. All of Baghdad Province under one MND vice the current split.

Think of the replacement battalion for the 3/101 as a Combat Support Battalion. Filling in for the weak parts of the new formed 17th IA Division...

Link to blogger's roundtable transcript.

Note: I am seeing simular AOR turnovers with 1/10 in Kirkuk and the Marines in Anbar. Which marks where the next two BCT equivalents will come from. Reducing to a MEB is a 50% cut in USMC in Iraq, and the Commadant wants to send his Marines to Afghanistan. They are too bored in Anbar...

Posted by masayo22311 at September 11, 2008 10:50 AM ET:

DJ, regarding the LAV purchases, do you know if the cancellation has been relayed back to the Department of the Navy? Or perhaps some proposals have been made to reduce the cost of the purchase?

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 11, 2008 3:28 PM ET:


What are you talking about?

1. The canx was BTR-3E1s, not LAV. Ukrainian.

2. And the DoN has nothing to do with this. ISF is not a DoN subordinate.

3. These buys are between GoI, DSCA (FMS), and the companies manufacturing. There is a control regiem that exist (PROPIN) in diseminating this info and DoN does not have a need to know since they have nothing to do with it.

Posted by jack winters at September 11, 2008 5:31 PM ET:


Since the LAV issue came up I have a question, Iraq is going to get M1A1Ms and use them in new mechanized formations, but shouldn't they have mechanized personal carriers like BMP or bradlys or are they going to use the LAV's as the personal carries what's the story?

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 11, 2008 5:43 PM ET:

jack winters

As I mentioned in the armor article, it is normal for all tracks or all wheels at battalion level.

That does not apply to Bde or Div.
The USMC uses mixed all the time.

My read of the numbers is that they are equipping 11th Division as the Iraqi version of Armored Cav Div.
Each Bde with:
- Arm Bn (35 M1/9 BMP1)
- 2x Cav/Recon (42 LAV each)
With the remaining LAVs going to the Bde's Scout company and/or to Div Recon Bn.

This is very simular to how the IA 37th Cav Bde is organized. Only the 37th has EE9s in the Abrams role and BTR80 in the LAV role. Word is they do not consider the BTR80 adequately armed for the role.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 11, 2008 6:10 PM ET:

jack winters

I also mentioned it in last month's update.

"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. "

Posted by jack winters at September 23, 2008 6:30 PM ET:


Remember when I asked u about the deal that Iraq signed with Italy in the 1980s during the old regime. And you said it was canx . But in an MNF Briefing (Iraqi Navy Update: Rear Adm. Driscoll, Rear Adm. Jawad, Aug. 10 ) the Adm said that Iraq is talking with Italy to get those ships and upgrade them by orders from the Prim Minster and today on Iraqi national T.V the Iraqi defense minister sat down with the Italian ambassador to talk to him about the deal specifically according to the report. So there seems to be a push to get those ships. Do you know anything about this? And what do you think this push means?


Posted by DJ Elliott at September 24, 2008 1:07 AM ET:

The deal was to turn over the title of the remaining FFLs as part of clearing their debt so they could buy patrol ships from the same company.

It is possible that the Italians could not find a buyer for them, but that is unlikely. The other 6 and the AOR were sold off when Saddam was in power. They are the lead ships in the Venesualan Navy.

I think you are confusing the new patrol ships with the old. After all, they are built by the same company...

Posted by jack winters at September 24, 2008 8:45 AM ET:


This is the transcript from MNF ( AUG 10, 2008)you tell me what it means 

REP: There have been some old contracts from the previous regime with Italy and with Egypt; the naval crew was with the ships until the collapse. What is   Well, what is the destiny of these equipments? And what about the old contracts? Have you canceled them, started new ones?

RADM JAWAD: (Speaking in Arabic.)
INT: As for the naval contracts, all of you know that we have a big naval contract with Italy to provide 12 pieces. We have faced problems during the previous regime through delivering these equipments. Two of these equipments are in Italy now, two others in Egypt. We have formed committees with the decree of the Prime Minister to solve these problems and to see if it is possible to rehabilitate these ships. We have high-level delegations to negotiate with the Italian and Egyptian sides. And this is premature to determine or decide about the results. It is not complete yet.

Posted by DJ Elliott at September 24, 2008 10:34 AM ET:


The four quarter-centry old unmaintained pieces of rusted junk that were parked in Italy had their title returned to the shipbuilder in leu of owed moneys.

Let me count the problems with that translation:
1. There were 11 original hulls, not 12.
10 FFLs and an AOR.
2. The AOR is currently in service with the Egyption Navy with its title having been transferred in the 1980s by Saddam. There has been some question of the validity of that sale.
3. 6 of the FFLs were sold to Venesuala in leu of unpaid debt in the early 1990s. (Saw two of them getting overhauled at Ingalls in late-90s.)
4. The remaining 4 FFLs, after 20-25 years at anchor in saltwater with little to no real maintenance or preservation, had there titles returned to the shipbuilder in 2006 to clear the Iraqi debt.
In return for that trade in, a new contract for 4 new PS was opened. Those new hulls are currently in production. The first is scheduled for commissioning in April 2009, delivery in June 2009. The remaining delivered at one every 3 month after.

The four old hulks would not be a good deal. If someone bought them for anything but scrap, then the deal would be very crooked and lining someones pockets in kickbacks...

What you have there is a poor translation and/or poor response. It has confusingly run the old and new contracts together as apparently one.

(Note: I put an RFI in with MNF and MNSTC-I to confirm.)