Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: October 2008 update


Iraqi and Coalition forces Order of Battle as of September 30, 2008.

The October 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 September are summarized below.

Provincial Iraqi Control.

On Sept. 1, Anbar Province became the eleventh of 18 Iraqi provinces to revert to Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC). Speculation as to when Babil and Wassit Provinces would follow has been all over the calendar, but all prior to December 2008. The latest 9010 Quarterly Report to Congress, released Sept. 30, states that Babil and Wassit will transfer to PIC in late-October and November respectively. The remaining five provinces are scheduled for 2009. This includes the four provinces with the highest numbers of attacks on Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces over the last year: Ninawa, Diyala, Salahadin, and Baghdad. The fifth province is Kirkuk, whose status remains a point of contention between the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government and the central Government of Iraq. Of particular note, all of the provinces are scheduled to transition before June 2009. This indicates the remaining coalition forces are to be in overwatch by the end of the summer 2009, with Iraqi Security Forces conducting day-to-day operation throughout Iraq.



9010 Report of planned PIC.

Iraqi Air Force Development.

On Sept. 5, the Wall Street Journal reported that "The Iraqi government is seeking to buy 36 advanced F-16 fighters from the U.S., say American military officials familiar with the request, a move that could help reduce its reliance on U.S. air power and potentially allow more American forces to withdraw from the country than had been proposed." On Sept. 10, this was clarified. The request was only a price check on what 36 F-16s and their support would cost, just shopping around. The Iraqi Air Force does continue to purchase and receive aircraft, but all of those purchases to date are helicopter and fixed-wing training, reconnaissance, and transport aircraft. This includes five additional Jet Ranger helicopters for the 12th Training Squadron that are to be ready for delivery by Nov. 15. A strong focus on helicopter force development is inferred by the fact that 50 percent of the pilots planned to be trained will be helicopter pilots and the fact that the Iraqi Army has been and continues training large numbers of air-assault qualified troops. However, much of the current focus is on developing the support structure and surveying bases for future aircraft basing:

"The third CAFTT [Coalition Air Force Training Team] focus area for the remainder of 2008 is IqAF infrastructure, which is fundamental to sustaining IqAF growth. Ongoing projects at Taji support training capacity growth as well as a Mi-17 avionics testing and maintenance requirements. Site surveys at Ali, Al Kut, and Shaibah support IqAF service plans. Additionally, ongoing work at New al-Muthanna Air Base supports Iraqi plans to permanently base a King Air detachment and to construct the IqAF aero medical center."

Iraqi Army (IA) Force Development.

On Sept. 4, it was reported that "Construction has started on the Iraqi Army's new Al Maymona Location Command in Maysan Province." This is the redundant location command in the Iraqi Army's 10th Motorized Division area that indicates a future new division planned. The 10th Motorized Division's headquarters and already existing location command is at Nasariyah. On Sept. 29, the Iraqi Army took full control of the Bayji National Ammunition Depot from Coalition forces. This depot will still have a partnering coalition unit, but will have the primary responsibility. The Bayji Ammunition Depot supplies the northern divisions, Taji supplies the central divisions, and another ammunition depot is to be established at Najaf for the southern divisions.

On Sept. 9, it was reported that the Iraqi Army plans to lengthen Basic Training from five weeks to eight weeks. This was originally planned in 2007, but was delayed for the buildup of additional Iraqi divisions. In response to a request for information concerning terms of Iraqi enlistment in their voluntary army, Lieutenant Commander Russell, Multi-National Force-Iraq Press Desk Officer provided the following:

"There is no reserve requirement/service in Iraq any more (not since Saddam's Time). Per Col. Ali, the Ministry of Defense Directorate, they used to sign a 2-year contract with each individual but have stopped doing that and now sign open contracts. If a soldier finishes 15 years of service and wants to leave, they will be entitled to a retirement. If they want to break the contract before they finish 15 years of service, they get 6 months' salary as a reward (severance)."

This factor explains why there is no existing organized Iraqi Army reserve or planning for one at this time. Enlistment terms would have to be changed and/or separate reserve enlistment terms would have to be established to facilitate formation of a reserve. This means the Ministry of Interior's paramilitary formations and the Iraqi Special Operations Force are the Iraqi Army's only current backup in a general mobilization.

Training on route-clearance operations continues throughout the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi National Police and is the current primary training focus for support elements. Although some of the training is on the use of the claw on coalition Buffalo MRAPs, the Iraqi Army is not getting Buffalos. The claw used on the Buffalo is the same as the claw being fitted to the ILAV Badger, which is the 4x4 version of the Cougar MRAP. According to Staff Sergeant Boyd of Multi-National Force-Iraq's Media Operations Center Press Desk:

"The Iraqi Army is not getting the Buffalo. They were training with the Buffalo's Excavating Interrogator Arm because their Badgers are getting upgraded with the EIA. They soon will have the same Counter-IED Route Clearance capability that Coalition Force currently have."

Another focus appears to be on air-assault training and operations. During September, the first reports of air-assault training in the 10th Motorized Division and the 14th Motorized Division were reported:

"The arrival recently of four Iraqi HIP aircraft with 4 Squadron Iraqi Air Force offered a new capability to Brigadier Bilal, the Commander of 51st Brigade, who selected his 1st Battalion to take on the role of becoming his Aviation Specialist Battalion."

This indicates that at least one battalion per Iraqi Army brigade is to become air-assault qualified. Such training would not be so pervasive in the Iraqi Army unless the Ministry of Defense planned to buy the helicopter squadrons to support this capability. Of note, commando training requires this type of training as part of the qualifications.

The new 17th Commando Division is still using non-standard numbering for its battalions and brigades, contradicting the standardization in Ministry Order 151. Unit identifications include what should be elements from 6th Motorized Division, 15th Mountain Division, and the 11th Infantry Division. This is explained in the latest 9010 report:

"In the spring of 2008, the PM directed the formation of the 17th IA Division, which was created using excess forces from the 6th IA Division. Since these soldiers are still on the 6th IA Division payroll, the assigned strength of the 17th IA Division is reported as 0. Force generation plans for this division are ongoing. Additionally, the IA and the JHQ leadership are coordinating with the Kurdistan Regional Government to develop a plan to integrate two Kurdish Peshmerga divisions into the IA; however, the level of GoI and KRG leadership support for this initiative remains unclear."

The Iraqi Ministry of Defense has not yet administratively established, transferred, and re-designated the components to the 15th Mountain Division (Kurdish), 16th Mountain Division (Kurdish), and 17th Commando Division. The current brigade and battalion designations in use are temporary.

Also of note, the Iraqi Army's 4th Division is now showing references to being part of the Quick Reaction Forces. This could indicate that the Quick Reaction Forces, composed of the 1st Motorized Division, 4th Motorized Division, 7th Infantry (motorizing) Division, and the 9th Armored Division are the component divisions of the planned Iraqi Army I Corps.

Iraqi Special Operations Force (ISOF).

On Sept. 20, the 6th Commando Battalion was reported as the ISOF battalion in Basrah. This was the first of the four regional commando battalions' designations to be reported. The latest 9010 report further identified that the 1st ISOF Brigade's support battalion is the 3rd Battalion and its training battalion is the 5th Battalion. This indicates that the numbering of the ISOF battalions is sequential as they are formed, with the exception of the original two battalions (2nd and 36th). The new garrison support unit is to be formed by January 2009. Of note, the elite 2nd Counter-Terrorism Battalion, a unit that only the upper 30 percent of commando trainees can attempt to join (over 95 percent washout rate), is now being referred to as a ''reconnaissance battalion" and its detachments are "reconnaissance teams" in the 9010 report:

"Four regional commando bases (RCB) are currently being generated to increase ISOF presence and nationwide capability to conduct CT operations. These RCBs will each consist of a 440-man regional commando battalion, a 60-man GSU, a 30-man regional reconnaissance team, and a 40-man Regional Counter-Terrorism Center (RCC). The four RCBs will be located in Basrah, Mosul, Diyala, and Al Asad. RCB Basrah reached initial operating capability and at its temporary locations in January 2008. The permanent RCB Basrah will be completed in April 2009. RCB Mosul was completed in July 2008. RCB Al-Asad and RCB Diyala should be operational in November 2008 and March 2009, respectively, to include basing infrastructure."

The detachments probably represent the initial cadre for planned (long-term) support, "reconnaissance," and brigade special troops (headquarters) battalions. Also, the first training of Iraqi Security Forces in controlling strike aircraft has started under ISOF:

"To enhance air-to-ground coordination, the ISOF battalions are developing an Iraqi Tactical Air Controller (ITAC) program. The ITAC course will start in September 2008 and will provide ISOF tactical units the capability to coordinate precision fire from IqAF assets."

Iraqi National Police (INP).

On Sept. 20, the Justice Battalion of the 3rd INP Division was reported to have participated in an air-assault and to have been "winged." This is the first INP battalion, other than the INP Emergency Response Unit, reported as participating in air-assault operations and being winged. It is the first report of the Justice Battalion being operational. It is the first report that the Justice Battalion is no longer in Baghdad and has transferred to the 3rd INP Division. And it is the first report of 3rd INP Division involvement in an operation. This probably means the three INP separate battalions are to be the quick reaction airmobile battalions for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd INP Divisions. The 9010 report further reported that the new Abu Risha Brigade from Anbar would be the second brigade in the 3rd INP Division, joining the Al Askarian Brigade from Samarra.

At least four additional emergency battalions are reported forming or formed in Diyala. Combined with the three existing Emergency Response Units, this indicates that Ministry of Interior forces are permanently growing to divisional level in Diyala. Also noted in the 9010 report was a reference to Emergency Response Brigade Training Centers (No further information, request for information submitted), additional SWAT units are still forming in Karbala, Kirkuk, and Bayji, plus Iraqi trainers for Phase III (Carabinarie) training are being selected.

The INP page has been reorganized with national units listed under the Ministry of Interior Region in which they are stationed. The provincial Emergency Response Brigades, Emergency Response Units, Emergency Battalions, and Kurdish Special Police remain listed separately pending their transfer to "national" status.

Iraqi Department of Border Enforcement (DBE).

On Sept. 3, the first reference to an 11th DBE Brigade was made in reporting from Maysan Province. A request for information to clarify this report has not been responded to, however, other reporting indicates this is a new brigade. According to Voices of Iraq: "The Border Forces also embarked on setting up seven floating border checkpoints in the marsh areas in Missan province within the Border Guards Command's 4th Zone." This indicates new DBE units are being established in the Hawar marshes of Maysan under the DBE's IV Region, and the latest 9010 report confirms that the DBE has added 10 battalions and a new brigade since May. Part of this is the start of the consolidation of Customs Police into the DBE, but the new brigade is probably in the marshes of Maysan Province.



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

Posted by jack winters at October 3, 2008 5:23 PM ET:

Hi DJ

Great report as always, I'm a bit fuzzy about the role of CT and the Iraqi Special Operations Force (ISOF) as a reserve for the Iraqi army I mean other than doing covert operations and providing information from behind enemy lines how can it be a reserve for the army??? The other thing is the numbers and the amount of agencies I mean you have CT, ISOF , INP , ISWAT , and Iraqi military intelligence. As u mentioned in one formation more than 440 SOF personal that is a big number for one special ops formation?

thanx

Posted by amagi at October 3, 2008 8:46 PM ET:

I guess this is as good a place as any to ask -- I know the GoI took over the Sahwa on Oct. 1, but there hasn't been much reporting about what that has meant exactly. I'd like to request periodic reports on that, or maybe a little add on to the monthly OOB (even though it may not be strictly speaking appropriate).

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 4, 2008 1:12 AM ET:

jack winters:

The ISOF is not part of MoD under the pending legislation. It is part of the seperate Counter Terrorism Bureau. This gives them authority to act in CT and internal security in peacetime with or without a state of national emergency being declared. (Like the USCG, a seperate Armed force with police authority not under DoD that chops to USN control in war.)

In a conventional war with an other country, they would chop to the Army. They would fill the roles that Rangers and SFD-D fill against such an enemy. Probably as Corps or Army level independent commands.

Their structure indicates a plan to expand to at least five ISOF Brigades with dedicated air mobility. There are also elements in MoI that will probably transfer to CTB authority. But they are not part of the Army, they belong to a seperate ministry that has peacetime arrest authority.

Also, the MoI paramilitary components (INP/DBE) would also chop to MoD in such a general mobilization. Just like the Italian Carabinarie and French Gendarmes do.

amagi:

They are only taking over the 54,000 in the Baghdad region so far. For practical purposes this means the MoD and MoI take over paying, adminstering, and controlling them.

Eventually, some will join ISF elements and others will get job training. Some of the training programs look like the start of an Iraqi Corps of Engineers (construction). Others are pure civilian job programs.

Remember that they are a temporary organization. GoI policy is that only ISF formations are supposed to be performing their current duties. Which means they will be absorbed one way or another.

My recommendation would be to establish a Reserve component for those that do not wish to be full-time ISF. That would provide a long-term legitimate way to adminster them. The CG of 17th IA Div has also publically sudgested the same.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 4, 2008 2:18 AM ET:

Note: The combined assets of the 17th Commando Division and ISOF could also be employed as the Iraqi equivalent to US XVIII Airborne Corps (101 and 82 Divs) given the helo assets...

Posted by Joakim Ekström at October 4, 2008 7:58 AM ET:

DJ, thanks again for great work. I really like scrolling around the graphic and studying all the details. I've seen that there are red dots below the division numbers on some coalition brigade symbols. What do these dots symbolize?

Currently, there are 5 BCTs in MNB-C. I guess that there is a replacement overlap. Which BCT is coming in and which is going out? Will there be a change in mission?

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 4, 2008 11:31 AM ET:

Joakim Ekström:

The red dots mark coalition brigades redeploying before 1 Jan. We are in a replacement cycle.

US 2/4 BCT has arrived to take over overwatch from the departing Polish and departed Georgians.
Battalions in Wassit and Kirkuk with balance of BCT in Qadisayah.
http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22760&Itemid=128

The US 3/101 BCT in south Baghdad is departing with only a battalion task force replacement (not identified yet).

The US 1/10 BCT in Kirkuk is also departing with only one battalion from the 2/4 identified as its replacement so far.

They are not doing straight 1-1 replacements.
In addition to the one US Brigade and one Battalion being removed, most of our allies are departing with the expiration of the UN mandate. That is an additional three plus brigade equivalents we are shifting to cover the overwatch of...

They are redistributing forces and AORs. Even at division, there is only two US Army HQs scheduled to arrive to replace the existing three. With the departure of the Poles and ROKs, MND-CS and MND-NE disestablish. It would not be surprising to see MND-SE disestablish within the next year and MNF-W reduce to a MNB-W.

Posted by Joakim Ekström at October 4, 2008 2:02 PM ET:

Are the Iraqi forces in Kirkuk sectarian? Or are there ethnically mixed units? Does Peshmerga units operate in Kirkuk city or in the suburbs? Have there ever been any in-fighting between forces of different ethnic make-up? What is the situation there like? Is ethnic tensions in Kirkuk something we should be worried about?

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 4, 2008 2:57 PM ET:

Joakim Ekström:

Are the Iraqi forces in Kirkuk sectarian? Or are there ethnically mixed units?
- I keep getting these questions despite their not being any significant sectarian violence in Kirkuk. It is a favorite fixation of MSM trying to claim that we are failing.
- The MoI forces in Kirkuk reflect the population of Kirkuk. If you are in Kirkuk city or north and eastern Kirkuk Province, they are going to be majority Kurd, just like the population. That shifts as you go to western Kirkuk.
- The new 12th IA Div is mixed Arab and Kurd having been locally recruited in Kirkuk and Salahadin. 4th IA Division is 40% Kurdish, a legacy of originaly being a NG Division formed around two Kurdish Brigades three years ago. The same can be said of 2nd IA Div in Ninawa. And of 8th and 10th Divs with Shia replacing Kurd as predominant. The 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th Divs were localy recruited NG Divs and they are still slightly out of balance ethnically compared to the rest of the IA.

Does Peshmerga units operate in Kirkuk city or in the suburbs?
- Peshmerga units are no longer operating in Kirkuk. They have been replaced from their temporary duty of guarding the pipelines with the retrained 12th IA Division (former SIBs).

Have there ever been any in-fighting between forces of different ethnic make-up?
- Going back how long? Days, Months, Years, Decades, Centries? If that same question was asked about Dansk vs Svensk, the answer would be yes, since you are not puting any timeframe in it. For that matter UK vs any other European country would be yes with the time period dating to their last football (soccer) game. The current violence is almost all AQI reminents.

What is the situation there like? Is ethnic tensions in Kirkuk something we should be worried about?
- The only significant activity, other than AQI, is political arm-wrestling. The IP has been in charge in the cities of Kirkuk Provence for six months now. The IA guards the infrastructure and hunts AQI in the rural areas (mostly in the areas adjacent to Ninawa and Salahadin Provinces.)

The only reason that Kirkuk is not PIC is political (the Art140 and elections issues). In all other regards, Kirkuk is farther along than most of the 11 provinces that are PIC.

I take it you have been reviewing too much MSM propaganda, judging by this series of questions....

Posted by Joakim Ekström at October 4, 2008 3:29 PM ET:

Good! Then I guess there's no reason to worry about Kirkuk being a potential hot spot.

By the way, the fact that I haven't seen any reporting on SOI demonstrations or anything such must be a sign that the transition is going very well! Incidentally, I looked into the 9010 report from September 2006 earlier today, and it's really amazing how much better the situation in Iraq has become. From failed state to fragile state, as Odierno put it.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 4, 2008 3:50 PM ET:

Anything can happen in life.

The politicians messing up or something simular and causing Kirkuk to become a serious problem in the near future is about a 15% percent possibility.
Note: 10 percent chance of KRG declaring independence from GoI is part of that. The other 5 percent is AQI finding a good sectarian spark.

So far, the politicians on both sides are keeping it a straight word game. If you see elements of 1st IA Div sent to Kirkuk, then you can start getting worried. That they are using 4th Div as a national reserve QRF Division is a dead give-away that the GoI does not consider Kirkuk a serious problem...

Posted by jack winters at October 4, 2008 7:15 PM ET:

Hi DJ

About the Iraqi air force, recently Turkey ordered 30 f-16 through FMS a couple of days ago they will receive the aircraft in 2013. Which means if Iraq orders these aircraft they won't get them before 2014, how does that fit in with there scheme to get US troops out before 2011?

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 4, 2008 7:21 PM ET:

jack winters:

Doesn't change a thing. Try re-reading what was published previously.
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/08/iraqis_standing_up.php

Air support does not count as "troops" to the politicians in Iraq or the US. And the Iraqi MoD has been saying 2011 for internal, not for independence. Full security independence is 2018-2020 according to him...

Posted by Marcello at October 5, 2008 2:57 AM ET:

I take there have been no announcements on the selection of artillery materials, ATGMs and SAMs?

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 5, 2008 11:05 AM ET:

Marcello:

Nothing as yet. There is a shopping team from MoD in western Europe this month. Something might leak from that, but don't hold your breath.

If they direct purchase and both parties keep quiet, the first hint will be when the equipment starts to arrive. That is what has happened with the Reva and Otokar purchases...

Posted by brdrail at October 7, 2008 4:55 PM ET:

DJ - awesome work - really first rate quality. Will you be producing a similar product for Afghanistan as well? I'm sure that one would be a tad more problematic with the NATO force groupings there, but that would be exceptionally helpful.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 7, 2008 5:01 PM ET:

brdrail:

CJ Radin is primary for the quarterly updates on Afghanistan.
http://www.longwarjournal.org/oob/afghanistan/index.php

Posted by jack winters at October 9, 2008 2:53 PM ET:

Hi DJ

Good news it seems Iraq will buy 50 helicopters from France after all according to the le Figaro france leading newspaper (8/ 10/2008) a delegation will be there soon to conclude months of negotiations, "The talks are still continuing, said a French diplomat, Iraqis want the affair to happen, but it is not yet finalized, given the procedures to be followed in respect of military supplies." here is the source :-

www.lefigaro.fr/international

PS. it's in french so use google to translate

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 9, 2008 3:04 PM ET:

jack winters: Thank you Jack. Added to the notes for next update.

Posted by anand at October 17, 2008 2:07 AM ET:

DJ, a question from page 54/64 = page on document/page in PDF:
http://www.defenselink.mil/news/d20080930iraq.pdf

Notice that there are 33 logistical enabler battalions; of which 4 are C1, 8 are C2, 11 are C3, 10 are C4/C5/C6. Of these planned 33, 14 are location based commands. 12 are MTRs (one for every division except 9th IAD which doesn't need it and 11th IAD that might go mechanized.) 4 are the Brigade support battalions (or BSBs in the 9th IAD), 3 are Army level support (supply) and maintenance battalions that report to the Iraqi Supply Command (ISC.)

It looks like the wheeled mechanized armored cavalry IA 29-7 doesn't have a planned BSB. Very strange. Doesn't every heavy IA brigade have a planned BSB?

11th and 14th IAD both probably get one mechanized brigade, but they don't have one yet (44-11 and 42-11 Tigers (old 2-6) both have one mechanized battalion.) When they do, these brigades will probably get mechanized battalions.

This leaves no non combat battalions for the 4 forming IA corps headquarters. Each Corps headquarters is likely to have one mobile base supply unit (supply battalion), one transportation battalion (MTR), and 1 maintenance unit. That is a total of 12 more planned corps level noncombat enabler logistics units above the 33 mentioned in the Congressional report.

I speculate that the maintenance capabilities will be temporarily housed in the location supply commands at the division level, in 4 corps level maintenance battalions, and at the Army level (where the maintenance units would report to the Iraqi Supply Command.)

A question about the combat battalions in the IA, ISOF and Presidential Brigade. There are a total of 185 combat battalions; of which 18 are C1, 87 C2, 54 C3, 5 C4 in the fight or unit set fielding, 21 others C4/C5/C6.

Of these 185: 6 are ISOF combat battalions, 5 are presidential brigade battalions, and 174 are combat battalions in the 14 IA divisions. All 50 IA combat brigades have 3 planned combat battalions. 6 IA divisions have 4 planned IA combat battalions. This is my best speculation of course.
From here down, the speculation gets thicker:
These 6 extra planned IA combat battalions will eventually probably join the 3 Corps level quick response force brigades. Which means the IA moves to:
6 ISOF combat battalions
20 Corps level QRF combat battalions.
168 combat battalions assigned to 14 Iraqi Army divisons.
This is 194 combat battalions not including 24 combat battalions planned for 15th and 16th IADs that appear caught up in Iraqi politics.

In addition, I think the ISOF expands from 6 combat battalion to at least 10 (two battalions for every ISOF base), probably 11 since the ISOF is likely to maintain one very high quality ISOF battalion at the national level { 2nd Counter-Terrorism (Motorized) Battalion-Baghdad.} I'll have some more comments about the CTB later.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 17, 2008 2:50 AM ET:

anand at October 17, 2008 2:07 AM ET:

- They are not counting several of the Depots as bns despite their being that size. Skews the numbers.

- 29th Bde is 2 bns of BMP1s and a LtInf Bn. No BSB formed as yet and the BMP1s are expected to be split up when the future 7th Armored Div gets its tanks and M113s. Remember that the IA is in constant transition and nothing is carved in stone.

- The mech elements in 11th Div are:
-- one BMP1 Bn that will probably be broke up as cadre for the Armor bns when the tanks arrive and
-- One with MTLBs and ILAV which will become a combat Engineer Bn and is already getting Route-clearance training. Again you are seeing force in transition.

- Repeat, they are not counting some of the Depots as bns since they are static commands. (E.G. Nine of 11 level 3 maintenance depots have transfered to the IA from contractors...)

- Corps assets have not started forming yet. (Except the EIB and PB.) They are not schedualed to form until 2009-2012. Next year's budget.

- I cannot confirm more than 2 bns of Presidentials ATT. Rest probably in planned phase. Many brigades still have excess to standard bn counts because they are future elements of formations not yet built. Such as the four round-out brigades for 6th, 11th, 12th, and 17th Divs. Also the numbers are skewed because they are not counting the 15th and 16th Divs in MNF/MNSTC-I numbers for political reasons. MoD does count them. That is 30,000 pers and 24 more bns in 8 Bdes/2 Divs. You are also not allowing for cadre of corps subordinate independent Bdes that will be filled out next year. Or for early elements of the two additional Divisions to be built at Numaniyah (Wassit) and Menoma (Maysan).

- Note 2 CT Bn is now the 2nd Reconnaissance Bn. Renamed to protect the guilty. The five bianary brigade structure of ISOF is readily apparent. The question is how much of the MoI assets transfer to CTB.

Probable peacetime IA Corps Structure:
- IGFC: 12th, ?KRG, ?KRG, and ?KRG
- QRF Corps: 1st, 4th, 7th, and 9th.
- North Corps: 2nd, 3rd, 15th, 16th.
- Central Corps: PB, 5th, 6th, 11th, 17th, and ?(Num).
- South Corps: 8th, 10th, 14th, and ?(Men).

I have been seeing signs of most of 8th cycling thru cdo training at Kalsu (even the former SIB-see 8th Divs notes column). This, combined with the airmobile experience of 4th and the request for airmobile training by 2nd indicates each of the 4 corps will have an airmobile division in its structure.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 17, 2008 3:05 AM ET:

MND-CS turned over to MND-C already (2/4 BCT).
MND-NE is one bn in Irbil and it leaves by the end of the year.

Only 6 of the allies have not publically announced that they are leaving. The rest leave with the experation of the UN Mandate.

The UK may be sent home as early as this year. PM Maliki does not like them and they are not seriously trying to get a SOFA. Without which, they have no legal status in Iraq.

During July-Dec of this year, coalition forces will reduce by 3-4 brigades. Depending on UK. Then there is the US BCT that will be gone in Jan09.
From 19 Brigade equivalents to 14 from July08-Jan09.

Posted by anand at October 17, 2008 3:06 AM ET:

Thanks for your comments DJ. Now for some additional comments on the CTB:

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/d20080930iraq.pdf

They filled out more data on the The Directorate General for Intelligence and
Security (DGIS); or the MoD's lead intelligence agency. "With 4,090 personnel assigned, the DGIS is at 89% of its authorized level." Authorized level = (1/0.89)*4090 = 4600. With some over manning we are looking at more than 5,000 assigned for this agency. I wonder about the relationship between DGIS and the CTB. Hope it is better than between the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA ;-)

On page 57/67 I noticed that the Iraqi National Counter Terrorism Force (INCTF) controls the Counter-Terrorism Bureau (CTB) or the ministry level command that controls the Counter-Terrorism Command (CTC) {division level command that controls the ISOF . . . }, and the MoI ERUs that will eventually be ceded to the CTB.

What are they calling the INCTF? The CTB is a ministry level department that is comparable to the MoI and MoD. Are the INCTF and CTB different names for the same thing?

Some speculation regarding CTC metrics:

1st ISOF Brigade's special troop battalion eventually expands into the division level special troop battalion called the CTC. The size of the CTC will probably be about 300 people.

The 2nd battalion counter terrorism battalion becomes the CTC's reconnaissance battalion with about 440 people.

Is the ISOF garrison support unit (766 man GSU) in addition to the 3rd battalion (1st ISOF Brigade Support battalion)?

The ISOF garrison support unit includes 240 men for regional GSUs and 526 for national (or division level) supply, support, transportation, and maintenance functions. In addition a 60 man GSU is planned for the Baghdad Regional Command Center (RCC) when it is formed (which is in addition to the 766 man GSU.)

Each 40 man RCC will be assigned one 440 man regional combat ISOF commando battalion, one 60 man regional GSU, and one 30 man regional reconnaissance team (or Platoon level reconnaissance force.)

That is 570 people assigned to each of the 5 regional command centers. Or a national total of 2850 people. The Baghdad RCC will have the 36th Commando battalion. The Basrah Operations center gets the 6th commando battalion. Mosul's RCC's commando battalion might be the 4th ISOF battalion. Diyala and Al Asad (Al Anbar) probably get the 7th and 8th ISOF battalions.

The 5th battalion (training battalion) probably has about 440 people.

15th Special Operations Squadron (dual assigned to the Iraqi Air Force and CTC) probably has a hundred people.

Sum = 300 (CTC special troop battalion) + 440 (5th training battalion) + 440 (2nd reconnaissance battalion) + 526 (ISOF CTC level GSU) + 2850 (5 regional command centers) + 100 (15th Special Operations Squadron) = about 4700 authorized. If the 3rd ISOF Brigade Support Battalion is in addition to the CTC level national GSU, that would be about 5100 authorized people for the CTC.

My speculation is that the division level CTC will eventually consist of 1 supply battalion (national GSU), 1 transportation battalion (maybe deriving from the 1st ISOF brigades's BSB), 1 maintenance battalion. These three noncombat support battalions would be for national wide support.
Other speculation: Each RCC eventually gets a second commando battalion. (5 * 440 = 880.) Each RCC has 110 combat enablers currently in addition to their commando battalion. Eventually, each RCC will expand to a defacto brigade special troop battalion and semi Brigade support battalion (probably growing from 110 to 200.)

The 4th training battalion probably grows in strength from perhaps 400 today to twice that to support the larger CTC size, and perhaps to eventually help train each IAD's division level reconnaissance companies (that probably expand to division strength.) There is likely to be a long term connection between the division level scouts and the CTC, as well as with the DGIS.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 17, 2008 3:21 AM ET:

anand at October 17, 2008 3:06 AM ET:

- Everything about the CTB is in question. The law making them a ministry is still in debate. Which means everything about them is speculation except what currently exists. Some parlimentarians want ISOF and the ERUs eliminated and have called for it in debates on this law...

- "Is the ISOF garrison support unit (766 man GSU) in addition to the 3rd battalion (1st ISOF Brigade Support battalion)?"
YES. Look for a BSB for each Bde. And a dedicated Avn element.

- "15th Special Operations Squadron (dual assigned to the Iraqi Air Force and CTC) probably has a hundred people."
MORE. 26 Mi17s are to be assigned. Just crew is 78 without spares for people on lv or sick. 200-350 depending on how much maint is at Sq level.

- Look at the structure of the 1st ISOF Bde. Then watch the other 4 regionals become the same over time. Again, the ISOF component is fairly obvious, the question is how much of MoI's assets transfer over if and when the law passes...

Posted by anand at October 17, 2008 3:36 AM ET:

DJ, PB = Presidential Brigade
EIB = ?
Maybe add these acronyms to: http://www.longwarjournal.org/multimedia/OOBpage2-Definitions.pdf

One macro point that needs to be taken into account is that oil prices have fallen from $149 to less than $70. This reduced revenues is encouraging the MoF to delay major Iraqi Air Force and IA procurement to conserve cash.

DJ, can you summarize what the 33 noncombat battalions are? 14 location based commands, 12 MTRs, 4 BSBs (for 9th IAD), 3 army level supply/maintenance battalions under the ISC?

"Nine of 11 level 3 maintenance depots have transferred to the IA from contractors" Are these maintenance depots technically reporting to the location based commands, or directly to the division HQs? Can you ask when the remaining 3 divisions get their maintenance depots? (15th and 16th appear to be caught up in politics, so perhaps there is no edge to asking about them.)

"You are also not allowing for cadre of corps subordinate independent Bdes that will be filled out next year." Assumed 4 corps level QRF brigades with a total of 20 combat battalions above.

"Or for early elements of the two additional Divisions to be built at Numaniyah (Wassit) and Menoma (Maysan)." No I haven't. The drop in oil prices makes me suspect that the MoF might push to delay forming these two divisions.

"Note 2 CT Bn is now the 2nd Reconnaissance Bn. Renamed to protect the guilty." Is it renamed because reconnaissance sounds more politically correct than counter terrorism battalion?

On engineers, I am unclear. The original planned division level combat engineering battalions were broken up into 8 companies (each brigade's BSTB got 1 combat engineering company and one Explosive Ordinance Disposal company) and distributed to the combat line brigades. Can you ask when the 56 planned engineering combat companies and 56 planned EOD companies will complete (14 divisions * 4 combat line brigades each)? Probably each corps QRF brigade also gets 1 EOD company and one combat engineering company in their Brigade Special Troop Battalion (BSTB.) That would be a total of 60 EOD companies and 60 combat engineering companies.

After that, they would form many construction engineering companies. 11th division is also getting a combat engineering bn. Hmmm. I wonder what the other divisions get. Might they get both a construction engineering bn and combat engineering battalion?

Posted by anand at October 17, 2008 3:50 AM ET:

DJ, what 23 noncombat support battalions were C1/C2/C3 as of July 31st?

9 MTRs, 8 location supply commands, 3 BSBs (from 9th IAD), 2 national wide army level support battalions reporting to the Iraqi Supply Command, and the ISOF's 3rd brigade support brigade battalion.

37-9 IA's BSB must have reached C3 status after 7.31.08. So did two location based commands and 14th IAD's MTR. Today the IA probably has 27 C1/C2/C3 noncombat support battalions. All 14 location based commands and 12 MTRs are probably C1/C2/C3 by next April.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 17, 2008 4:19 AM ET:

anand at October 17, 2008 3:36 AM ET:

- DJ, PB = Presidential Brigade
YES
- EIB = ?
Engineering Infrastructure Battalion
- Maybe add these acronyms
Noted for next month.

- "One macro point that needs to be taken into account is that oil prices have fallen from $149 to less than $70. This reduced revenues is encouraging the MoF to delay major Iraqi Air Force and IA procurement to conserve cash."
Definately an issue.

- 33: 14 location based commands, 12 MTRs,
4 BSBs and 1 Maint Bn (for 9th IAD),
Plus Bayji Ammo Depot Support Bn and the one forming for Najaf Ammo Depot (Army level).
They are not counting the three Bde sized depots at Taji or the 11 Maint Depots (they are the Div Maint). I suspect 2 of the remaining 3 are scheduled for this year. 17th was not planned on by MNSTC-I until after the MoD finally mentioned it was being organized out of existing elements.

- "Is it renamed because reconnaissance sounds more politically correct than counter terrorism battalion?" YUP

- "On engineers, I am unclear. The original planned division level combat engineering battalions were broken up into 8 companies (each brigade's BSTB got 1 combat engineering company and one Explosive Ordinance Disposal company) and distributed to the combat line brigades."
Wrong. Those companies were always part of the BSTB structure. They were not part of any seperate bn. I am talking about the seven identified ILAV equipped Bns that are getting Engineering Route-clearance training

- "Can you ask when the 56 planned engineering combat companies and 56 planned EOD companies will complete (14 divisions * 4 combat line brigades each)?"
Probably 2009. All engineers are to be built out during 2009/2010. They are still working bottom up.

- All combat BSTBs include EOD/Engrs.

- "Might they get both a construction engineering bn and combat engineering battalion?"
US Standard is one Engr Bn per light Div and 2-3x per heavy. This is in addition to the BSTB's engrs/EOD. Then there are the Engr Bdes at Corps and Army level. Notice the IA refers to their DivEngrs as Rgt. That is not an honorific in Iraqi tradition. It means 2-3 bns of like type.


anand at October 17, 2008 3:50 AM ET:

- "DJ, what 23 noncombat support battalions were C1/C2/C3 as of July 31st?"
Read the OOB. C1/C2 are the boldface. C3-C6 are not. The distinction between C1 and C2 is minor and any unit that is C1 is about to get raided for cadre and drop to C2 anyway...

- ISOF is not IA anymore. Or will not be when the law passes. Watch your count there.

- "37-9 IA's BSB must have reached C3 status after 7.31.08."
Graduated USF at Besmaya in May.

- "All 14 location based commands and 12 MTRs are probably C1/C2/C3 by next April."
C3 by end of year is sched. C1/C2 by end of next summer according to the briefs.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 17, 2008 4:25 AM ET:

Note:

The 9th Maint Bn is not called a Depot. It is field deployable. So that means that 10 of 12 Divs are already accounted for with Maint.

Since the 11th and 7th are already showing serious signs of being next in line for becoming heavies, I suspect they will build their Maint Bns seperate from the Depots using cadre from 9th.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 17, 2008 8:08 AM ET:

Anand:

Look at the ISOF regional structure and don't think so small. Think DivTroops Cadre.

I have identified and located 40 ERU Bns to date. Enough for 20 bianary Brigades. Some of the ERBs are already organized so that the EBs fall out and leave a bianary brigade.

So, take the 20 ERBs with 40 ERUs.
- Look at the Regional Center as a Div HQ Cadre.
- Look at the GSU Det as the Div LC Cadre.
- Look at the Recon Det as the Div Scout Cadre.
- Look at the Cdo Bn as the Base Security, Training, and Div reserve cadre.

= 5 CTB Divisions of 4 Bdes each.

If the IA is building 4 airmobile divs for the 4 IA Corps, then why shouldn't the CTB be providing the 5 airmobile divs for the 5 MoI Regions that act as corps HQs in wartime mobilization...

I really want to see the authorized TO/E for CTB when the law passes. The possibilities for this seperate commando corps and how it fits are major.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 18, 2008 12:53 AM ET:

I am seeing too many indicators of a Div forming in Maysan. My guess is it is planned for next summer IOC. Call it 18th IA Div.

Posted by anand at October 21, 2008 2:07 AM ET:

http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/10/iraqi-military.html

Some data on the Iraqi Air Force.

Thanks for the data above. DJ, If there will be an 18th division . . . it will be in the Maysan area. But I think that depends on oil prices not going below $65.

For now, I think they will focus on a Southern Corps QRF brigade (with 5 combat bns.)

DJ, I question how much funding the CTB will get. These MoI forces . . . will they really join the CTB?

It seems to me that one ISOF division (with 10 commando battalions and 1 combat recon bn), and two MOI derived divisions might be the most practical in the intermediate run.

The MoI might want to keep the Babil, Karbala and other high quality ERUs. This will be a tough turf war.

DJ, is there any indication about what provinces have high quality MoI ERUs? We know about At Tamin, Babil, KRG, Karbala, Al Anbar. Baghdad has a few although some MoI ERUs in Baghdad leave much to be desired.

How is Wasit's?

Traditionally, Diyala's ERU has had issues. Diyala seems to be an IA run province . . . security wise. So are Basrah and Maysan. The IA has a large role in Quadisiyah (or at least use to) and Ninevah.

Salahadin has at least one decent ERU. But some MoI units in Salahadin are of uncertain quality.

Posted by DJ Elliott at October 21, 2008 2:25 AM ET:

Anand:

- "If there will be an 18th division . . . it will be in the Maysan area. But I think that depends on oil prices not going below $65."

One problem with that. The construction of the DTC and LC facilities started last month. This Div is already in progress. I am getting the same tap-dance I got on the 17th Div from MNF-I/MNSTC-I on the subject.

- "DJ, I question how much funding the CTB will get. These MoI forces . . . will they really join the CTB?"

No confirmation but, you might want to remember what CTBs functions include. To be a credible third leg to the Troika, they have to be a credible force.

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/09/the_iraqi_counter_te.php


- "DJ, is there any indication about what provinces have high quality MoI ERUs? We know about At Tamin, Babil, KRG, Karbala, Al Anbar. Baghdad has a few although some MoI ERUs in Baghdad leave much to be desired."

The ERUs are the higher quallity battalions in the Emergency Response Brigades. The Emergency Battalions are the lower end paramilitary battalions.

Take a close look at the ERBs and you find each has at least one ERU, but some have more than one. That gives you an ideal which are furthest along.
Note: Basrah's and Maysan's are new formed/reformed in last six months. Those are the low end. Wassit has two ERUs of the four bns in the ERB.

Also look at the distribution of the ERUs. They are organized regionaly as bianary brigades. and they easily sort out as four bianary bdes per ISOF region.