Iraq Security Forces OOB: May 2007 Update

Iraqi & Coalition forces Order of Battle as of May 1, 2007.

The May 2007 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB Page. The significant changes to the Order of Battle are summarized below.

In spite of some claims to the contrary, the Iraqi Security Forces continue to expand both training and operational forces. Some of the initiatives currently ongoing for the expanding Ministry of Defense elements include:

• The transfer of Operational Control of the Iraqi Army to the Iraqi Ground Forces Command is to be concluded by July.

• The formation of the Baghdad Command Headquarters and ongoing formation of permanent subordinate elements.

• The establishment of an Iraqi National Counterterrorism Task Force.

• Ongoing deployments to Baghdad, training/inspection/replacements at Besmaya and the rotation of those troops.

• Further Development of the Taji National Depot, to include a Maintenance Depot.

• The establishment of an Operational Reserve, currently consisting of a 9th Division Mechanized Battalion, a 1st National Police Mechanized Brigade Motorized Battalion and an I Special Operations Forces Company.

• The establishment of the new 4-4 (Samarra) Brigade planned for initial operations end-May.

Some of the initiatives currently ongoing for the Ministry of Interior forces include:

• Reforming the Ministry, to include firing 3,000 employees, reducing MoI deputies from five to three, and enhancement of borders/port of entries.

• National Police transformation has included replacing five of nine INP Brigade commanders, dropped 2,700 National Police from roles, the establishment of a “Carabinieri” (motorized) Battalion in every INP Brigade to be trained by Italy, the establishment of the “Samarra” INP Brigade for Baghdad, and the addition of Electronic Countermeasures.

• Training continues and has been expanded to include a mid-level IP leader training in Jordan and the addition of the Al Anbar Police Academy.

The Iraqi ministries (MoD/MoI) are self-reliant in pay, life support, training and manning while they remain dependent on the coalition for equipping, maintaining, contracting and communications. Other areas that are a shared responsibility include command/control, intelligence, force protection, discipline, arming, fueling, moving, sustaining, healthcare and budget execution.

The stand up of the US funded Iraqi Logistics/Support elements (33,000 personnel) continues to be delayed by Congresional political games with the FY07suplement request submitted in February. “At the current moment (4 Apr), because of this lack of funding, MNSTC-I is unable to continue at the pace they were in the developmental process of the Iraqi Security Forces,” Caldwell said. “It is starting to have some impact today, and will only have more of an impact over time.”

The Iraqi funded PM’s Expansion program continues to improve the armaments of existing ISF Battalions as well as training, expanding and building new “teeth” formations plus training facilities to include Mechanizing at least two more IA Divisions this year:

• April 9: First 40 BTR80s arrive for 4-9 Bde.

• April 10: “…an agreement was reached on the formation of an Iraqi Army brigade made up of 4,000 soldiers recruited from Anbar, who will provide security in the province, Al Jazeera Net reports in Arabic.” (4-7 Bde; 5xBns strength.) “There is a general plan to expand the 7th Division with a 4th Brigade. It is in the planning stages now.” (per MNSTC-I Deputy PAO e-mail.)

• April 14: Iraqi Air Force Technical Training School opened at Taji. All Airmen go thru the Iraqi Army Basic Training program before transfer to the IAF.

• April 16: Efforts are under way to rebuild the Iraqi Army, with more arms and equipment to be delivered in the next few months, Fox and Ghaidan said. “We have now eight divisions that are at a second-level state of readiness, meaning that they have full manpower, light weapons and some logistical capabilities, but lack heavy weapons and support units, like artillery,” the Iraqi general said. Two more divisions should become operational in June, and their M60 main battle tanks, M113 armored personnel carriers and other mostly U.S.- and Western-built heavy weapons will arrive in the second half of the year. “The article seems accurate.” (per MNSTC-I Deputy PAO e-mail.) Two Mech Divs and an Armor Division are ~600-800 Tanks/1800-2100 APC/CSS.

• April 18: “The central government intends to send an army here, about 6,000 soldiers,” Mam Rostam said. “They have been chosen by them. They are not anyone from anywhere in particular. They are very clean. Those 6,000 soldiers will be working in Kirkuk to achieve stability in this city. We’re expecting after this, which is going to happen in a very short time, for the terrorism to be reduced 80 or 90 percent.” The 6,000 personnel is the equivalent of two new brigades for the new 11th Division forming in Kirkuk.

• April 19: Iraqi Military Intelligence Academy had ribbon-cutting. “The school facility is currently home to over 147 students, 25 instructors and 32 support staff, and it includes student barracks, classrooms, a motor pool, a dining facility, an auditorium and other buildings. The facility can house up to 300 students at a time…That training is based on a curriculum that includes Basic Military Intelligence Skills, Counterintelligence, Human Intelligence, Low Level Voice Intercept, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Analysis, and Collection Management. These skills prepare Iraqi security force graduates for counter-insurgency tactical and urban military intelligence operations. At the conclusion of instruction, students participate in a five-day comprehensive field training exercise.”

• April 20: “The Iraqi army added 1,895 soldiers to its ranks when they graduated from basic combat training during a ceremony at the K-1 Iraqi Army Base’s Regional Training Center. The soldiers will help to form a new brigade, the 4th Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, which will officially stand up in late May. Commonly known as the Samarra brigade, their area of responsibility will include north of Baghdad up to Samarra.”

• April 23: A major new weapons delivery to ISF. “Three days ago Received Tanks, Armored Vehicles, Equipment” (Last 3min of video). The IA is upgrading to US personnal weapons and is taking delivery of first shipment.

• April 24: The new 5-10 Brigade formed and a Training/Logistics base turned over. “A flag changing ceremony signified the formal handover of the camp which will become the home of 10th Division’s newly formed 5th Brigade and its Divisional Training Centre.”

• April 26: “Iraq, Ar Rustamiyah – Over the past week, 270 cadets at the Iraqi Military Academy Ar Rustamiyah (IMAR) undertook a counter insurgency training exercise called ‘Broadsword’. The exercise was the culmination of 4 weeks counter insurgency training at IMAR. The Cadets practised patrolling within a counter insurgency environment, setting up and running a forward operating base, vehicle check points, arrest operations, riot control and a number of other tactics, techniques and procedures relevant to the counter insurgency environment. The aim was to get the Cadets to begin to understand the complexities of modern asymmetrical warfare, as this is what they will be dealing with in a very short time.” (3xClasses graduated per year/1year school.) This indicates IMAR is expanding to ~1000 per year. IMAR is only 1 of 4 Officer Academies in Iraq which makes the growing training at a rate of about 3,000 to 4000 new 2nd Lieutenants per year.

The manning of Iraqi Army Divisions continues to improve, including the worst manned 7th IA Division in western Anbar. “As you may know, just a few months back, six months certainly back, when the call went out for volunteers for the 7th Iraqi Army Division, a division from about Ramadi on out into Western Anbar, there were just — I think it was less than the fingers on these two hands who volunteered that day. And then subsequent one, there were a few more. Well, most recently there were 2,000 young Anbari men who showed up to volunteer for that when they had a recruiting drive at Habbaniya, I think it was. So there has been an enormous shift.” 7th IA Division had been reported as manned at only 50-60% in Jan. 2000 new recruits represents a growth in 7th IAD manning to 70-80%. There are unconfirmed reports that new recruits are waiting for training billets to open since the IA Training Units are at full capacity.

The reporting on augmentations to Baghdad and Baqubah as reduced but, the operations are continuing. Operational Security in Baghdad and Baqubah as noticably improved. Additional elements of 2-2 IA from Mosul, 2-4 IA from Salahadin and 4-10 IA Brigade from Maysan have arrived in Baghdad, while at least a battalion of 2-4 IA from Salahadin has augmented Baqubah Diyala Province). Reporting from March indicated that an IA Brigade was going to Diyala.

The retraining of the Iraqi National Police in Numaniyah continues with 7th INP Bde relieved from Bayaa District and sent to the 4 week Quicklook II training on April 3. The 7th INP Bde will finish retraining at end April and one of the three remaining INP Bdes will go to Numaniyah (probably 6th INP in Doura, alternately 5th INP in Karkh or 1st NPM at Baghdad Airport).

A new Paramilitary IP Brigade was reported in Ramadi, Provincial Security Force One. “The Ramadi region is essentially a police state now, with some 6,000 American troops, 4,000 Iraqi soldiers and 4,500 Iraqi police officers, including an auxiliary police force of about 2,000, all local tribesmen, known as the Provincial Security Force.” PSF1 is the first Brigade (3xBns) organization of the Emergency Response Unit Battalions in Anbar. The action of numbering this Brigade combined with the 8 known ERU Bns formed in Anbar indicate the intention to form more brigades out of the Tribal Levies. Additional ERUs are expected to form and may be organized into a new MoI Light Division.

On April 18, Maysan Provence became the 4th Province to turn over to Provincial Iraqi Control. Speaking for Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, the country’s national security adviser, said foreign troops would soon withdraw from provinces in autonomous Kurdistan. “Maysan… will be followed by the three Kurdistan provinces, a month from now,” Mowaffaq al-Rubaie quoted Maliki as saying. “After that Kerbala and Wasit [provinces]. Then it will be province by province until we achieve [this transfer] before the end of the year.” While the 4-25 BCT says “The Spartans hope to turn security of the Babil and Karbala provinces over to the Iraqi government by summer.” The other three Provinces already turned over are Najaf, Muthanna and DhiQar. Also, the Ninawa Province was nominated for PIC by MND-N at the beginning of April.

The OOB format for page 15 (Equipment) has been changed for readability. Opinions are solicited. Page 9 will be transitioned into Joint IA/INP page in the next update. All ISF units assigned to the Joint Baghdad Operational Command (BOC) and its subordinates will move to page 9 and page 7 (IGFC Baghdad) will retain Iraqi Army elements in Baghdad Province that are not under BOC’s joint command structure.

Note: None of the data updated came from Milblogs. Their OPSEC has been consistently good. Primary sources are senior officer briefs, PAO press releases, Iraqi/US/UK press and official reports released to public.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Andrew R. says:

    Anand has mentioned mortars and some new batteries coming on line. You’re OOB bage noted that there are some salvaged howitzers that the IA has, but I didn’t see anything on other mortars and howitzers of which the IA is planning on taking delivery in the next two years. Do you have any word on that?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    No details beyond 884 60mm mortars listed in 22 Apr MNSTC-I brief (Company mortar sections).
    FY07sup includes startup money on that and FY08 follows with more.
    2008 is when the conversion to external capability is scheduled to occur.
    Pure guestamate:
    – 12x IA Divs at 72x Howitzers per = 864x 105/155mm How (Fires Bdes).
    – Mortar Bns for the Bdes = 864x 120mm Mortars (Mortar Bns).
    – About 60-75,000 more IA troops to man those formations. Can act as security force as secondary.

  • ECH says:

    Diyala, Salah al-Din, and other parts of Iraq could use a number of ERUs from the Anbar Salvation Council.
    Shiek Sattar is doing a good job conscripting young men in Anbar into the fight. In Fallujah every family must send at least one son to the ASC to fight.
    We could stand up 10 ERUs in very little time if we gave him the money, weapons, and equipment that we could use those ERUs to finally help end al-Qaeda in Diyala and keep them from taking over Salah al-Din.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    I suspect that the older arms that the IA will be trading in while they get their new M16/M4s will be issued to the ERUs.
    I also expect heavy recruiting from the ERUs for permanent ISF personnel enlistments.

  • ECH says:

    Imagine putting 20 thousand ASC ERU forces into Diyala and Saladin. That on top of the surge, the increase in the Iraqi Army, and what the ASC has done in Anbar would snowball this thing toward victory against al-Qaeda by the end of the year.
    Its my impression that we just don’t have enough Iraqi Army and US forces to make this work in all the areas that we need it to work in by the end of the year and that is where the ERUs can come in.
    We need to show massive progress in all areas by the end of the summer and the build up in the Iraqi Army will help, but that is coming along to slowly of course to have the fast and politically demonstratable impact the ERUs can have.

  • Marcello says:

    Some quick notes on the equipment.
    – “APC wheeled Fuchs”: it is my understanding that Germany indeed planned to deliver a few of them but the scheme was eventually scrapped.
    It happened a long time ago though, so my memory is a bit fuzzy.
    – T-55: unlike the T-72, which were delivered by Hungary, the T-55s are basically all ex iraqi army restored to service. A few of them are actually Type 69-II.
    – EE-9: Scavenged, I guess. Or did somebody supply them them recently?
    More later, if I can find the time.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    – Those 20 Fuchs came from third party donation.
    – Yes. Some of the T55 are Chinese varients.
    – Yes. Probably salvaged or used from elsewhere. They are recent reporting from 22nd MNSTC-I Brief. No prior reporting. 6 operational and 35 to be operational by end year. Expect a Plt of them per Motorized (BTR80) Company like the strykers AGS.

  • ECH says:

    What about the M60 Tanks Iraq was supposed to be getting?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Read article above (hint: M60s are tanks), pg6, pg9, pg14 (Apr16) and pg15.
    M60s are mentioned on all of those.
    No data on origin or precise numbers has been reported in open sources ATT.

  • ECH says:


  • Marcello says:

    Out of curiosity is there any info publicy available about the force structure below the battalion level? I mean stuff like the authorized number of machine guns and mortars per company, the composition of tank platoons and such.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Look up the US Army Field Mannuals (FM) online ( is one site where they are easily found). IA is modeled on US forces. Just missing some components and equipment ATT.
    Also see pg13.

  • Kar says:

    In the article Bill says: The worst such security violator in the senior staffs is the Pentagon. Is there any report to back this up?


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