Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: August 2007 Update

Iraqi & Coalition forces Order of Battle as of Jul 31, 2007.

The August 2007 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB Page. Significant changes include plans to deploy a Kurdish Regional Guards (Peshmerga) Division outside of KRG, a minor reorganization of the pages and the planned addition of a Logistics Brigade to the Iraqi National Police. The significant changes to the Order of Battle are summarized below.

While no further Iraqi provinces went to Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC), Ninawa ISF requires little help and the province has been recommend for PIC in August 2007. “2nd and 3rd Iraqi Army Divisions with local Police can do security with little help”. ISF challenges in Ninawa are logistics, engineers and missing organic air support. IA did not have route clearing capabilities in December 2006; now they lead. US did IA’s medical in December 2006; now is all Iraqis. M113s, robotics and own Iraqi equippment has been provided for route clearance. Ninawa is adding 3000 Iraqi Police and standing up three new IA battalions soon, one in Mosul and two in the 3rd IA Division.

Basrah is also being pushed to go PIC in 3 months in spite of serious problems with the local police.

The Baghdad rotation is in its fourth installment (started in July) and no new deployed IA battalions have been identified by the press or in press releases, a sign that OPSEC is definitely improving. “The Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IGFC) had difficulty deploying three additional full Iraqi Army (IA) brigades at sufficient strength to Baghdad, but compensated by pulling units from a variety of IA divisions to provide the equivalent additional force. Since the initial deployment, the IGFC has continued to generate the required additional forces by first extending a brigade from 1st IA Division and battalions from 4th IA Division in Baghdad and then identifying and deploying a replacement brigade from 1st IA Division and battalions from 4th IA division to relieve other units by mid-June 2007.” Many of the new elements rotated in are going to the outer Belts. “Elements of the 3rd Division of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Security Forces, with U.S. Special Forces as advisors, detained a key member of a rogue element of the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia July 23 during an intelligence driven raid in al-Imam near al-Hillah.” This indicates that elements of 3rd IA Division from western Ninawa are south of Baghdad augmenting operations there.

Throughout July there were reports of improvements to existing IA units and further details of IA expansion. The IA has added “10,000 soldiers [who] will have completed basic training and been assigned to units” in the month of July. Just prior to starting Operation Arrowhead Ripper, the Diyala Operational Command (DOC) was stood up as the Joint Corps Command for all Diyala Province ISF (IP/DBE/INP/IA).

There have been reports of Kurdish Regional Guards (KRG) being deployed to Diyala, Ninawa, Kirkuk and Salahadin to guard infrastructure, a function of the Strategic Infrastructure Brigades/Battalions (SIBs). These reports indicate at least four Brigades of KRG are being deployed out of the autonomous Kurdish Region. In a later interview, it came out that the SIBs are being retrained. They are to be re-greened/re-blued then they are to be re-equipped to IA Light Infantry standards; they only have basic personal equipment now. The KRG troops are pending Prime Minister’s approval before relieving the SIBs from current assignments so they can commence retraining. The number of KRG troops being deployed is at least Division strength.

“The Iraqi Kurdistan region’s government is ready to send 12,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to protect power towers, the spokesman for the peshmerga said…. He said ‘we are in agreement with the central government in Baghdad to send 6,000 troops to protect power facilities on the Taza-Baiji highway.’ He pointed out that the central defense ministry in Baghdad has asked the Iraqi Kurdistan government in a meeting in Arbil, the region’s capital, earlier in July for dispatching 6,000 Peshmerga soldiers to protect the oil pipeline in the district of al-Shurqat, 80 kilometers south of Mosul, which leads to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The Kurdish 2nd Brigade Commander, Anwar Hama Amin, had said on Saturday that Kurdish Peshmerga forces will be deployed in several areas of Kirkuk to protect power towers and oil installations”.

New Motor Transport Regiments (MTR) are being trained at the Regional Support Units (RSU) for new forming Divisions. The biggest problem in the IA logistics is that it still is a “paper-based society” and there are “too many approval signatures”. To start to fix this problem, a Logistic Database using a USAF model is being built and they have just started a program to convert to an electronic system. Additional RSUs are also being formed to expand logistics capabilities.

The new forming 11th IA Division continues to be reported as formed. Brig. Gen. Qassim stated that the 11th IA Division formed last month (in Jun 2007). Also, “Elements of the 11th Division of the Iraqi Army, with U.S. Special Forces…” indicate that the Scout Company of the 11th IA Division has become operational.

In Anbar, the combat tested 1st Division plans and operates independently and the 7th Division is progressing faster than expected. “Iraqi army forces in the province have made tremendous gains, Gurganus said. The 1st Iraqi Division is under command of the Iraqi Ground Forces Command. The 7th Iraqi Division in the west remains under coalition command but will soon be at full strength, Gurganus said.”

Additional reports on changes to the IA include: IA in March had 10 independent and 88 in-lead IA battalions. The current status is six independent and approximately 100 in-lead. An overall increase of eight battlions in the top two categories. Considering the need to draw cadre for new forming battalions from the better battalions, this is a good improvement.

The 4-9 IA Brigade was involved in its first operation.

Much of 8th IA Division is at category 1 (independent).

In the Ministry of Interior forces, details of the Iraqi National Police training, expansion and recruiting continue to be released. INP has a 30,661 authorized strength and a 25,400 assigned strength; however, leave policy effects manning (60-100% manning varying by units).

The Italian Carabinieri is to train the INP in Phase III. Phase III (Carabinieri) training starts 15 Oct 2007 with the INP Quick Reaction Force (QRF) Battalion. Phase III is a train-the-trainer program where one battalion of leaders from a brigade is trained and then rejoins the brigade to act as instructors to improve the INP. They are not making the INP into Carabinieri but, providing the skills of the Carabinieri, such as public order response, investigative skills, forensics, SWAT and urban area operations.

Phase II (Re-blueing) is completing 10 October 2007. 75 percent of Phase II is policing and human rights and 25 percent is tactical drills. Phase II includes vetting for criminal and sectarian associations with militias. To date Phase II has resulted in eight of nine brigade comanders relieved and 17 of 27 battalion commanders relieved.

Phase IV is to be dispersal out of Baghdad (start date TBD). Phase IV is long-term plan is to make a mobile force including planning to form a logistics brigade. Currently, the INP are tied to Baghdad due to logistics. According to Col. Mark R. French, deputy commander for professional development and training, CPATT, MNSTC-I, “while still in the formulation phase, it is anticipated it will have a supply, transportation, admin and maintenance capability. It will be configured to be able to support multiple BDEs in a deployed scenario.” Col French also did not know about the tenth INP brigade reported in the last two quarterly reports. It is apparently the new planned logistics brigade vice an operational INP brigade.

Additional interesting notes concerning MoI elements include:

– When Col French was asked (via e-mail): “Is the 1st NP Mech Bde still using BTR94s or did they trade out for more M1117s/Revas? Been some time since I saw the BTRs mentioned in INP…” He responded: “No, but many of the BTRs are still in the motor pools but are rarely if ever used. The Mech BDE has ASVs – Armored Security Vehicles – 4 wheeled vehicle with a turret – like the MPs have, as their primary vehicle. The rest of the NP BDEs have REVAs and NTVs and their primary vehicles.”

Three ERUs are forming in Salahadin.

– Wasit has formed and Emergency Response Force of at least two battalions.

Of note: The joint ISF page has been removed and elements listed under their administrative commands.

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  • Don Bistrow says:

    A dizzying array of information and very positive indeed.
    You wrote, “The Mech BDE has ASVs – Armored Security Vehicles – 4 wheeled vehicle with a turret – like the MPs have, as their primary vehicle.”
    When do MRAPS begin arriving or have they and do/or will MP’s use these vehicle in their work?
    If MP’s do not use MRAPS who is using these vehicle and for what general purpose.
    Thanks again.
    As always, //

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Don Bistrow
    The IA already has MRAPs. Check Pg15. Look at Badger, Reva, DZIK, OTOKAR and BTRs.
    USMC got the first 200 MRAPs last month. As they come off the line they are airlifted direct to Al Asad Air Base.
    A modified APC version of the M1117 ASV mentioned was an MRAP contender but, did not win contract. M1117 is an MRAP design. They are still being purchased to replace MP’s HMMWVs thruout the Army on a permanent basis. That was started prior to the MRAP program for the USA. Delayed due to factory damages from Katrina.

  • greg says:

    Bill, As usual – great reporting. many positive trends. Are their any promising Iraqi generals who can possibly step into the roles that the US military has been playing ? Can you forsee an Iraqi Petreaus ? If only the Iraqi politicians could show as much progress as the army.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    I can’t take credit for DJ’s work….
    Leadership is one of IA’s biggest problems, and I don’t foresee a senior general stepping up as needed. Its going to have to come from the bottom up, and that will take years. Our transition teams will be there long after the ‘surge’ is forgotten.

  • anand says:

    Greg, the top IA (Iraqi Army) leaders are:
    -Commander in Chief PM Maliki
    -Iraqi Defense (MoD) Minister Abdul-Qader Mohammed al-Obeidi who reports to PM Maliki
    -General Babikr Zibari, chief of Iraqi army staff [top uniformed officer in IA? Does he double as Iraqi Joint Forces Command {JFC} Commander?)
    The Iraqi Joint Forces Command controls the IA (IGFC), Airforce, Navy, ICTC, ISC, ITDC
    The Iraqi Army reports to the Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IGFC), which is commanded by Lt. Gen. Ali Ghaidan Majid
    The only other 3 star General in the IA that I know about is Baghdad Operational Commander (BOC) Lt. Gen. Abud Qanbar (Commands all Iraqi Security Forces in Baghdad Province–more than 70,000). Lt. Gen. Abud Qanbar reports jointly to the MoD and MoI.
    I wish what Bill said wasn’t true: “Leadership is one of IA’s biggest problems, and I don’t foresee a senior general stepping up as needed. Its going to have to come from the bottom up, and that will take years.” But I can’t say that.
    Some of Iraq’s battalion and brigade commanders are very good.
    Does anyone else have thoughts?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Leadership is the biggest problem with expanding IA. All officers in IA above the rank of Major are former members of Saddam’s army. Those that are able to pass vetting have already done so. Which is why only Major and below are being offered a chance to rejoin.
    – Takes a year to train a 2lt (Plt leader).
    – Takes 3+ years experience to train a Cpt (Co cmdr).
    – Takes 6+ years experience to train a LTC (Bn cmdr).
    – Takes 10+ years experience to train a Col (Bde cmdr).
    – Takes 15+ years experience to train a MG (Div cmdr).
    We have been building the IA for less than 4 years.
    Those are minimums that allow for the accelerated promotions that go with combat experience. Faster than that is dangerious for all concerned. Look up the average time in service for a US MG in WWII and you will find it longer. Experience is not optional for a combat commander…
    E.G.: The Current Commander of 5th IA Div and the Diyala Operational Command was a Staff Brigadier General at the begining of May. Now he is a MG commanding a Div and dual-hatted as commander of all ISF in Diyala (Corps command is a LTG’s job). We are pushing them up as fast as possible but, there are too few to go around…

  • Andrew R. says:


    I noticed that Brookings still has the Iraqi Army numbers at 154,500 for May and 158,900 for June and July. These numbers don’t seem to reflect an increase of 10k soldiers. Has the State Department not updated its numbers or have the last few months been bad for attrition?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Andrew R.
    Look up State’s 25 July weekly report (last one in July) and read source page for the ISF numbers.
    They have not updated the ISF since 27 Jun…

  • Matthew says:

    DJ Elliot, excellent work, at least to my untrained eye 😀
    Just a quick question. I know you don’t report on unit sizes below Brigade size. Is the omission of the Australian Overwatch Task Group in Dhi Qar because of the small size of our contribution to the coalition? Are they “embedded” with another unit (the British unit perhaps) in your map or left out entirely?

  • anand says:

    DJ is refering to Staff Major General Abdul Kareem al Robai, commanding officer for 5th IAD and DOC:
    Another example of fast promotion is //
    (Brig. Gen. Moutaa Habeeb Jassim Jewab, 2nd Iraqi Army Division Commanding General in Ninewah Province.)
    In fact, Brig. Gen. Moutaa Habeeb Jassim Jewab and his 2nd Iraqi Army Division headquarters element were “conducting cordon and search operations in northeast Mosul when Safi [Al Qaeda’s Mosul Emir] and three of his bodyguards were spotted in a pickup truck. The convoy gave chase and pulled the vehicle over. All four men exited the pickup and began firing at the IA soldiers. Moutaa and his security element returned fire, killing all three.”
    Bill’s previous post discusses this.
    All I can say is way to go Brig. Gen. Moutaa!!!

  • Marcello says:

    Have there been any further news about plans to purchase SAMs and ATGMs?

  • greg says:

    I apologize for giving Bill the credit for your writing. You both do amazing work. What do either of you predict would happen if ALL U.S. forces were withdrawn from Iraq by April 2008 as some politicians have announced as their goal ?

  • ajacksonian says:

    Getting a reliable command structure in-place, plus all the necessary military justice structures stood up takes time.
    On the first count is actually having reliable commanders work their way up through the ranks with a ‘hands-on’ knowledge of operations and trustworthiness not only to the command structure but to the troops… this is something generally unknown in most Middle Eastern Nations. Creating an Army in overview, is a difficult thing to do and most of the actual war colleges in the US date from the beginning of the 20th century. Even with that ready system to spin up good commanders, after the Vietnam era the time it took to replace good personnel with experience and then train a new generation in a volunteer Armed Forces took time. By the mid-1980’s that new set of Armed Forces had regenerated itself and had experienced set-backs in 1979 and 1983-4, yet the confidence was restored and a newer, capable system came out of that. Iraq has *never* had a merit based Armed Forces in living memory. So this is from scratch, and they are utilizing the US methodologies of force competence and ability given their lowered technology base, so that they can have a readiness level understood by them and by the MNF. It speaks volumes how much the IA has learned and inculcated these practices, and the effectiveness of them is measurable.
    The overall concept of military justice is also being stood up with this structure as it forms the system of accountability within the force structure itself. Keeping the Iraqi Army that fights for all of Iraq is primary, and the views by Michael Yon and others over the last year or so point to a highly integrated force drawing from all segments of Iraq. This, too, is not something common in the Middle East, and factional power systems amongst Armed Forces and within units is more the norm as seen in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan…. any set of armed forces that has internal coherence and combined arms capability is a threat to an authoritarian regime, especially if cross-integrated so as to break down social differences. Accountability to these norms is a long-term key asset for Iraq… not only for the military but the police, also. When Iraq stands up a robust ‘internal affairs unit’ for its police establishment and enforces common working rules to obey the laws, then they will have something little seen in the Middle East.
    To get there the killers must be ended, and Iraqis now step up to the plate to fight so that they have a reason to live for tomorrow. And that political part only starts to ramp up once society coheres inside Iraq. And when that happens the Provincial elections, when the law for them can get made, will re-align Iraq internally. That then brings accountability of a whole, different sort…

  • DJ Elliott says:

    The Aussies are a Battalion Task Group and are not on the map just as 13th MEU is not on the map. The Korean and Polish Bdes are borderline on being removed from the map…
    Nothing so far. OPSEC has improved considerably. I have not seen a mention of weapon’s purchases all month with the exception of complaints about delays.
    Impractical logistical goal. Took longer to return all from Kuwait in 1991 and we have lost transport capacity to the “peace dividend”.
    To retreat that fast would require US to abandon 70 percent of our equipment and flat out run (rout). Nothing that has been done so far justifies that.
    Rate of withdraw would be at one Bde/month at fastest (incl equipment) and that would take US to summer 2009 if ordered now. And (per the constitution), only the CINC can order that. Congress is not in the chain-of-command.
    I expect US to have major forces in Iraq thru 2010 just for the basic practical logistics of a drawdown. Our current President does not leave the job of CINC until Jan 2009. If a new president gave the order 5min after swearing in, it still would be the end of 2010 before it could be acomplished…
    True enough. Working with an all volunteer Iraqi force and training teeth (2003-), then instructors (2005-), logistics (2006-), support (2006-), Artl (2009-), etc. has built a serious force in a very systomatic way.
    As someone who first entered US Naval Service in 1981, I remember the hollow military very well. That is why I laugh at the ignorance and gulability of those that say we have a broken military. I have seen what that looks like and we are nowhere near it.
    If we were to run from Iraq, then the US Army would be broken, the moral hit would cost us in recruiting and retention worse than any fight

  • Andrew R. says:

    I’m not sure I follow you. State’s report also has the numbers at a constant 158,900.

  • templar knight says:

    Wow, the kind of information, research, and commentary I can find nowhere else. Thank you, gentlemen.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Andrew R
    That is the new report. It wasn’t there when I wrote the reply. I have a request in to MNSTC-I for update numbers. Something does not fit here…
    Bootcamp is only 5 weeks. May had a 14k jump. Jun has 4k. Jul should have had 10k+.

  • David Tate says:

    IA orders more ILAVs from Force Protection:

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Two versions of the Badger (4×4 version of Cougar) are being purchased by IA.
    One is an engineer version with robots and arm for mine (IED) clearance.
    22 is a small order since the contract has options to go to 1050. Suspect that is just part of the follow up going thru…
    (Note: Last month was when the ISF budget for next year was to be sorted out by GoI. Expect orders for more equip to filter thru over next couple of months as they finish the paperwork…)

  • mxpwr03 says:

    Interesting & informative story, in addition I think we all benefit from the follow up Q&A session you provide Mr. Elliot.
    That map is a piece of art, so much information. I’m glad to see that the KRG is being mobilized and sent out to adjacent areas, as this type of mobilization helps to build trust among different ethnic/tribal groups. Probably doesn’t hurt Kurdish pride either.
    There does seem to be all around improvement in the ISF, especially reinforcing already existing skills. The autonomous force projection in Ninawa & parts of Al-Anbar truly supports the notion that the ISF continue to improve on a daily basis. Segmenting from this point, the use of SF embed teams within IA companies is an interesting development with respect to providing MNF support to the IA. Much of this small team support activity seems to be focused in Afghanistan, but it makes sense to place SF teams within IA units to help out with security matters and operational planning. Testing SF embed missions such as these will help to determine if similar missions are productive towards a long term solution in providing force support for the ISF as the country continues to develop and reach those long term human capital goals of leadership command (15+ years for a Major, wow).

  • DJ Elliott says:

    “…(15+ years for a Major, wow).”
    MG = Major General (Maj = Major)
    Considering how many LTC and Col retire from the US Army with 30 years in service. That is a bare minimum…
    US SOF has been working with ISF all along. Primarily with I SOF Bde and the Div/Bde Scout Companies. SOF training by equivalent US SOF troops…

  • anand says:

    “That map is a piece of art, so much information.” Here, Here.

  • mxpwr03 says:

    Ooooh, I have yet to master military acronyms. Thanks for the follow up, now I just have to wait for a good book to be published on the SF & Iraq instead of SF & Afghanistan.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Worse. Each service has it’s own dialect(s) and each rate/MOS has it’s own sub-dialect.
    I used to claim that I should get pro-pay for being able to translate “armyese”…

  • CoRev says:

    DJ, Bill et. al. are track backs turned off Trying, using Haloscan and getting error message. Sorry for this Admin msg. Please remove if inappropriate.

  • andrew says:

    I have a question about building an Iraqi military. If it takes x years for an American officer to be trained, how long would it take for his Iraqi equivalent to be produced?
    As far as I can see an Iraqi has one major disadvantage and two advantages over his American counterpart. The disadvantage is obviously having grown up in Saddam Hussein Iraq, which is pretty devastating. But, an Iraqi is getting an “on the job training” that few American officers could ever receive. And the Iraqis don’t have to be up to par with the American military, just good enough to get the job done in that region.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    We train officers over 4 years in the “trade-schools” (Academies). The four IA Officer Academies are 9 month programs.
    Most US officers are college graduates that go thru OCS. A similuar program is being worked on for IA. That results in a green second leutenant…
    When LTG Dempsey gave his last interview as MNSTC-I, he also mentioned a plan to accelerated promotions based on experience since “they are getting a lifetime of experience every day in Baghdad”. So far, that has not happened. Requires change in MoD policy and GoI law…
    The number of years I listed above are very close to minimum. Less than 15 years to get to Division command is something that has not been normal in the US military since the civil war…

  • anand says:

    By the end of this year, it looks like the IA will have (excluding ISOF) 43 IA brigades + 9 SI Brigades in the process of being re-blued and converted to light infrastructure infantry brigades = 52 IA brigades total.
    + 13 Division HQs.
    By the end of 2008, how many brigades is the IA likely to have?
    The 52 IA brigades from end 2007 will probably be improved to Cat Level 2 or 1. And a few more brigades will be formed. Will the new bdes be fire bdes or other bdes?
    How do we know that 13 Fire bdes will be formed? Might the IA not attach fire bns to each existing IA bde and chose not to add so many fire bdes?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Standard TO/E is to have a heavy Mortar or FA Battalion per Bde and a FA Bde per Division. ~6x mortar/FA Bns in a Div total.
    If the plan is to stand up the Fires Bdes and FA/Mortar Bns starting next year, and it looks and sounds like it is, then they have 13 Field Artillery Bdes composed of 78-91x mortar/FA Bns, 13x BSTBs, 13x BSBs, prob 13x ADA Bns, plus the logistics elements and the engr/EOD elements not formed this year for the new divisions…
    That and attrition replacement would wipe out a year’s thruput of training for the IA. I suspect they will stretch the program out for at least 2 years and start with the Mortar/FA Bns.
    The reason I expect them to continue with the Bns’ 6 tube Btrys, then the Bdes’ 24 tube Bns and then the Divs’ 72 tube Bdes, is leadership. They do not have sufficient personnel to command those new Bdes and this would delay than problem for one more year…

  • Amador says:

    As I read this, I am reminded that Iraq has no air force. That would put the vast Iraqi army at the mercy of Iran in the event we pull out.
    Therefore, I believe the American military presents in Iraq will last for decades, and Iraq is intended to be our main ME ally. I approve and support such a plan. The training of Iraqi forces should and will benefit us as repayment for all this good will.
    Let the democrats drink koolaid.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Minimum of five years to train and equip a basic air and air Defense. A decade would be closer at current pace…
    4 Aug “Advisor” mentioned that the Jet Rangers were transfering to the Kirkuk Flight Training School when it stands up later this year. It is also getting Cessna 172s for basic flight training. The contract for 18 C172s (with option for 10 more) was announced on 3 Aug.
    The Iraqi Air Force Technical Training School at Taji only stood up at the begining of summer.
    Total size of IZAF is that of a small Transport Group at this time and it was not going to grow any larger without those schools…

  • Bruce says:

    Awesome array of information to inform the public of what’s happening in Iraq. Do you or anyone out there happen to know the order of battle of the non-INP units in Baghdad? Police units similar to what we have in the states–county/local police? Thanks, haven’t seen much information about these units getting funding, etc.

  • anand says:

    See //“ width=”322″ height=”278″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ >
    if you want addition info on the Iraqi Air Force.
    Bruce, look at pages 2-4 of:
    It summarizes some info on Provincial IP.
    If you want more detailed info you will have to shift through many articles at:
    Info about local IP would probably be tabulated at the provincial level. Sometimes they are partly made available through regional command MNF-I briefs.
    Regarding funding, the GoI will probably spend 9 to 9.5 billion this year on “all” ISF. The US government will probably spend on the order of 4.5 to 5 billion this year on “all” ISF.
    For specific breakdowns below that look up the national budget of the GoI. Note, however, that ministries can also spend appropriated but “unspent” money allocated from previous years.
    The GoI is not known for its amazing transparency.


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