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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