Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: September 2007 Update

The September 2007 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB Page. Significant changes include a shift in focus to re-enforce Basrah, the establishment of three more “Operational Commands,” the expansion and development of the Iraqi Air Force, and the potential reduction of the Iraqi National Police for lack of available competent and trustworthy leadership. The significant changes to the Order of Battle are summarized below.

During August, three new “Operational Commands” in Samarra, Basrah, and Karbala were formed. These headquarters are joint corps-level (or greater) commands and represent a significant increase in Iraqi command and control. Of particular significance, was the establishment of the Basrah Operational Command under the command of General Mohan (four-star equivalent). The establishment of the Basrah Operational Command, 14th Division, addition of at least two more brigades to the two already stationed in Basrah, and the dispatch of the first expansion battalion from Iraqi Special Operations Force indicate serious concern for the situation in Basrah. As the Vice Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Joint staff said: “We do not have enough forces there. That is why we are having a new division, the 14th Division, to be built in Basrah, especially with the possibility that the British might be leaving us in time.” (Note: MNSTC-I PAO has confirmed that the nomenclature 13 is not being used; thus, the 14th Division is the designated number for the next Iraqi Army division.)

The first class of Iraqi Air Force cadets is graduating on September 12 and some will go on to flight training. A contract for 18 Cessna C-172 aircraft (including an option for 10 more), for use as Iraqi basic trainers has been signed and the Jet Rangers are being transferred to the Kirkuk Flight Training School. Other contracts include flight training devices and the conversion of 16 more helicopters from US stocks to Huey II standards.

Training, equipping, and manning improvements continue. US personal weapons continue to be issued and trained on by the Iraqi 7th, 8th, and 9th Divisions. This upgrade continues in parallel with an increase in manning of Iraqi Army units. Examples of this increased manning include the 1-1 Brigade (fully manned), 1-7 Brigade (80 percent), and the overmanned 4-6 Brigade (5000 personnel). Over 107,000 are expected to be trained for the Ministry of Defense this year (by end year). Over 14,000 are to graduate during September with the completion of cycle six. The major difficulty is training leadership in the officer and (especially) non-commissioned officer ranks. Current Iraqi Army strength is 125 battalions and 37 more are forming.

Ministry of Interior’s National Police (NP) continues to receive negative reporting while it is reformed. All of the NP division and brigade commanders and over half of the battalion commanders have been relieved over the last year. There are 1,500 files under review for dismissal and potential charges. Thirty “very senior” officials have been removed. The situation is so bad that the Iraqi Minister of Interior is considering the reduction in size of the NP due to lack of available competent and trusted leadership. Elsewhere in the Ministry of Interior, the regular Iraqi Police have been authorized to expand by 30,000, from roughly 135,000 to 165,000; 12,000 of those personnel will be added to Baghdad over the next 6 months; 6,000 have been vetted and are in training for Diyala; and 7,000 have been vetted and have been hired for Anbar. Reporting of the deployment of a “new security force” continues as Kurdish Regional Guards are fielded to protect infrastructure.


  • Terry Gain says:

    Please clarify: what is the difference between NP and “regular Iraqi Police”? How many personnel are there in each group? And what is the size of the IA?
    Much obliged and thank you for all your hard and informative work.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Page 8
    – Total MoI includes NP, DBE, Diplomatic Security and the “regular Iraqi Police”.
    – NP is the Federal level Iraqi Police that are organized as a nine brigade paramilitary internal security force and is 25,300 at last report.
    – IPs or “regular Iraqi Police” are the local and provincial IPs and are listed at 135,000.
    Iraqi Army is over the 170,000 mark according to MNSTC-I.
    At current rates of training, IA will be ~200,000 at end-year.

  • joe says:

    Does anyone know who is doing the vetting of the iraqi police force? If it is the Ministry of the Interior or pretty much anyone affiliated with Dawa, scii, or Sadr then that will likely not do much good at all. The recommendation by Gen. James Jones to scrap the National Police and start anew is the best advice I heard in a long time. Also the ministry of the interior and pretty much the whole Iraqi political scene as it is right now needs a complete redo so it is more in line with our regional policy.

  • TS Alfabet says:

    “Also the ministry of the interior and pretty much the whole Iraqi political scene as it is right now needs a complete redo so it is more in line with our regional policy.”
    as much as we Americans would like to forget it at times, Iraq is now, again, a sovereign nation that has invited us to stay on, with UN mandate, to build security etc… Even were it possible to do so, it would be foolish for the U.S. to try to “redo” their national political establishment to get it in line with our “regional policy” (whatever that is).
    I sympathize with the sentiment, but we have to be careful to allow the Iraqis to get their own political house in order. The childish braying from D.C. politicians for Maliki’s ouster, for example, are extremely counterproductive to our cause. Instead, we need to recognize that huge, dramatic political changes *are* occurring in Iraq at the *local* level and those changes will be felt at the top when new elections are held in 2009 (if not before). David Kilcullen at Small Wars Journal has an excellent piece on this.

  • Tom says:

    I’d be loath to give the Democrats any credit at all,
    but right now, re the Iraqi government, I think the pols are playing Good Cop, Bad Cop.
    Nah, I guess I really don’t believe that, but in Nov. ’08, if the situation in Iraq is “mighty-fine mighty-purdy”, then I bet the Demos will be saying that – no, we didn’t really want to retreat, we were just playing bad cop.
    Over all, other than the NP and the lack of higher grade officers in the IA, I thoght the report was positive.

  • This is fascinating, and encouraging.

    The Thunder Run is always worth reading, especially the Web Recon. Today, I read not only two interesting reports on Iran’s Ahmedinejad declaring that “the nuclear matter is closed” and claiming that his Uranium enrichment is somehow …


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