Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: March 2008 Update

Iraqi and Coalition forces Order of Battle as of Feb. 29, 2008.

The March 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 February are summarized below.

During late January and early February, the Iraqi National Police (INP) 2-1 Brigade and elements of the Iraqi Army’s (IA) 11th Division began operating north of Baghdad. The area north of Baghdad is normally controlled by the IA 9th Mechanized Division, but significant elements of the 9th deployed to Mosul to conduct clearing operations. The IA 4-9 and (at least elements of) the 2-9 Brigades are deployed to Mosul.

Iraqi press is reporting more Peshmerga forces are to go to Mosul. As part of the Government of Iraq’s 2008 budget deal, the Kurdish Regional Government is transferring two divisions to the Iraqi Army. The Iraqi National Police is also recruiting and establishing a brigade in Mosul. The al Saleh INP Brigade is to be formed partially from 1,000 recruits who have lost family members to al Qaeda.

The first Iraqi Army reconnaissance battalion has been established. “The planning of Iraq’s ministry of defense and the hard work of many caused the Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army Division to receive 35 rebuilt EE-9 Cascavels, Jan. 8.” This is the first IA battalion to be specifically designated reconnaissance and its nonstandard numeric designation indicates that it is temporarily assigned to the 4-9 Brigade. It will probably be re-subordinated directly under the 9th Division when it returns from Mosul. It is also the only IA battalion with the 90mm gun-equipped EE-9 Scout Car.

The Iraqi Army continues to form new units at Besmaya under the three-week Brigade Unit Set Fielding Program.

• On Feb. 13, the 3-14 IA Brigade graduated.

• The 4-5 IA Brigade started receiving its trucks.

• Elements of the new Iraqi Army Presidential Brigade was issued US weapons. The Presidentials are probably being assembled from existing operational battalions (vice forming new battalions.)

On Feb. 24, the 3-3-8 Iraqi Army Battalion was active at Kalsu. This is the second battalion of new replacement 3-8 IA Brigade to be active at Kalsu. This indicates that the 3-8 Brigade is at least 60 percent formed. The original 3-8 IA Brigade was sent to Basrah and re-designated 1-14 IA Brigade.

According to Colonel Scott, Security Assistance office of Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, they are concentrating on getting the Iraqi Army armored personnel carriers, especially BTRs, prior to getting tanks. “Until they have a main battle tank and a troop carrier, what we are is a BTR, which is a personnel carrier manufactured in the Ukraine. We would still procure that through U.S. procurement. They have to have a main battle tank and a troop carrier to create anything that resembles an army.” However, Lieutenant Colonel Muschalek, Security Assistance Program Manager for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, does not believe the Iraqis want to continue with Soviet type equipment. “The BTR case is very interesting because it was, in fact, signed and implemented, but recent discussions — it will probably not go forward as an executed case. Had it gone forward, they might have asked for what comes with the BTR-3 Echo One and it’s built in Ukraine. It comes with a 30-millimeter cannon system. So if that ever goes to fruition, they could end up with a 30 millimeter cannon system, however, I do not believe the BTR case will continue forward in the future because I think the Iraqis are more interested [in a] program that might steer away from the old Soviet-type platforms.” Of note, the Iraqi Air Force 3rd Squadron is the first to receive the new King Air 350 ISR reconnaissance aircraft.

“Carabinieri” training for the Iraqi National Police continues at Camp Dublin. The 1-2-1 INP Battalion graduated this seven-week course on Feb. 19. This was the second INP battalion to go through this advanced training. The INP Sustainment Brigade continues to be a target objective for this year. It is currently only 425 personnel, including a maintenance platoon and mostly HQ elements.

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  • Andrew R. says:

    Quick ISF question–I’ve been looking at the Brookings numbers for Iraqi police and have noticed that the numbers seem to be trending downward for the last couple of months. Is this just a temporary glitch or is there something more going on?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    The ISF numbers are being reported differently since Nov.
    The Brookings institute had been using the “trained” numbers.
    Those numbers do not allow for attrition.
    The numbers on-hand have been going up but, they had been counting total trained and the numbers on-hand is less.
    Especially since the IPs take five times the casualties as the military.
    Also, the MoI IP numbers included the FPS starting in March 2007.
    And the MoI has found that 1/3rd of that (~48,000) turned out to be ghost employees…

  • Mark Pyruz says:

    LTC Muschalek’s comments are interesting. Here on LWJ, I’ve seen pics of T-72/T55 tanks currently in use with the IA. He states that the Iraqis (presumably the IA) aren’t interested in Soviet type MBTs and APCs. Are they looking into new or surplus Western AFVs? If they’re looking into surplus, are M113 and M48 types under consideration? And what is the time frame for decision/delivery? Such an AFV composition would make the IA similar to contemporary arsenals found in Lebanon and Turkey.
    This Iraqi OB is handy. Does LWJ feature an OB for the various Iraqi paramilitary forces, as well as one for adversary forces?

  • Marcello says:

    “are M113 and M48 types under consideration? ”
    The first M113s were delivered as early as late 2004 IIRC.
    As for the tanks from what it has been said here they are interested into greek M60/48, although supposedly they wanted to get some additional
    T-72s as well.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    The extra T72s to fill out the 9th Div are in the works. They are NATO donations. Inspection of them is scheduled for Apr/May.
    LTC Muschalek’s comments are very interesting. They are also from an FMS only standpoint and that excludes any non-FMS purchases….
    The first reference by the Iraqi IGFC to potential M60/M113s for three divisions dates back to last Apr. There are only 29 countries that have pattons and the Greeks are the only ones removing them from inventory. They were offering 13 M60s of the 671 they were getting rid of to stay within CFE to ANA. Since then they have replaced that donation with Leopard Is. the only reason I can come up with for them not providing M60s or, as a replacement, 13 of their 400 M48s, is they found a buyer for ALL of their Pattons. The reason for their removal of the Pattons from their inventory is they are being replaced with Leopards. Only Iraq has expressed any interest in Pattons…
    Upgraded Patton 120S’ cost half as much as M1s and gives the same firepower, just not as much protection. And upgraded Pattons would be the same as what Turkey is going with…
    The only paramilitary that we adress is the INP/DBE/IP components in Iraq since the remainder is too nebulus. With some references to the Peshmerga as data becomes available. Note: the Peshmerga and the Badr elements are authorized by Iraqi law to be folded into the ISF, the JAM is not.
    They are also feeling out US about M1s. The Iraqi MoD even mentioned this to our congress in his last visit. I believe this is because they have already exhausted the cheaper sources of tanks (pattons) and need about 300 more to fill out their current planned TOE with the 1:3 ratio of heavy to Infantry divisions indicated by the Apr comments…
    Apr16: “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 objective is to have 10 divisions – six infantry, three mechanized and one armored – fully ready and equipped,”

  • SomeGuy says:

    Has there been any new data released on the M1114 transfer timeline to IA?
    Furthermore, in your opinion if the Patton purchase and 120mm upgrade is a feisible option for IA Heavy’s from a cost/benfit perspective, then has there been any talk in regards to purchasing one of the many NATO standard 105mm upgrade kits for T-55 chassis. It seems to me a more economical choice that pushes them away from Soviet era leftovers, enhances combat leathality and most importantly has minimal impact on trained maint/log units.
    Finally, what entity on the Iraqi side will be responsible for railroad security. MoI?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    “Has there been any new data released on the M1114 transfer timeline to IA?”
    – ~4244 of the 8500 are to be transfered this year. Almost 1,000 already are. The rest by end-2009. These used vehicles are already all there. As US units switch to MRAP, the HMMWVs transfer to IA. And new HMMWVs are bought for the unit stateside. All funded by the Iraqi Security Fund.
    “…has there been any talk in regards to purchasing one of the many NATO standard 105mm upgrade kits for T-55 chassis.”
    – They only have 72 T55s. They may or may not bother for only one armor brigade’s worth of tanks. I have seen no references to such a conversion and I have been looking. If they do not upgrade the all of the Pattons, then changing out to 105mm in the few T55s they have, for comonality, would be sensible.
    – As to cost effectiveness, the M60-120S costs half what an M1 does. And the basic M48/M60 costs 1/10th of an M1. An M1 costs $3,000,000. The IA needs 1500-1800 tanks…
    “Finally, what entity on the Iraqi side will be responsible for railroad security. MoI?”
    – A little of both MoI and MoD.
    – IA is primary on the area security and the tracks and is forming an Engineer Repair Force to take care of repairs to infrastructure. (Corps of Engineers)
    – Some exception in Baghdad where some of the sectors are INP primary.
    – MoT FPS (transfering to MoI) is the onboard police force.

  • SomeGuy says:

    Thanks for the info DJ.
    As far as the 105mm upgrades go, I know that both South Africa and Israel sell aftermarket “packages” to retrofit the old T-55’s. In addition to powerplant upgrades.
    I believe I’ve read it open source on GlobalSecurity in a few places.
    Not that I think the Israeli’s would be too excited about being involved with such a transaction.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    The South Aftrican conversion is the same as the Israeli one, dates back to when Israel was one of the few countries ignoring the South African arms embargo.
    And Iraq does buy from South Africa…

  • ALLAN says:

    How many M60 tanks does the IA currently have?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Might I sudgest you review the ISF OOB that this article is updating. Hint: Equipment Page.

  • anand says:

    LTG Dubik mentions that the IA (excluding ISOF) has:
    12 IA divisions (excluding the forming 12th IAD and the ideation stage 15th,16th,17th IADs)
    42 IA brigades
    146 IA bns
    Presumably these are all C3 or higher, and the 146 IA bns refers to combat IA bns only. There has been a surge in IA combat bns recently.
    My question is which are the 42 IA bdes he is refering to:
    -the original 35 IA bdes
    -3-9, 4-9, 4-4, 2-14 (former 5-10 and former semi SIB before that), 3 LIBs (former SIBs) in 4th IAD
    Why isn’t he refering to 1-11, 2-11? As of a few days ago, IA 3-14 is ORA level 3 in the fight in Southern Iraq . . . but it is too recent to enter Dubik’s breakdown.
    It seems like the next bde will be the newly forming IA 3-8 (already two bns formed.) Then the newly forming bde sent to Babil (for the future 15th) versus the IA 4-5 that is being delayed (till next round)? The IA 3-1 reduces the need for sending another bde to Diyala.
    5 of the 146 bns are going to be transferred to the Presidential bde. (the next bde HQs created will probably be for the Presidential bde.)
    Then the 4-5 IA.
    After these four bdes, the next might now be:
    -1 bde for At Tamin
    -4-3 IA
    -another for the future 15th IAD
    – 4-7 IA (delayed because Al Anbar is doing well)
    -4-14 IA
    -4-1 IA
    This pushes the total bdes less ISOF and presidential to 53 IA bdes. I have not accounted for the 16th/17th Peshmerga IADs. Maybe they will be added piecemeal by bdes and bns to avoid the perception of ethnically uniform forces.

  • anand says:

    LTG Dubic also mentioned that:
    -the IA has 9 MTRs (11th, 14th, 12th, 1 Peshmerga, 15th IAD, 2nd Peshmerga) are up next probably in that order. {MTR = Motorized Transportation Regiment}
    -the IA has 8 BSUs, 5 of which are fully manned (6th, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 4th?)
    -5 are forming (7th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 12th?) {BSU = Base Supply Unit or ammunition supply point, fuel point, maintenance facility, radio repair facility, dining facility, motor park.}
    Part of the Taji National Depot complex comes online in mid April.
    The IA needs “3,000 mechanics. They have a little bit over 1,000 now. And we think, through the period of 2008, we’ll get to at least 2,000, maybe a little bit more. “

  • Alex says:

    I remember a week or two ago that the Iraqi Air Force was looking at a theoretical aircraft called the A-67 that would be cheap and designed specifically for counterinsurgency operations. I was thinking though, Colombia has been using an existing aircraft for that purpose, the Embraer EMB 314. Why not just buy some of those?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    You are a bit out of date. A-67 first test flew in 2006. It is operational.
    The Iraqis are looking for 32 COIN birds and want them quick. That is why they dumped the FMS program and went to direct purchase on this program.
    My guess is that they are looking at both capability and speed of delivery…


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