The May 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 April are summarized below.
Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC)
During General Petraeus’ testimony on April 8, the schedule for Iraq’s provinces taking primary responsibility for their own security was listed on one of the slides. In the plan for Provincial Iraqi Control, Anbar is scheduled for June 2008, Qadisiyah for July, Babil and Wasit for November, Baghdad and Diyala for December, Ninewa and Salahaddin for January 2009, and Kirkuk (Tamin) is to be determined. The schedules for Provincial Control regularly have slid backward and should be looked at as tentative until each handover ceremony is actually held.
Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IGFC) Quick Reaction Forces (QRF)
The 1st Iraqi Army Division has officially joined the 9th Iraqi Army Mechanized Division as a part of the Iraqi Ground Forces Command Quick Reaction Forces. The forces currently under 1st Division in Basrah are the 1st, 3rd, 14th, and 26th Brigades from Anbar and Salahadin Provinces. Their rapid deployment to Basrah with no notice indicated a significant improvement in Iraqi Army capabilities. In August 2006, the Iraqi Army couldn’t deploy three battalions to Baghdad with a month’s notice. They had some difficulty deploying three brigades to Baghdad in early 2007 with plenty of notice. Now they are able to deploy an entire division to Basrah in five days with no notice. This would be difficult even for the US Army to accomplish.
The forces belonging to the 1st and 9th Divisions are almost all deployed out of their garrisons which indicates they have no further reserves in the QRF available at this time.
1st Division HQ based: Habbenayah, Anbar. Deployed to: Basrah.
• 1st Brigade based: Ramadi, Anbar. Deployed to: Basrah.
• 2nd Brigade based: Falujah, Anbar. Deployed to: Taji, north Baghdad (probably for motorization and training).
• 3rd Brigade based: Habbenayah, Anbar. Deployed to: Basrah.
• 4th Brigade based: Abu Ghraib, Anbar. Deployed to: Baghdad (Rusafa).
9th Division HQ based: Taji, north Baghdad. Deployed to: Forward Operating Base Hammer, south Baghdad.
• 34th Brigade based: Taji, north Baghdad. Deployed to: FOB Hammer, south Baghdad.
• 35th Brigade based: Taji, north Baghdad. Deployed to: Baghdad (Sadr City).
• 36th Brigade based: Taji, north Baghdad. Deployed to: Basrah (except one battalion).
• 37th Brigade based: Taji, north Baghdad. Deployed to: Mosul (except one battalion).
The deployment of 14th and 26th Brigades to Basrah indicates that the 4th and 7th Divisions may be added to the Quick Reaction Forces. However, this is unconfirmed. The assignment of the 4th Division would not be likely until the 12th Division finishes splitting off and assuming control of its sector. The assignment of the 7th Division would make all the Iraqi Army forces in Anbar part of the Quick Reaction Force.
Iraqi Army (IA) Force Development
The 29th IA Brigade graduated the Unit Set Fielding program at Habbenayah on April 3. This was the first brigade to graduate this training and equipping program from a location other than Besmaya. This graduation combined with the 1st Iraqi Army Engineer Infrastructure Battalion graduating the same program on April 2 indicates the expansion of the program and an acceleration of unit fielding. The Iraqi Army has been fielding one new brigade per month average over the last year.
On April 20, it was announced that Iraq has engaged in a contract to purchase 411 Symphony counter-improvised explosive device jammers. “After numerous technical and administrative delays, fielding is now under way within the Baghdad area of operation. Along with tier one and two vehicles the system will also be distributed to a number of Iraqi forces as well,” said Coen McFarland, Program Office Liaison. “These forces include the Iraqi Special Operation Forces, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of the Interior elements to include the Iraqi Army, police, national police and explosive ordinance disposal units.” The system is already up and running in a few vehicles with more slated within the next month and the rest of the systems to be fully employed by summer. “To field the remaining systems this summer the fielding efforts will be transitioned from here to Taji,” said McFarland. “The Taji National Depot will be our long term Symphony installation and maintenance facility after the transition.”
On April 28, the first operational mention of the EE9 equipped 37th Reconnaissance Battalion was noted in reporting. This battalion is apparently advised by US Special Forces. It received its 90mm gun armed armored cars in January.
Issue of M4 and M16s has started at Qayyarah West. This indicates that the northern divisions are now being re-equipped with US personal arms. Previous issues have been from Habbenayah, Taji, and Besmaya. Iraqi Divisions equipped with US personal arms are the 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 14th, and ISOF.
Ministry of Interior
The 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade of the Iraqi National Police graduated phase III Carabinieri training on April 21. This is the third battalion to graduate this advanced training. The other two are the Emergency Response Unit (Dec 19, 2007) and the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade (Feb 19, 2008). One battalion per brigade is to receive this training and then that battalion will train the rest of its brigade.
Iraq’s Department of Border enforcement has renumbered its 12 brigades. Like the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi National Police, they are now consecutively numbered.
Speculation on future Corps and the Status of the Peshmerga
In “The Real Surge Continues: Iraqi Army Corps Formation,” last month’s update was corrected. What follows is more speculation on the future organization and strength of the Iraqi Army.
On April 17, the Iraqi Chief of Staff indicated that the two Peshmerga divisions will be under the Ministry of Defense like the other IA Divisions. This is only a quarter of the Peshmerga’s size. On April 23, “The Premier announced significant progress on the future and status of the Peshmerga forces, the constitutionally mandated regional guard. Two divisions of the Peshmerga will be incorporated into the Iraqi army and stationed in the Kurdistan Region. The other Peshmerga forces will be funded by a special allocation from Baghdad and form a regional guard for the Kurdistan Region. A commission from the federal Ministry of Defence will travel to the Kurdistan Region to address the issue in the near future.” This indicates that the Kurdish Regional Government has negotiated an agreement with the Government of Iraq for a de facto fifth Iraqi Corps: The Kurdish Regional Guards.
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