The May 2009 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.
Iraqi Army Force Developments.
The Taji National Maintenance Depot is now known as the Joint Base Factory, or the JBF. This re-designation indicates the continued expansion of the support base. One of the functions of the JBF is the refurbishment of transferred US HMMWVs. The 5,000th M1114 was transferred on April 22. The target goal is still 8,500 of the vehicles transferred by July 2009.
The Al Memona Location Command is currently scheduled for completion by September 2009. This facility is part of the addition of a new Iraqi Army Division splitting the 10th Division area.
The Iraqi Army is also starting K9 training. The 2-6/2 Battalion is reported receiving K9 training. It appears that dog training is now a priority in the Iraqi Security Forces.
The training of Iraqi troops on M120 120mm mortars continues. Elements of the 46/12 Brigade are training on 120mm mortars at the Sabre Range in Diyala Province. The Iraqi Army 46/12 Brigade and 47/12 Brigade are both reported receiving training on the 120mm mortar. At Taji, the Iraqi Army 42/11 Brigade is also receiving M120 120mm mortar training. The Iraqi army is scheduled to receive 120mm mortars starting June 2009. Pending receipt of their own mortars, this training has been with US Army M120 mortars. Ten Iraqi Army brigades are to form and equip 120mm mortar batteries in 2009. Five of those 10 brigades have been identified in training. They are 23/17, 38/10, 42/11, 46/12, and 47/12 Brigades.
The Iraqi Army continues to add reconnaissance battalions to the divisions. The 17th Division’s Commando/Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Battalion was first reported on publicly in April. The 3-39/10 Battalion is training as commando battalion at Camp Ur. That makes two commando battalions trained or in training in the 10th Division. One located in Maysan (3-41/10) and one in Dhi Qar (3-39/10). This duplication of divisional commandos is probably for the planned split of 10th Division into two divisions.
The 10th Division conducted a combined arms live fire exercise on April 19. The exercise included the coordinated use of mortars, DZIK3 armored personnel carriers, HMMWVs. Mi-17 helicopters, and troops, including US air and artillery support. This was the Iraqi Army’s first combined arms live fire exercise.
A new battalion has been identified in the 10th Division. The 4-41/10 Battalion has been reported operationally based at FOB Hunter.
Iraqi Air Force Developments.
The official contract for 24 Bell 407 helicopters, with an option to purchase up to 26 additional Bell 407 helicopters has been awarded. This contract allows 27 months to deliver the 24 helicopters and up to 13 months more if the option for 26 more is exercised. This means the delivery of the first 24 helicopters will be by August 2011 and the option for 50 total Bell 407s (if exercised) is to be complete by Sept. 30, 2012.
The purchase of six C130J aircraft has been reduced to only four. This reduction in the order is probably due to the budget cuts.
The Basrah Air Base has expanded its quarters. According to the report, “…this expansion is vital for the 450 additional airmen who will be reporting for duty here.” This addition indicates that Basrah is soon to add a squadron.
The Iraqi 3rd Reconnaissance Squadron based at Kirkuk is receiving Hellfire air-to-ground training with their Armed Caravan (AC-208) Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance aircraft.
Iraqi Navy Force Developments.
The new flagship of the Iraqi Navy is to be reflagged and commissioned on May 15, after which the “Fatah” (PS-701) is to set sail for Iraq from Italy. The trip from Italy will take 29 days. This slow transit will be used as a shakedown cruise and will include training en route.
On April 30, the Khawr al Amaya oil export platform transferred to Iraqi command. The Iraqi 1st Marine Commando Battalion has been in the lead for security on the two oil transfer platforms for over a year.
Iraqi Ministry of Interior Forces.
Reports of Iraqi Police K9 training continue. The Tikrit Police and Wassit Police have been reported receiving K9 training in April. Apparently, dog training is a priority for the Iraqi Security Forces at this time.
The Dhi Qar Police have added a 4th Emergency Battalion to its operational paramilitary force. The Basrah police paramilitary brigade is now being called a Tactical Support Unit. All of the Iraqi Police provincial paramilitary emergency brigades in Ministry of Interior Region V are now called Tactical Support Units.