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This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during December 2013. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 31 December 2013.
- Army: New EPD to be Lt Infantry Division and 4th Infantry Division probably moving to Anbar; New SP Artillery Battalion activated in 9th Armor Division.
- Aviation: New Transport Squadron in IqAF; 6 Mi-35s delivered – no other Russian helos; 3 ARH407 delivered; 24 T50IQ ordered.
- ISOF: Joint Special Operations Command?
- MoI: 10th DBE Brigade shifts to III Region.
The sixth course in light artillery [120mm mortars] graduated for the new forming Iraqi Army Energy Protection Division [EPD]. This indicates this division will not be a security division but will be a light infantry division. Previous reporting placed the EPD’s HQ in Salahadin province which could mean it is to replace the 4th Infantry Division. In the same edition of Khaima was a report on the communications network for 4th Infantry Division which indicated they have shifted subordination from Tigris Operational Command [TOC] to Jazirah Operational Command [JOC]. This probably means 4th Infantry Division will be replaced by the EPD in Salahadin and will redeploy to JOC [Anbar/Ninawa].
A second Self Propelled Howitzer Battalion has activated in 9th Armor Division. It is probably designated 309th Field Artillery Regiment. This leaves 1 more artillery regiment to form to fill out the 9th Divisional Artillery Command. This is the only IA Division to have more than 2 Divisional Artillery Battalions – 4 are planned per division.
The An-32s have their own squadron. The 27 November Khaima reported on air ambulance training with the 23rd and 33rd Squadrons using C130s and An-32s. Prior to this the C130s and An-32s were reported to all be part of 23rd Squadron.
The first batch of 4 Mi-35 helicopters were flown to Iraq in late November and flight tested/accepted on 2 December. An additional 2 Mi-35s are also reported to have arrived and are operational. Only 6 Mi-35s have been delivered. No Squadron number has been mentioned for these Mi-35s. Iraqi press is full of wild and inaccurate speculation as to numbers and types of helicopters delivered by Russia. According to a Russian Aviation source, 6 Mi-35s have delivered and are operational, the Mi-28s have yet to be flight tested in Russia, and no Ka-52s were ever ordered. [Comment: “The first casualty in war is the truth.” Most mainstream press do not know or care about the difference between fact or fiction in their propaganda.]
An additional 3 US ARH-407s have delivered to Iraq bringing those total numbers to 30.
The 11 December Khaima confirmed the order for 24 Korean T50 Jet Trainers. These jet trainers are to deliver starting April 2016 and complete delivery within 12 months [April 2017]. Discussions were held with representatives of Lockheed Martin for the training of F16 pilots using the T6 and T50 aircraft through 2018. Also mentioned was that Ali [Tallil] and Balad Air Bases will be the first 2 bases to receive F16s. While the T50 Jet Trainers are being called the T50IQ, the description of those aircraft and their Role/Mission indicates they are TA50 versions. The 18 December Khaima stated that “The purchase of the Korean aircraft will offer a protective power to defend Iraq. The aircraft will be used for training and medium military activities. The commander in chief said that the T50 contract is not the only weapons contract between the two sides and more advanced equipment and weapons to support the Iraqi military will be acquired.” What other South Korean weapons are to be bought was not specified.
Iraqi Special Operations Command
There has been repeated reporting of a "Joint Special Operations Command” in the Iraqi press. This is probably a renaming of the Counter-Terrorism Command as former MoI Emergency Response Units [SWAT Battalions] are added to the force to expand it to 3 divisions.
Ministry of Interior
The 10th DBE Brigade and its area of northern Maysan has shifted to the DBE III Region vice IV Region. IV Region [Maysan/Basrah] was over strength [5 Brigades] and III Region [Diyala/Wasit] was under strength [2 Brigades] which makes this a practical shift of forces and AORs. A fourth brigade is also probably formed or forming in III Region. This would leave the V Region [Saudi Border] as the only under strength DBE Region [1 Brigade].