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Iraqi Security Force Update August 2013


Divisional OOB as of 31 July 2013 


This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during July 2013.  The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 31 July 2013.  Key points include:

  • Army:  Shifting Army Divisions?;  Division Artillery Commands; 5-year maintenance support for vehicles provided under US EDA; 50 CBR vehicles for a CBR Rgt;  EDA Bulletin Board updated to May 2013.
  • Aviation:  Russian arms sale reporting still confused; Bell 412 SAR Helicopters for IqAF?; Hawk SAMs provided to Iraq via EDA FY13.
  • Navy/Marines:  12th PB delivered.
  • Interior:  MoI SWAT over 17,000?; 2 FP Brigades identified; 6th attempt to fix the OPD?
  • KRG:  An Arab Brigade in the Kurdish Regional Guards?




It was reported on 23 July that “The independent MP, from Babil province, Iskandar Witwit said that the central government has a plan to transfer the Army eighth Division, based in Babil and the tenth Division, based in Maysan province to the western and Diyala provinces to control the security situation there. There have been previous claims of plans to shift IA Divisions but they have not occurred due to political reasons.  If those 2 divisions are transferred north, it would be to replace 2nd and 5th Divisions so they could upgrade/train as mechanized in the south.  It is also possible that 14th Division could swap with 7th Division after the 14th has finished upgrading to facilitate the upgrade/training of 7th Division.  Of note, 2 brigades of the 10th Mechanized Division and its Commando Battalion are already reported in the northern provinces.  Additionally, a battalion of 14th Division [1-50/14] is reported in Ninawa Province.  The 2-26/7 Battalion is also reported at Taji and being called Mech – indicating it is in upgrade training out of 7th Division’s area.


The 10 July Khaima reported on the Artillery Directorate carrying out “summer training” on US artillery guns.  Training included firing of 32 shells by each gun, maneuvers and aiming, target acquisition, surveying and planning.  The “comprehensive training” program included the following units:  

  • 2nd Division Artillery Command and 102nd Medium Artillery Battalion [155mm]. 
  • 5th Division Artillery Command and 105th Medium Artillery Battalion [155mm]. 
  • 12th Division Artillery Command and 112th Medium Artillery Battalion [155mm]. 


This is the first report of “Division Artillery Commands” which indicates the stand up of at least 3 Divisional Artillery Brigade Headquarters.


Iraq has requested a possible sale to provide for a five year follow-on maintenance support for the following vehicles:

  • M88A1 Recovery Vehicle,
  • M88A2 Hercules,
  • M113 Family of Vehicles,
  • M109A5 Howitzers,
  • M198 Howitzers,
  • M1070 Heavy Equipment Trailer and Truck (HETT),
  • M977 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT),
  • High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), and the
  • Tactical Floating River Bridge System (TFRBS).


Effectively every piece of ground combat/support equipment provided through US EDA since 2008 is covered under this proposed contract.


Iraq has requested a possible sale of:

  • 50 M1135 Stryker Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles,
  • DECON 3000 Decontamination Systems,
  • M26 Commercial Joint Service Transportable Decontamination Systems (JSTDS),
  • AN/VRC-89 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS) with Global Positioning System (GPS),
  • AN/VRC-90 SINCGARS with GPS, M40A1 Protective Masks,
  • Lightweight Personal Chemical Detectors LCD-3,
  • Portable Chemical Warfare Agent Detectors GID-3,
  • MultiRAE PLUS Gas Detectors,
  • AN/VDR-2 Radiac Sets,
  • M256 Chemical Agent Detector Kits,
  • Decontamination Kits,
  • Chemical Biological Mask Canisters,
  • M8 Chemical Paper Agent Detector Kits, etc


While the Iraqi Army was reported starting to stand up Chemical Defense Regiments [Battalions] 2 years ago, this is the first serious CBR defense buy since 2003.


The US Excess Defense Articles Bulletin Board was updated from early FY2011 to May 2013.  In FY2011 a large amount of computer gear and 9 Armored Vehicle Launch Bridges was added to the already reported OH-58 spares and ribbon bridges.  For FY2012, the following items were provided to Iraq:    [FY13 is listed under Aviation.]

  • 51 Z Backscatter Vans [interesting],
  • 57 Armored Suburbans [2 entries for 48 and 9],
  • 173 Armored Utility Trucks,
  • 99 Uparmored Volvo Semi Tractors,
  • 336 Mercedes 384 Armored Semi Tractors.



Reporting on the Russian arms deal remains confused with a report of 30 Mi-28NE, plus an U/I number of Mig-29M/M2 and KA52s.  [At this point, I will not believe any numbers or types until the equipment shows up in Iraq.  The reported numbers and types are all over the place.]


Iraq has requested a possible sale of 12 Bell 412 EP helicopters equipped with Star SAFIRE III EO/IR systems, PT6T-3DF engines, KDM-706 Distance Measuring Equipment, KNR 634 VOR/LOC with MB/HSI, MST67A Transponder, Artex C406-1HM Emergency Locator Transmitter, Wulfsberg FlexComm II C5000 System with Synthesized Guard, KTR-908 Very High Frequency Radios, NAT AA-95 Audio System, 660 Weather Radar, AAI Radome, Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) Compatible Cockpit Lighting, SX-16 Nightsun, spare and repair parts, etc.  This equipment will provide the Iraqi Air Force with a search and rescue capability critical to developing a mature Air Force.” 

[Not Army Air Corps – IqAF.  In 2010 it was mentioned that IqAF Search and Rescue helicopters were to be collocated at the F16 bases.  This fits for 4 detachments of 3 helicopters for the 4 planned F16 Bases at Balad, Al Asad, Q-West, and Tallil.] 


The report of HAWK SAMs for Iraq was confirmed when the US EDA Bulletin Board updated to May 2013.  Listed under FY13 is what appears to be equipment for 4 ADA Batteries and a Spares/Training Battery. 

  • 16 XM304 Hawk Transporter-Launchers;
  • 3 M192 Hawk Towed Launcher;
  • 7 AN/MPQ-61 High-powered Illumination Radars;
  • 8 AN/MSW-19 Platoon Command Posts;
  • 3 M501E3 Loader/Transporter;
  • 2 Hawk Loader;
  • 11 M501L1 Hawk Loader;
  • 26 M1E2 Missile loading and storage pallets;
  • 21 MTM-23 Hawk Training Missiles;
  • 225 MIM-23E Hawk Missiles. 




The twelfth of 12 Swiftship Patrol Boats has delivered.  There is an option for 3 more of these boats but, there has been no report of it being exercised. 


Ministry of Interior


MoI’s SWAT is claimed to "...exceeds 17,000" in a demand to disband Emergency Response Brigades [the MoI’s Special Operations Force].  If correct, this indicates a minimum of 8 Brigades formed – probably more like 10.  MoI has been absorbing the better half of the provincial SWAT battalions by running them through MoI’s SWAT training and accepting the better 50% in each unit into the National ERBs.  An estimated 14 Brigades are planned – they are intended to be administratively the fifth brigade in each Federal Police Division.  Operationally these forces answer directly to the National Operational Center.


The 10 July Khaima mentioned an operation involving 2 previously unreported Federal Police forces operating in Ninawa:  The Al Jazira Brigade and the Tal Afar Defense Force had not been previously reported.  The Federal Police continue to retrain and absorb the Emergency Police but, have not reported forming any new Divisions despite having nationalized enough brigades for 8 FP Divisions.  14 FP Divisions are projected based on the combined size of the FP/EP [Not including KRG]. 


The 17 July Khaima reported on a new program to “reform the battalions of the oil police to make them effective in their role of protecting the assets.”  This would be the sixth attempt to fix the Oil Police since their formation.  Apparently the 10th Mechanized Division’s Commando Battalion is coordinating with the Oil Police while deployed to Bayji and may be involved in retraining and improving the logistical support for the Oil Police.


Kurdish Regional Guards


 It is rare that a KRG Brigade is identified and located in the press: “The Brayati Brigade is camping near the Zab sub-district, located 105 kilometers to the southwest of Kirkuk, as the Kurdistan Ministry of Peshmarga has formed the brigade from the Arabs of the area.”    An Arab Brigade in the Kurdish Regional Guards?



Dj. on the ORBAT you haven't included the future "VIP helicopter squadron" that the Army Aviation has been negotiating with Eurocopter for the last year or so.

sheytanelkebir (08/04/2013 04:28:19)


You got a number for that proposed squadron?

DJ Elliott (08/04/2013 04:45:17)


Yeah, I thought I had read something somewhere about that as well, maybe the Iraqi mil forum? Anyway that has gotten me thinking about something DJ and I wonder if you would agree: given such a tender (albeit an unconfirmed one) do you think that the IMoD is sourcing smaller number of niche vehicles so that vendors get preferred status on more lucrative future orders, while simultaneously allowing Iraq to test various vehicles for greater use in their future force structure? ie: 50 Strykers for NBC defense when they have been looking for years at acquiring either that or the LAV-25. The fight between Bell and EC for various helo contracts (SAR as the most recent case is now) for maybe a future medium lift or naval helo support order. Even the whole KA-50/ Mi-28NE/ AH-64 kerfuffle in seeking the best possible heavy attack helo for the Iraqi Army. What do you think?

Trophy_Wench (08/04/2013 11:35:02)


Expensive way to run a competition. The previous LAV25/Stryker/M1117/Romanian APC competition was a 4 way APC competition that the M1126 Stryker won - only to get canx during the budget crunch. M113s replaced that role. //// I look at the Bell 412 as being a IqAF buy vice AAC. Hense the difference. //// As to the Russian buys - I'm waiting to see what actually shows up. Too many conflicting numbers and types in the reporting and none of them are comming from IMoD - the companies selling have a vested interested in exagerating their sales to support the stock...

DJ Elliott (08/05/2013 01:16:33)


Hi DJ what do you think about the new DSCA orders, and how do they fit in the overall picture?

JW (08/06/2013 12:39:48)


1. Proposals only - we will see if they actually happen. /// I'm looking at the 4 SOCs and AOC as US equipped and defended with US SAMs [HAWK XXI/Avenger]. Why? MIJI. The 2nd I in MIJI stands for interferance. US SAMs are compatable with US EW radars/comms. //// That leaves 7 ASOC sites of which 6 are known locations. [actually 8 ASOCs but the AOC is a dual-role site.] Don't have a location for the Najaf/Karbala/Nukhayb site - just a vary large area. Looking at a Pantsir battery at each of the 7 ASOCs plus whatever long-range Russian SAM and EW they require. Pantsir is not designed as a stand alone system. /// See the ADC section of the Air page and plug US systems into NAMAB and the 4 SOCs with ?Russian systems in the 7 other ASOCs. I suspect I should write up an update on this but, still looking for the S300 announcement [with varient] from the Russians...

DJ Elliott (08/06/2013 05:41:54)


Hi DJ The new Kbps report out of Russia , lists Iraq as getting 800 kronet-e . Anti tank m by the end of 2013 What do you think ??

JW (08/10/2013 04:11:05)


Good missile. No data on how many and what type of launchers. Could be the start of forming the Div AT Bns mentioned in Khaima 8 months ago. If they are just buying the launchers - I suspect HMMWV mounted with BMP1 upgrade as alternate.

DJ Elliott (08/10/2013 09:48:21)


I've been researching this since it posted yesterday. Note that like all high-end ATGW, Kornet E tends to be expensive. Even the Russians only upgrade select units and use cheaper ATGW for the majority. Looking for cheaper weapons for the Bde/Bn level of AT. Note that Bradleys come with TOW and the BTR4s with Barrier...

DJ Elliott (08/10/2013 09:53:11)


Saving myself some writing and just providing the speculation link. ////

DJ Elliott (08/12/2013 06:39:59)


Looks like ISOF is expanding to 2 Divs and an Energy Protection Div is being added. Page 3 – "the procedures for volunteering to join the Iraqi Military. the commander in chief commanded the execution of the order for the volunteers special forces, and the latest ministerial decree on the forming of two divisions for special forces. An electronic site was opened for volunteers to register for both the special forces as well as the energy protection division. With regards to the 2 special forces divisions, a special request was sent out to soldiers, officers in the Iraqi army and from the old iraqi special forces to volunteer for the induction tests for the special force."

DJ Elliott (08/18/2013 07:46:09)


Energy Protection division eh? So either the Oil police were a colossal failure or the Government doesn't believe in the MoI enough to let them protect the oil or quite simply they'd rather have both MoD and MoI do the same job?

Trophy_Wench (08/18/2013 10:18:09)


What I'm hearing is the OPD refused duty in Anbar. Last week's Khaima talked about OPD being trained and augmented by IA in Ninawa. Sounds like the OPD is failing for the 6th time since 2003. If the IA is smart - they take over the OPD and convert to 5 Security Divs [EPDs], 1 per planned IA Corps area. But IA trained and lead. /// Either ISOF is expanding to 2 Divs, the IA is getting 2 light infantry [Cdo] Divs, or a mix.

DJ Elliott (08/18/2013 11:57:58)


My bet is they plan to expand ISOF to 5-6 Bdes - I've been seeing reporting of new ISOF Recon Bns in Anbar/Diyala. Using the OSC as a filter - the ones that don't make the cut for ISOF get used for a new IA Cdo Div. Same way 17th Cdo Div was formed from those that did not make the cut to be ISOF...

DJ Elliott (08/19/2013 12:03:25)


Should have stuck with my first suspision on the 2 Cdo Divs being ISOF. Expanding to 2 Divs with 20-40,000 pers. 20 Cdo/ICTF Bns. 1 per province except Baghdad [4], Basra [2], and Mosul [2]. Recon [I&R] and support not in that 20 bn count. //// sounds a lot like the planned ERB/FP Bn/Bde laydown - makes me wonder if ERBs are being transferred to CTS...

DJ Elliott (08/23/2013 09:01:51)


Correction: Expanding to 3 ISOF Divs. 1st at Mosul, 2nd Baghdad, and 3rd Basrah.

DJ Elliott (08/24/2013 02:30:00)


This puts a different light on the indonesian shopping trip by IMoD last fall. The plan for these 3 ISOF Cdo Divs would have already been staffed - Anoa for the Cdos?

DJ Elliott (08/28/2013 10:38:38)

DJ Elliott