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In August 2007 and June 2008, I wrote monster articles projecting Iraqi Security Forces planned development by 2012 and, in some cases, beyond. I am not going to do that this year. Instead I have been writing separate articles addressing the components of the Iraqi Security Forces:
- June 30, 2009: Commandos in the ISF
- June 30, 2009: Iraqi Special Operations Force
- June 30, 2009: The Iraqi Emergency Response Brigade
- July 15, 2009: Kurdish Regional Guards: The best OPSEC in Iraq
- July 20, 2009: Iraqi Federal Police: More than a name change?
- July 29, 2009: Iraqi Facilities Protection Force
- July 31, 2009: Iraqi Aviation: Status and predicted force
- August 9, 2009: Iraqi Praetorians
- August 14, 2009: The Iraqi Navy
- August 19, 2009: Iraqi Army: Now and in the future
Iraqi Total Force Mobilization remains to be addressed. This article is about the two elements of the Iraqi Joint Forces Command that have not been addressed: Logistics and training.
The Iraqi Joint Forces Command (JFC) is the Ministry of Defense’s command staff and has six major subordinates. Those are the Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IGFC), the Iraqi Air Force, the Iraqi Navy (including Marines), the Directorate General for Intelligence and Security (DGIS), the Iraqi Logistics Operations Command (ILOC), and the Iraqi Training and Doctrine Command (ITDC). The last two are the focus of this article.
Both ILOC and ITDC provide upper level support to the operational forces. To explain, the brigade and division support is referred to as level 1 and level 2. It is support is at the operational/tactical levels. The corps- and army-level support is called level 3 and level 4. This operational/strategic support feeds the operational/tactical forces. Level 3 and level 4 are the upper level support.
The Iraqi Logistics Operations Command is the senior headquarters for all logistics in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. Additionally, this command supports the Ministry of Interior forces while they start building their own level 3 and level 4 support forces. The primary Iraqi level 4 (Army-level) subordinate command is the growing Taji Joint Base Factory (JBF). Taji JBF is a three brigade-equivalent logistics and maintenance complex:
- South Taji (GSE) Maintenance Depot went fully mission capable this summer and is to be under full Iraqi Army control by 1 January 2010. This brigade-equivalent is responsible for repair and rebuild of general service equipment (GSE). Subordinate elements include an Engine Repair Facility, Transmission Repair Facility, Generator Repair Facility, Radio Repair Facility, and a Small Arms Weapons Repair Facility.
- North Taji (Vehicle) Maintenance Depot (Brigade) also went fully mission capable this summer and is to be under full Iraqi Army control by 1 January 2010. This brigade-equivalent is responsible for repair and rebuild of vehicles. Subordinate elements include a Tracked Vehicle Maintenance Depot, Wheeled Vehicle Maintenance Depot, the Taji Vocational Institute (training), and Al Muthanna Vehicle Supply Depot.
- Taji National Supply Depot also went fully mission capable this summer. This brigade-equivalent sustainment brigade feeds supplies to the divisions. This direct link between level 4 and level 2 is due to the absence of corps-level logistics elements. Subordinate elements include the Taji (Adnan) National Supply Depot Distribution Center, the Taji Joint Repair Parts Depot Support Battalion, the Taji National Ammunition Depot Support Battalion, the Taji National General Depot Support Battalion, the Taji National Medical General Depot Support Battalion, and the Taji General Transportation Regiment (GTR)
Iraq has not formed corps yet but, planning and initial elements for these corps support elements was noted in 2008. Prior to 2006, five corps-level Regional Support Units existed but, they were re-designated and re-assigned as divisional-support when the decision was made to expand the Iraqi Army past 10 divisions.
At least four, possibly five level 3 support brigades are needed for the Iraqi Army. [Also, three SBs are needed for the expanding Federal Police and one SB for the DBE.]
The Bayji National Supply Depot’s first battalion was formed in the summer of 2008 and became independent on 16 December 2008. When fully formed, this support brigade will support the divisions of the Northern Corps of the Iraqi Army. The Bayji National Ammunition Depot Support Battalion was planned to be joined by an Equipment Depot (Repair), a Supply Depot, and a Fuel Depot. Plus it is likely that a transport regiment will be added to this brigade. This appears to have been delayed by the budget crunch and the resulting freeze in new personnel during the fall of 2008.
The Najaf National Supply Depot areas were surveyed in 2008 and the initial Najaf National Ammunition Depot Support Battalion was planned to be formed in the fall of 2008. This, like Bayji, was also planned to expand into a support brigade that, when formed, will support the divisions of the Southern Corps of the Iraqi Army. This appears to have been delayed by the budget crunch and the resulting freeze in new personnel during the fall of 2008.
Additional Iraqi Army corps-level (level 3) support brigades are probably planned for the Central Corps (probably at Balad) and the Quick Intervention Corps (probably at Al Asad).
The Ministry of Interior is currently supported by the Taji JBF while its own Army level support base is built next to the Taji JBF. This support will probably continue since the Department of Border Enforcement has not formed a corps-level support structure and the Federal Police is expanding faster than its logistics with the steady “nationalization” of provincial Emergency Police. The only level 3 or level 4 logistics formation in the Ministry of Interior at this time is the Federal Police’s Sustainment Brigade. At least three more of those brigades will be needed in MoI: two more for the Federal Police to support their expanding force and one for the DBE. The current plan is to focus on level 1 and level 2 support in the MoI forces.
[For standard logistics and training elements at levels 1 and 2, see Appendix B of the ISF OOB.]
The Iraqi Training and Doctrine Command (ITDC) provide the training for the Iraqi Army above division-level. Additionally, ITDC supports the separate training programs of the Iraqi Navy (including Marines), Iraqi Air Force, and other independent components of the Ministry of Interior. The ITDC is split into two major subordinate commands: The Tactical Training Command (TTC) and the National Defense University (NDU).
Tactical Training Command (TTC) includes the Tactical Doctrine Center and Lessons Learned Center. Additionally the training centers throughout Iraq are under the command of the TTC:
- 1st Regional Training Center at Taji is the primary technical training center in Iraq. In addition to a battalion level Basic Combat Training, Taji hosts the Combat Arms School, the Counter-Insurgency Academy, the Iraqi Army Mechanic School, an NCO Academy, the Signals School, the Engineering Training School (including the Engineer Training Battalion), the Iraqi Intelligence and Military Security School, and the Iraqi Army Service Support Institute (IASSI).
- 2nd Regional Training Center at Kirkush is the third largest training center. Primarily Kirkush is a boot camp training facility with the 1st National Training Brigade and the 2nd National Training Brigade each capable of training 2,500-2,700 personnel per eight-week cycle (when operating). These have been closed since the fall of 2008 due to the hiring freeze brought on by the budget crunch. Additional schools include Infantry Officer Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training (Vehicle Maintenance), and an NCO Academy.
- 3rd Regional Training Center at Numaniyah is the second largest training center. Primarily Numaniyah is a boot camp training facility with the 3rd National Training Brigade and the 4th National Training Brigade each capable of training 2,500-2,700 personnel per eight-week cycle (when operating). These have been closed since the fall of 2008 due to the hiring freeze brought on by the budget crunch. Additional schools include the Military Police Academy, an Infantry Training Course and a NCO Academy.
- Besmaya Combat Training Center is the largest combat field training range in Iraq. Primary used for brigade-level training, this center includes the Bomb Disposal (EOD) School, the Artillery School, the Combined Arms School, and the Armor School. Besmaya is also the primary site for the Unit Set Fielding program. That program is the assembly, equipping and training of new formed brigades.
The National Defense University (NDU) is the ITDC’s other subordinate command. This is the officer and senior NCO training commands. Directly under the NDU are the National Defense College, the Defense Language Institute, the Defense Strategic Studies Institute, the Center for Military Values, Principles & Leadership Development, the Sergeant Major Academy, and the Joint Staff College. The four officer academies are also under this command. Each can train 1,000 to 1,500 officers per year. They are the:
- 1st Iraqi Military Academy at Ar Rustimiyah which is also training Iraqi Air Force officers until the Air Force builds its own Academy,
- 2nd Iraqi Military Academy at Qalachwalan,
- 3rd Iraqi Military Academy at Zahko, and
- 4th Iraqi Military Academy at Nasariyah.
At its peak in 2007-2008, Iraqi training facilities were fielding a new brigade every month in addition to filling out the existing under-manned forces to 120-135 percent manning. When the budget crunch caused a hiring freeze and a closure of the boot camps in the fall of 2008 the Iraqi Army was 20,000 personnel over authorization and:
- was preparing to start training and equipping two transferred Peshmerga divisions (8 brigades; 15th and 16th Mountain Divisions);
- was preparing to form a new 18th Division (four brigades);
- was preparing to build the fourth maneuver brigades for 6th, 12th, and 17th Divisions (three brigades);
- was starting to form the corps-level sustainment brigades; and
- was to start focusing on adding artillery components.
All of that has been on hold. The only programs that have continued is the formation of engineering elements, the filling out of level 1 and level 2 logistics elements, and the filling out of the level 4 Taji Depot complex. So far in 2009, only two new under strength independent brigades and a handful of battalions have been organized from the excess manning in the existing units.
Logistics and training is not exciting or sexy to most people. They are just essential to all operations.