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Iraqi Security Force Update: September 2009



Iraqi and US Combat Brigade OOB as of August 31, 2009.


This Iraqi Security Force Update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during August 2009.  The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle as of 31 August 2009 is published at Montrose Toast.




Prime Minister Maliki has apparently reached an agreement with Kurdish leaders regarding the status of the Kurdish Regional Guard. According to Member of Parliment Firyad Rawandouzi, from the Kurdistani Alliance, Maliki agreed to absorb the Peshmerga into the “national defense apparatus”. The agreement would facilitate the transfer and commissioning of two new divisions (15th and 16th). The remaining Peshmerga members would either be absorbed into the police force, civilian institutions or be retired.


The two divisions being commissioned only account for 30,000 of the 100,000 active Kurdish Regional Guards.  Even with 25,000 to 30,000 Peshmerga transferred to the Iraqi Police, there are the equivalent of three more divisions of personnel to be absorbed into the “national defense apparatus”. 


There are 90,000 additional inactive Peshmerga that the Kurdish Regional Government has been negotiating retirement pensions for.


Iraqi Army


On August 27, the US 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs released an article about first aid training being provided to the Iraqi Army 49th Brigade.  This training report is the first report of the 49th Brigade. However, it should be noted that the report does not indicate the 49th Brigade of the 12 Division is operational yet.  This increases the brigades in the Iraqi Army to 57.


On August 17, the 52nd Brigade was reported conducting field maneuvers near the Iranian border. Of interest, the 52nd Brigade was called a "Navy Brigade" in the reporting.  This indicates that the brigade may be transferring to the Iraqi Marines.


Mortar training has been continuing.  The 48th Brigade is training on 120mm Mortars.  There were 10 brigades planned to get 120mm mortar batteries this year.  Eight have now been identified:  the 20/5, 30/8, 38/10, 42/11, 23/17, 46/12, 47/12, & 48/12 Brigades.  Battalion level 81mm mortar "platoons" are also continuing training.


Iraqi Air Force


The Iraqi Air Force received a new headquarters on 23 August 2009. The new base is located at the Victory Base complex and called "Hawk Base".


On August 12, a notice of a contract award “to provide for seven T-6A,Texan II training aircraft including ground based training systems, aircraft spare parts, technical publications, and two years of contractor logistics for the Iraqi Air Force” was announce.  A second notice was announce on August 17, “to provide for 8 T-6A Texan II training aircraft."  In response to a request for information and clarification, Daryl Mayer of the 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs stated that:  "The contract you asked about was awarded for 8 T-6As with an option for 7 additional T-6As.”


Reporting of possible loan, lease, or donation of used US F-16 fighters continues to be mentioned by senior officers and officials.  "The Air Force aims to retire 134 F-16s and 112 F-15s in 2010, if Congress approves the cuts.”  Not all of the F-16s planned to be removed from USAF service would have worthwhile service life left in them.  However, if 75 percent were, that would equip five fighter squadrons of the Iraqi Air Force.


At the end of August, there was a series of press reports about 19 MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft being returned from Serbia. These aircraft were sent to Yugoslavia for servicing in 1989 and never returned. These obsolete aircraft are not in good condition.  According to the Serbs, most of the planes are cannibalized, abandoned and useless. Only two or three are still in one piece and that includes one MiG-23 that was on static display outside Belgrade's aircraft museum.


Iraqi Federal Police


The Iraqi Ministry of Interior is planning to establish an aviation squadron.  The Iraqi government is to purchase 15 aircraft from the United States to use in border control and the implementation of “other special functions."  Other special functions probably means supporting the airmobile Emergency Response Force battalions.


The plan to establish a Federal Police brigade in every province continues and now includes the Kurdish Regional Government. 

  • "Lt. Col Mohammed Al Baydani said the Federal Police have a plan to set up a brigade headquarters in every province, including the self-ruled Kurdistan region, over the next two years."
  • "Today, the Federal Police is comprised of four divisions and 17 brigades, including a mechanized and sustainment brigade and the Al-Askari Brigade that is dedicated to providing security for Al-Askari mosque in Samarra during the its reconstruction."


The seventeenth brigade has sense been identified as Iraq's Wassit Federal Police Brigade.  The Wassit Emergency Police Brigade has been ‘Nationalized’ and transferred to the Federal Police.


Camp Dublin may be the new future headquarters location for the Ministry of Interior’s Emergency Response Force. Also, that force may have started forming its second brigade."The clinic facility at Camp Dublin will support up to 2,000 students at the Federal Police Training Center as well as some tenet units at Camp Dublin, such as emergency response brigades."


US Forces - Iraq


Of interest, the replacement of the USMC in Anbar has commenced.  The 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division has arrived in Anbar and is to be that area's "Advisory and Assitance Brigade".  The two US Marine Regimental Combat Teams are phasing out as their battalions reach the end of their tours.


Articles on Iraq published in August:      

DJ Elliott