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Iraqi Security Force Update January 2011


Brigade OOB as of 31 December 2010


This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during December 2010.  The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 31 December 2010.


Two articles, “The Unauthorized Third Leg of the Troika” and “Iraqi Aviation Update December 2010  were addressed separately and will not be addressed here.   Highlights in this update include:

  • 25/17 Brigade CALFEX – salvaged FA non-operational?; IA Surge in Boot Camp; IA Chemical Defense Regiment; Increase in EOD for route-clearance; 4-54/6 Battalion upgraded with BMP1; Instructors sought for M109A5 Regiment to be formed; 1st Field Artillery Pre-Commanders Course; Light mortars trained by Infantry School; 9th Division HQ and East Wing of Armor School move to Besmaya; 63 M1A1s now in IA.
  • New F16s and used Mirage 2000s to be bought; An-32s delivering; Trainer Bell 407s delivered.
  • Second PB delivering; 1st Marine Brigade moving to Bucca.
  • Carabinieri training of FP continues; Basrah Emergency Police tribal levees being disbanded?; 120 Oil Police Directorate officer instructors graduated Carabinieri training.


Iraqi Army


The combined arms live-fire exercise of the 25/17 Brigade on 30 November included helicopters, Intelligence/Surveillance/Reconnaissance, Commandos in an Air Assault, plus a Search and Rescue Exercise.  While D30 howitzers are in the footage from the exercise, they are not seen firing.  To date, none of the salvage howitzers have been seen firing or with signs they have fired – just in static display and parades.  It is entirely likely that they are being used as training dummies and are not operational.


A surge in Iraqi basic training has been in progress.  In late November and early December, Taji and Habbaniyah graduated almost 3,000 from boot camp.  Even the Engineer School, Bomb Disposal School and Field Engineer Regiment were pressed into service training new recruits and graduated 200 on 30 November.  While reporting from the other training centers is limited, this indicates the size of the surge in training:  "Presently, Habbaniya has grown into a Regional Training Center, supporting both the 1st and 7th Iraqi Army Divisions, training about 12,000 soldiers this year.”   An IA division is only about 15,000 personnel and Habbaniyah only supports 2 of the 14 commissioned IA Divisions.  This indicates a significant increase in IA manning is in progress.


The Iraqi Army is building its first Chemical Defense Regiment.  "The regiment began training as a company in October 2009. Within a month, the Ministry of Defense designated it as a full 300-member regiment, complete with two companies and a headquarters. Although, the regiment now only has 110 trained chemical defense soldiers, 150 new recruits – fresh out of Basic Combat Training – are being trained as chemical defense specialists to join the ranks."  Eventually each division and each corps will require a Chemical Defense Regiment-equivalent.


The 12th Division’s Field Engineer Regiment is reported to have 2 Explosive Ordinance Disposal Companies.  There has been reporting of increasing the strength of the IA route clearance forces, but, this could be just a local modification vice indicating a general upgrade to the 15 Field Engineer Regiments.  It also could be an indicator of a force-wide increase in EOD companies.


The 4-54/6 Battalion has or is upgrading to mechanized with hand-me-down BMP1s from the upgrading 9th Division.  Apparently the 4-54/6 Battalion needs maintenance personnel [bottom page 7 in arabic] with experience on the BMP1s.  Three of the 4 brigades in 6th Division have now been identified as receiving tracked armor indicating this division is next in priority after the 9th Division.  Four of the 6 battalions identified as receiving upgrades from hand-me-down 9th Division armor have been in 6th Division so far.  The upgraded battalions identified are:  T55 Tanks in a battalion of the 12/3 Brigade, M113 APCs in 2 battalions of the 56/6 Brigade, and BMP1 MICVs in the 2-22/6, 4-54/6, and 1-33/8 Battalions.  These upgrades indicate one division in each of the 4 planned corps’ are being upgraded to a mix of mechanized and motorized:  9th Mechanized Division in the Quick Intervention Corps, 6th Mech/Motor Infantry in the central, 3rd Mech/Motor Infantry in the north, and 8th Mech/Motor Infantry in the south.


The first batch of BTR4s was to deliver in December and the second batch of the Ukrainian armored vehicles will be delivered to Iraq in early 2011.  This first delivery has not been confirmed but, the BTR4s are supposed to participate in the 6 January Army Day Parade.  The BTR4s are expected to be employed in the Battalions’ Scout Platoons, Brigades’ Scout Companies, and the Divisions’ Reconnaissance Battalions.  The only identified IA battalion receiving these is the 3-35/9 Battalion whose personnel have returned from training on BTR-4E in Ukraine.  [IA calls Scouts, Recon, and Cavalry units “Commandos”.]


Iraqi artillery is progressing and instructors are being sought for M109A5s.  "The M109A5 Artillery Trainer shall create and prepare a 28 day Program of Instruction (POI) to provide collective training for one Iraqi Army M109A5 Artillery Regiment consisting of 3 batteries. The M109A5 Artillery Trainer will train one artillery battery consisting of 6 - M109A5s (SP)(155MM), Fire Direction Center and Forward Observers at a time."  This confirms the formation of an M109A5 equipped regiment is planned and previous reporting indicated this will be part of the 9th Division.


“Seventeen Iraqi Army majors graduated from the first Iraqi Field Artillery Pre-Commanders Course taught at the Iraqi Field Artillery School in Abu Ghraib Dec. 1.  The four-month pre-commanders course qualifies officers in the Iraqi field artillery to be placed into a commander's role.” “The goal is for the officers to develop the skills and knowledge required to perform as the commander of a regiment.”  This is the start of training battalion/regiment commanders for the Iraqi Army field artillery.


More junior FA officers are also being trained:  "Iraqi Army soldiers with 6th Iraqi Army stand by prior to their Iraqi Army artillery school graduation ceremony in Baghdad, Dec. 14. Iraqi Army soldiers completed a four week artillery school."  This could indicate that 6th Division is the next after 9 Division to upgrade to howitzers.  All of the graduates in the photo are 1Lts.


Of note, the 81mm and 60mm mortar training is apparently being done by the IA Infantry School vice the FA School.   Personnel from the 1st, 11th and 17th Divisions were being trained on 81mm Mortars by the Infantry School. 


The Iraq Armor School, Eastern Wing, moved from Camp Taji to the Combined Arms School at the Besmaya Combat Training Center on 24 November.  The school’s 69-vehicle convoy moved 320 soldiers to the BCTC along with thousands of training aids and equipment, including everything from beds to tanks.  M1A1 tank training is in the process of turning over to Iraqi Army personnel.


The initial order of 140 M1A1 tanks and most of the M113s are to be employed by 9th Mechanized Division which has moved its headquarters to FOB Hammer – next to the Armor School at Besmaya. [IA calls it “Armored” but, US considers it to be mechanized.]  Another batch of 12 M1A1 Abrams tanks purchased by the Government of Iraq from the United States arrived on 22 December at Umm Qasr. Once the tanks are de-processed, this will total 63 tanks integrated into the Iraqi Army.   All 140 M1A1s of the first order are expected to be delivered by the end of 2011.


Iraqi Aviation


Iraqi press reported and Iraqi government confirmed that Iraq’s Council of Ministers authorized the Defense Minister to negotiate with Washington to buy six new F-16 combat jets and continue negotiations with the French side to buy 18 used Mirage 2000 jets as of 2012.


According to Antonov State Enterprise, the first three An-32 aircraft will be delivered to Iraq by the end of this year [2010], and another three each in the years 2011 and 2012. 


The Iraqi Army Aviation Command received three Bell T-407 training helicopters on 11 December.  These unarmed helicopters will be used to train pilots with the Iraqi Army Air Corps’ 21st Squadron to fly the Iraqi Armed 407 which is an Armed Scout with forward-firing ground attack capabilities.  Additionally the IA-407 is equipped with Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and data-link capabilities. A total of 27 IA-407s are scheduled for delivery to the 21st Squadron in late 2011 and early 2012.


Iraqi Navy and Marines


The second of 15 ordered Swiftship Patrol Boats is delivering.  "Military Sealift Command-chartered heavy lift crane ship MV Ocean Titan delivered the second of a new class of U.S.-built patrol boats to Manama, Bahrain, today. The 115-foot boat is destined for Iraq, where it will be turned over to the Iraqi navy and used primarily to patrol coastal waters and provide security for the country's oil platforms.”


The Iraqi 1st Marine Brigade is moving to Bucca.  Bucca is converting to a commercial center with offices, warehouses, aviation, and fuel services to support investors.  By basing Iraqi Marines at this site, the Iraqi Government is providing security for the new commercial center.  This is also the first mention of a 1st Marine Brigade, which infers there is a 2nd Marine Brigade forming.  Camp Bucca was turned over to the Iraqi Marines in July 2010.


Ministry of Interior


Phase III Carabinieri training continues in the Iraqi Federal Police.  "Members of the Iraqi Federal Police and Zerevani, Kurdish regional government police forces, graduated from a specialized NATO Training Mission-Iraq training course Dec. 19 at the Federal Police Special Training Academy at Camp Dublin. They join more than 9,400 members of the Iraqi Federal Police that have graduated since its initiation in 2007. This is the 15th Federal Police class graduation with 749 students from Basrah, Baghdad, Mosul and regions in northern Iraq."


It is possible that some of the Basrah Emergency Police tribal levees are being disbanded.  "Iraqi tribesman prepare their weapons during a weapon handover event to the Iraqi government in Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad December 11, 2010. Several Iraqi tribes handed over their weapons, acquired during the Saddam Hussein era, to the Iraqi government, as part of a security plan to improve the security situation in southern Iraq."


NATO Training Mission Iraq graduated 120 Oil Police Directorate officer instructors on 9 December 2010.  This is the first class of Carabinieri trained Oil Police. 


So they say the BTR4 will not be in after tomorrow ceremony and the IMOD still didn't get them delv.

Almaleki (01/04/2011 10:29:03)


So only two new info in the march : 1- Iraqis are using a cheap alternative for MLRS by 107mm Small MLRSs on The tactical FORD pick-ups ,, 2- Gazelles are there ! ,, i will bring images if they aren't published on the net , as i recorded it (what a lousy march ! and i can even hear the march as there some donkey making foolish poet-like talking !)

Almaleki (01/06/2011 07:53:30)


i think that the MRLS is

Almaleki (01/06/2011 08:14:41)


HI DJ here is what the Iraqi army showed; 107 m rocket lancher pick up, 122 milrs ,122 m canons, 130mm canons, 152m canons , m109, mrap, t 407, gazel 20mm , huey 2 , c-130, king air 350, Cesena , military engenering, m17 helo, mobil military comunication, logistics, tank transporters Daewoo , humvee, military medcs mobil, mi 8 t helo , Abrams M 1, t- 72 tanks , bmp 1, btr 80, No antinove 32 No BTR-4 , No lasta 95, no m198.

Jack winters (01/06/2011 08:23:35)


Hi Almaleki I Agree with you 100 percent it was a dull march nothing new ,it was like nothing changed over a year, and Iraqi TV showing pic's of the hellfire shot by bird dogs as if its something great, during the Iraq Iran war in the 80s we were using more advanced capabilities than that when we used the AS30L on the mirage 1.

Jack winters (01/06/2011 08:58:00)


I demand a new military Minister and to make DJ an American minister of Iraqi defense :) ,,, yeah (if you saw the whatever they name they showed all the day ! ,, maybe Iraq is able to conquer The whole ME from this big lousy lying on the people propaganda ,, they always say "BIG ARMY" and for real Iraq has the smallest army in the region (but lebanon) ,, & almaleki the poppet says " we want a small army bla bla bla" ) for god's sake ,,, we are iraq ! i can't believe that the army that made a journey of 2k KM to defend Damascus is like this today ,,, ,, the only good thing the mentioned "Arab Nation" in multiple positions ,, they are trying to get friendly with Arabs .. hopefully !

Almaleki (01/06/2011 09:33:49)


yeah ,,, where is Al-Askri jets making fly-by he said about that year ! there whole "artillery" is nonoperational and with lousy numbers like there march !!!

Almaleki (01/06/2011 09:39:57)


Shaytan e-mailed photos and it is a Chinese made Type 63 107mm MRL fitted to a Ford 350. Sounds like not waiting to write this up was a good thing - depressing.

DJ Elliott (01/06/2011 01:09:21)


Hi DJ the head of the Iraqi army spoke on Iraqi TV that the next stage is handing over the security of the cities to the MOI, the plan is to evaluate which provinces have enough ERU and Federal police.the plan is to start with three provinces which have low security problems and have enough MOI personnel, then 7 , after that the last most problematic provinces. the plan hasn't yet been presented to the PM but it will be soon.

Jack winters (01/06/2011 02:16:37)


Mirror of US handover to IA...

DJ Elliott (01/06/2011 03:01:16)


Phase 1: US to IA, Phase 2: IA to FP [IA to external], Phase 3: FP to IP [FP to backup for IA and IP].

DJ Elliott (01/06/2011 04:07:32)


Why does the march look pretty here : ,, DJ Elliott (01/06/2011 01:09:21) ,, Yeah i never demand a thing that happens !

Almaleki (01/07/2011 08:28:12)


1- Alaskari says that we have a deal of 13 Bn with USA that will end delievery in 2013 ,, 2- they say that the IA 7th div is converting to mech. ,, i got this rumor from FACEBOOK

Almaleki (01/08/2011 01:25:42)


Makes sense for 7th to convert eventually. Armor repair facilities at Ramadi and 2 BMP1 bns in 29/7 Bde have been pointing to that for years now. Not seeing new signs yet. Where on Facebook? Link?//// Note that I may be underestimating the eventual size of the FP.

DJ Elliott (01/08/2011 05:06:10)


There is group of Iraqis that have a page about Iraqi Armor ,, they look more educated than those who exaggerate and they know people from IMOD (the comment was about the 1026 M113 we are getting ,, they say we would use them to convert 7th) ,, the Comment is in Arabic (I am the guy with the arabic dress in his image) : //// I asked them to contribute in the Blog ..

Almaleki (01/08/2011 11:50:27)


BTW ,, the owner of the page is one of the trainees in Ukraine ..

Almaleki (01/08/2011 11:55:27)


and in news dated back a time ago ,, he says : ذكرت مصادر مؤكدة في الجيش العراقي بأنه سيتم تحويل فرقة المشاة السابعة في محافظة الانبار الى فرقة الية مسلحة بناقلات الاشخاص M113 وتجري الاستعدادت في مدرسة الدروع على قدم وساق من اجل تدريب وحدات الفرقة اعلاه على استخدام الناقلات المدرعة على شكل وجبات..وفي وقت لاحق سيتم تحويل الفرقة التاسعة من الية الى فرقة مدرعة ...وستجهز بأحدث الدروع لتكون بمثابة الفرقة الذهبية للجيش العراقي وستكون دبابات المعركة الرئيسي فيها هي (ابرامز)في حين لم يعرف ماهي المدرعات التي ستعمل في الفرقة التاسعة مستقبلا.. //// good Sources for the IMoD say that the 7th will be converted to Mech. using M113 APCs and the Armor school is going to train the units of the Division ,, while the 9th will be the golden armored division of the army using M1A1 tanks and unknown APCs (that is dated before the ukran deal ,,)

Almaleki (01/09/2011 12:19:43)


Old speculation. More than half of the M113s are going to the 9th Div. Only 440 of the 1,026 M113 FoVs are APCs - the rest are a mix of mortar carriers, ambulances, cargo carriers, command vehicles, MedEvac, and field hospital versions./// So far, I have not seen anything except speculation concerning 7th and most of that is circular reporting from my earlier works. /// I am seeing actual upgrades to 9th, 6th, 3rd, and 8th in order of priority so far. /// The BTR4s are not for mech - they are for the recon/cav/cdo elements of the IA...

DJ Elliott (01/09/2011 01:49:37)


HI DJ to follow up on what almaliki is saying the Iraqi MOD has announced that Iraq will buy new equipment worth 13B from the US by 2013 and the deals were concluded, plus another 13B after that, here is the link;

Jack winters (01/09/2011 06:02:52)


So far Iraq has not signed $13Bn in actual deals with the US, I will believe it when I see the FMS contracts. An interesting note is that 3 EC635s did in fact make an appearance at the show. The AN32s and BTR4s seem to be in jeopardy with problems with Ukraine...

sheytanelkebir (01/09/2011 10:25:22)


Jack: Saw that. Not surprising. /// When you consider that the deal for the M1A1s is 140 with an option for another 140 that has not been exercised, same for the 24 Bell 407s - option for 26 more, etc. Then add in the F16s, the math is there. It had reached 10 Billion in early 2009. Keep in mind he is talking deals spread over the next 5 years...

DJ Elliott (01/09/2011 05:05:07)


and a horde of 5000 TOW Humvee :)

Almaleki (01/09/2011 09:56:01)


Only 5,000? lol. What I would do and what IMoD is doing are 2 very different stories. That said, I am looking for serious purchases of ATGWs. Anti-tank capabilities is a serious blank in most of the IA battalions...

DJ Elliott (01/09/2011 10:21:02)


No this 5000 are only in the first 13 Bn ,, while on the second we are buying them with 5Bn ,, can you look the possibility of the 7th being upgraded with M113s again ? they look very sure

Almaleki (01/10/2011 12:57:33)


with regards to Iraq's current purchase value from the US we must be careful to note the actual contract amounts rather than the DSCA request "estimates" which are always massively inflated vs the actual contracted values. The actual contracted values are roughly 50% or less of the DSCA request for information "estimates".

sheytanelkebir (01/10/2011 01:45:57)


No signs of 7th getting M113s as yet. 9th Div and 56/6 Bde are the only ones training on them. /// I base my numbers on the actual contracts to date - not on the possible contract notices from DSCA. It is normal for Iraq to not buy support initially - they wait until they are desperate for repairs and then contract the support...

DJ Elliott (01/10/2011 05:11:07)


Plus 10/3 and 20/5 have M113s. Nothing pointing to 7th Div ATT. It is possible that 7th is getting hand-me-down armor but, so far, that has gone to 6th and 8th Divs in order of priority...

DJ Elliott (01/10/2011 08:17:45)

DJ Elliott