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Iraqi Security Force Update June 2011


Brigade OOB as of 31 May 2011


This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during May 2011.  The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 31 June 2011.  Of note, Karabala became the first non-Kurdish province to have no US units based in it in May and NATO Training Mission – Iraq is discussing training planned through the end of 2013.  Highlights in this update include:

  • Peshmerga RGB development – 15th and 16th IA Mountain Divisions cancelled.
  • External Training of IA continues; M198 training in 5th IA Division; BTR4s confirmed in Iraq.
  • JBB beginning to turn over to IqAF;  Second long-range radar contract awarded;  L159s probably being bought; An32 delivery may be accelerated; EC635s and Mi171s arrive.
  • More radios for the Federal Police; 1st Mech FP Brigade OPCON 4th FP Division.




While the Kurdish Regional Guards Brigades [RGBs] continue to form and train, the planned establishment of Iraqi Mountain Divisions from some of these brigades has been cancelled by Prime Minister Maliki at some time prior to April.  The first 4 RGBs are built and operational [1st through 4th].  Four more RGBs are being assembled [5th through 8th].  A further 4 are authorized by the KRG President and are budgeted [9th through 12th].  The US is providing limited assistance in training and equipping these RGBs through the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.  The US will not build camps or provide the same equipment sets to RGBs as to Iraqi Army. While the RGBs are to be mixed KDP/PUK, there are some questions as to how much mixing is actually occurring.


Iraqi Army


External Defense training continues including the separate training deal worked out between the IA 8th Division and the US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.  “Members of the 3rd Battalion, 32nd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, completed three weeks of training April 27.  The 3rd Battalion is the second Iraqi unit to complete training as a part of Eagles Rising, a comprehensive training program developed by the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment to enhance the combat capabilities of Iraqi soldiers."  Reporting of “All Inclusive Training” in the other 4 IA divisions [3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th] has started to omit IA battalion identifications making tracking of details concerning this training difficult.


The 20/5 Brigade was training on former US M198 howitzers on 27 April at Kirkush.  This is the first report of M198 155mm howitzer training in the IA.  Additional elements of the IA 5th Division have also been reported training on M198s.  One of those units is the newly identified "105th Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Iraqi Army Division".  This would be the first divisional Field Artillery Regiment confirmed to have operational howitzers in the IA and is the first IA divisional Field Artillery Regiment identified in press releases.


Unofficial confirmation that the first shipment of BTR4s have arrived in Iraq was provided in comments to last month’s update.


Iraqi Aviation


Joint Base Balad is beginning its planned turnover to the IqAF.   "The Iraqi air force is one step closer to taking ownership of JBB. A trio of officers and 11 enlisted airmen arrived May 15 to in-process here. The group is part of the advance echelon team of 60 Iraqi airmen projected to arrive."


A contract to provide a turn-key Long Range Radar 2 site for the Iraqi Air Force was let in May.  This is the second of 4 planned long-range ground sites planned for the Sector Operations Centers of the IqAF.


Iraq will probably buy L159s for its armed jet trainer program.   While this purchase is not yet approved by the Council of Ministers, these Czech aircraft are not as expensive as the competing offers from South Korea, Italy, and the UK.


While unconfirmed by Iraqi sources, the An32 delivery may be accelerated.  "Antonov State Enterprise (Kyiv) may supply six light An-32 planes under a contract with Iraq ahead of schedule.  Three out of the six aircraft have been already assembled in Ukraine but haven't been accepted by Iraqi side yet, Director of Antonov Serial Plant Mykola Podhrebelny told reporter.  According to him, immediately after the enterprise receives the money for the first planes, they will start assembling the three remaining and may transfer them before 2012, which is a deadline set in the contract."  Of note, this is not the first time that the Ukrainian provider has tried to deliver these An32s.  The Iraqi inspection team rejected these same 3 aircraft in the fall of 2010 when they discovered used avionics and engines had been used in violation of the contract.


Helicopters for the Army Air Corps continue to arrive.  The first 2 EC635T2, armed with Ingwe ATM, Nexter NC-621 20mm cannon, and Herstal HMP-400 12.7 machine guns are reported to have arrived in Iraq.  Also, Iraqi and American officials celebrated the delivery of two Mi-171E helicopters.  The delivery marked the ninth and tenth Mi-171E helicopter aircraft to arrive from a 14-aircraft. Two additional M-171Es were delivered to the base in the previous week.  In total, the Iraqi Army Aviation Command currently has 16 Mi-17 (legacy model Mi-171s) and 18 Mi-171E helicopters in its inventory. The remaining four Mi-171 helicopters are scheduled to be delivered before this fall.


Ministry of Interior


Iraq has requested a possible FMS sale of 750 50-Watt Vehicular Multiband Handheld Radio Systems, 900 5-watt Multiband Handheld Radio Systems, 50 50-watt Multiband Handheld Base Station Radio Systems, 50 20-watt High Frequency (HF) Base Station Radio Systems, and 100 5-watt Secure Personal Role Handheld Radio Systems for the Iraqi Federal Police Force.  This is part of the retraining, re-equipping, and re-designation program transferring the provincial Emergency Police to the Federal Police.


The 1st Mechanized Brigade, 4th Iraqi Federal Police Division, was reported in south Baghdad.  There has been reported only one 1st Mechanized FP Brigade.  This brigade was previously attached to the 2nd FP Division.  Elements of the 4th FP Division continue to be reported in south Baghdad despite its planned assumption of control of southern Iraqi provinces.  These elements are probably undergoing field training in preparation for redeployment to the south.  That redeployment may or may not include the mech.


Hi DJ, thanks for the update and happy Battle of Midway Commemoration!

Joakim Ekstrom (06/04/2011 04:06:26)


thx DJ as always :)

Almaleki (06/08/2011 05:56:21)


5th IA Div mechanizing...

DJ Elliott (06/08/2011 01:04:22)


HI DJ iraq's 2DIV gets M198 guns. DJ I don't get the reson for giving these guns to those unites , I always thought that the unites in the south like the tenth should have priority?

jack winters (06/21/2011 03:32:00)


I think they botched the division they are going to. It is probably 3rd not 2nd. 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th and 10th are the divs receiving external training. 3rd has elements under 2nd Div OPCON as augment...

DJ Elliott (06/21/2011 08:41:43)


Hi DJ. news out today, Iraq has once again gone back to the South Koreans and offered to buy T50 trainers in exchange for oil rather than cash in a counter trade. The koreans are now considering the Iraqi proposal... I guess the Czechs were too expensive??

sheytanelkebir (06/22/2011 04:39:24)


Maybe every choise was too expensive. Hence the oil for aircraft trade. No money from the budget...

DJ Elliott (06/22/2011 10:14:19)

DJ Elliott