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This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during July 2011. “The Missing Links – A Realistic Appraisal of the Iraqi Army” was published separately and will not be addressed here. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 31 July 2011. Highlights in this update include:
- Locations of 4th and 18th RGB; Golden Lions has new base.
- Najaf turned over to IA; IA taking over route-clearance in Kirkuk; Route-clearance training in Basrah; New Tank Regiment planned for Kirkuk; Second shipment of BTR-4s by end-year; Kipri MRAPs offered to Iraq; Mortar training for IA; Update on M1A1, M109A5, M198, and M113 deliveries; 700 tanks claimed by IMoD?
- F16 negotiations; Possible I-Hawks.
- Patrol Boats P304 and P306 to deliver in August.
- Commando training for Abu Risha IFP Brigade.
The 4th Regional Guards Brigade was reported training near Chuar-Qurna village. The 4th RGB was previously located in Kirkuk province. The first location for the 18th RGB was reported in Kurdistan’s Balak Area.
The Joint-Combined Kurdish/Iraqi IA/IP/IFP/KRG "Golden Lions” has expanded to a Battalion and has a new base at Contingency Operating Site Warrior.
The last US forces departed Najaf Province and handed off to the IA’s 8th Division. This is the second province to turn over to the IA this summer. Karbala Province was the first.
The IA is taking over route-clearance operations in Kirkuk. "Iraqi army soldiers of 12th Field Engineer Regiment graduated a route clearance training course during a ceremony at the K1 Training Center, Kirkuk province, Iraq, July 2."
14th Field Engineer Regiment in Basrah is receiving route-clearance training on the ILAV with claw. This is the first report of 14 Division receiving this training.
K1 turned over to the IA and is to eventually host a Tank Regiment – probably in the 15th Brigade. “This base will eventually be turned over from Location Command to the 12th Iraqi Army Division,” said Hall. “The 12th IA is planning on using the K1 facility to support a new tank regiment that is forming. The regiment is not on the ground yet, but it is in the working for the future.” Either all of the IA infantry divisions are getting a heavy brigade or the 12th Division is to be a heavy division. There have been armored/mech planned upgrades, elements, and/or training in 9 of the 14 IA divisions to date: 3rd, 5th Mech, 6th, 7th Mech, 8th, 9th Armored, 11th, 12th, and 14th.
Ukrainians are claiming that "The second shipment of BTR-4 infantry combat vehicles to Iraq will be done on time despite problems in the delivery of parts.” “The second shipment, 62 infantry combat vehicles, will be sent by the end of the year.”
Kirpi MRAPs offered to Iraq. "Turkey’s BMC company will soon export to Iraq and Afghanistan Kirpi, its mine resistant, ambush protected, armored vehicle, which the Turkish Armed Forces also uses." No actual sale has been made.
While the US is starting to turn over external training to the IA, the IA is still requesting additional US training. "Brig. Gen. Abdul Amir, commander of the 10th IA Division, was so pleased with the operation that he said he would take over mortar capability in the future, and requested a training plan that builds Iraqi army mortar skills to the point where the Iraqis conduct all fire missions and U.S. forces only provide over watch."
In response to an RFI on Iraqi tanks, 1LT Joseph Larrew, Battle Captain, Media Operations Center, US Embassy-Baghdad provided the following update on US equipment deliveries:
“As of July 13, 2011:
- 123 of 140 M1A1s have arrived at COS Hammer, 120 are deprocessed and 61 have been transferred to the IA. 12 more M1A1s will arrive at Umm Qasr Port on 24JUL.
- All 24 M109A5 self-propelled Howitzers have been de-processed and 13 are ready for issue and training.
- 40 of the 120 M198 Towed Howitzers delivered to Taji. 23 are ready to be transferred to IA and 4 have been issued to IA.
- M113 Family of Vehicle (FOV) Armored Personnel Carriers: First 56 of 1026 are scheduled to arrive at Umm Qasr on 23 July. Delivery of 50 more is scheduled for mid August 2011. Deprocessing and handover of all M113 will be completed by March 2012.”
When you factor in training time after issue, this equipment should be in operational combat capable formations in 12-18 months. The M1A1 tanks and M109A4 self-propelled Howitzers are going to 9th Armored Division. The M198 Howitzers have been appearing in 5th and 2nd or 3rd Division. The M113s are reported going to 9th Armored, 5th Mech, and 7th Mech Divisions plus the 56/6 (Baghdad) Brigade.
An Investors Iraq report claimed that the IMoD report to Parliament listed 700 tanks in the IA. "The report stated that the army had advanced 700 tanks, including 145 tanks, "Abrams" combat, and 60 helicopters.” The problem with this report is that Iraq has less than half that number of tanks. These missing 350 tanks are a major missing component for the planned mechanization of 5th and 7th Divisions. There are several possible answers to why the Iraqi Ministry of Defense would claim 700 tanks:
- One unconfirmed claim by a commenter (Jack winters 07/26/2011 02:55:38) is that the IMoD report included 350 Kurdish held T55/T62 tanks acquired in 2003. The problem with this is that the KRG is reported to have only 81 operational tanks organized into 2 Tank Battalions and an Independent Tank Company. Fewer than 10 percent of the 2,300 tanks from the old IA are salvageable – most were demolished by MNF to prevent enemy forces from returning them to action during the invasion of 2003. It is unlikely that there are 350 additional tanks left in Iraq [including the KRG] that can be salvaged.
- Another possibility is that the IA is about to take delivery of 350 tanks from another source. In April 2007, the Commander of IGFC is reported to have stated that “Two more divisions should become operational in June, and their M60 main battle tanks, M113 armored personnel carriers and other mostly U.S.- and Western-built heavy weapons will arrive in the second half of the year.” It is possible that this was a mis-translation. He might have meant “second phase” instead of “second half of the year”. In 2007 the M60 tanks, M113s, and heavy weapons never appeared. Phase 2 of IMoD’s planned upgrades started this year and M113s plus heavy weapons [155mm howitzers] are now arriving. Additionally, the Hellenic Army is disposing of 361 M60A1s and this could be the source to these tanks.
- The Ukrainians were hoping to sell tanks to the IA to go with the BTR4s. Given the problems with the BTR4 and An32 buys, this is unlikely – but cannot be excluded.
- The Iraqis could be buying tanks from another non-US source that hasn’t leaked yet. US purchases require advanced notices to Congress and there have been no new notices posted.
There have been reports of offers of Mirage 2000, Typhoon, Hawk, Korean T50 aircraft through the month. After repeated reports that Iraq was restarting negotiations to buy 36 F16 fighters to be based at Balad and Ali Air Bases, an Iraqi Government spokesman denied it, only to have the Prime Minister announce the negotiations. Surplus money from oil experts is to be spent for these 36 F16 aircraft. F16 negotiations and possible fighter purchases have been on-again/off-again for 4 years. No contract(s) has been signed for any of these aircraft so far.
There is an unconfirmed report from a commenter (Jack winters 07/25/2011 03:24:16) that Iraq is looking at buying I-Hawk surface-to-air missiles as part of its air defense.
In June, patrol boats P304 and P306 were loaded for shipping to Iraq. According to 1LT Joseph Larrew, Battle Captain, Media Operations Center, US Embassy-Baghdad: "PB 305 was actually delayed in construction and is now scheduled to arrive early September, however, PB 304 and 306 are scheduled to arrive in August."
Iraqi Ministry of Interior
The Abu Risha Federal Police Brigade was reported receiving “commando” training at Ramadi. This is the first time in over a year that this IFP Brigade has been mentioned. Commando training and calling them IP could indicate they are transferring to the MoI Emergency Response Force.
ARINC completes the upgrade of Iraq's new Mi171s. http://www.arinc.com/news/2011/08-04-11_mi_17_helicopters_delivered%20.html
sheytanelkebir (08/05/2011 04:31:45)
Thanks. I knew they were finishing but, this confirms it...
DJ Elliott (08/05/2011 07:42:19)
Hmmm, I missed Jack's comment on the Hawk. A sensible choice seeing as how they could field an IADS faster than an actual air force. My only question is, does whoever made the missile (Raytheon?) still support it? What do you think DJ? (about the choice that is, not who made them.)
Trophy Wench (08/05/2011 09:13:22)
Ok, just answered my own question... http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/hawk/
Trophy Wench (08/05/2011 09:18:21)
TW: Yup. Upgrade version is an AMRAAM terminal stage. Good system for air defense but, no ABM capability. Which makes it much cheaper than Patriot. //// Have you noticed the propaganda in Iraq recently? Talking about IA having 4,000 tanks in 2003 and how they were carted away by Iran and KRG. 1. Iraq had half that. 2. Iran didn't get any of them and KRG got much fewer than claimed - most no good as anything but inmobile pillboxes. 3. US practiced excelent demolition practices in 2003. Fewer than 200 salvaged and most of them were in for maintenance at Taji - thus not field demo'd. 81 KRG T55, 76 IA T54/55/59, and ~43 T72 returned to active service since 2004.
DJ Elliott (08/05/2011 09:57:55)
Maybe is just me being a westerner but I just don't understand it. I mean, ok I can understand the use of arbitrary numbers to make your military look good but saying that the Iranians or the Kurds practically stole your tanks? That's not even good propaganda, you're just asking for a fight now so why bother? Do they think that their people are stupid or ignorant to whats going on in their government? Are those statements made to make the people happy about their military or angry towards the... instigators(?)? And even from a strictly military perspective, saying that you own and (possibly) operate tanks which are basically Chinese copies of a 50 year old soviet design is just asinine and everybody knows it and knows that whatever tanks the Iraqis once had anyway were in a word, crap. /rant. ///Ok, now that that is over I was looking up some additional info on the Hawk and it turns out the latest versions of the missile (Hawk XXI series) are indeed ABM capable. Apparently they use a lot of the subsystems from the Patriot, which makes sense as well as subsystems developed in partnership with Norway that also help developed their new AMRAAM based SAM; NASAMS. The more I look at it, the better an option it becomes for Iraq to implement. Lets hope there is some truth to those rumors!
Trophy Wench (08/06/2011 07:16:02)
in my view Iraq really needs an ABM type system rather than a simple SAM, since the main threat from Iran are hundreds of short and medium range ballistic missiles.
sheytanelkebir (08/06/2011 07:17:01)
the only systems able to intercept iranian missiles are the US PAC3 and the russian S400 systems. The US still has 3 or 4 PAC3 sites in Iraq, I wonder if they will become "trainers" in Iraq after 2012? Or if Iraq plans to buy PAC3 or S400s? Otherwise Iraq is completely unprotected from the main Iranian threat.
sheytanelkebir (08/06/2011 07:21:00)
Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are all patriot operators. Saudi is buying S400s last time I heard, and UAE is also interested in THAAD. That shows where the main threat lies...
sheytanelkebir (08/06/2011 07:25:33)
Hi DJ First thanks for letting hang to dry in the august update; I’m the one who kept on telling you that the KRG tanks report is not confirmed and shouldn’t be taken into consideration. Because it’s a news report not the actual report. In terms of the Hawk System, that’s a rumor going around because of PM Maliki’s comment that Iraq is looking for an air defense system, and Iraq buying the Mobile AN TPS 77 Radar. But it’s not confirmed. PS ( SEC Gates dropped the SLAMRAM system for the US army the only system left is the Advanced HAWK system and Patriot) TO TW I don’t know what report you and DJ read; that talked about Iranians steeling Iraqi tanks, first it could be some news report from a doggy source in which case it’s stupid. But let me tell you what Iraqi’s are saying, they are wondering where did the Iraqi army equipment go? Because we’re talking about equipment belonging to at least 15 Div- armor and all, people are wondering; from all that equipment only a handful of tanks and some artillery survived, it doesn’t make sense even to some politicians. The reason people want the rubbish equipment is because Iraq doesn’t have enough resources to pay for everything Iraq needs. In some estimates; for Iraq to get a complete military it would need a least ten years and at least 80-100Billion dollars. If you count; air defense, aircraft (100) , tanks , artillery, communications , logistics , attack helo, support and logistics.
Jack Winters (08/07/2011 08:58:44)
To sheytanelkebir S 400, Pac 3. Won’t help Iraq one bit against Iran, you forget that six provinces are on the Iraq Iran Border, the( fajer 5) is capable of hitting all of the towns and cities in its rang and the PAC 3 can’t do anything against a GRAD style attack, look at Hezbollah and Israel , look at North Korea and South Korea. That is what Iraq is facing not a gulf war style war but like the Iraq Iran War , in the first days of the war Iraq Penetrated the Iranian lines and held it for two years to prevent Iran from using its rockets, and the use of the Air force that’s how you stop it. The only places Iraq could use a Pac system is Baghdad, Basra and the ports are completely vulnerable to attack.
Jack Winters (08/07/2011 09:00:46)
Jack: Even you are exagerating - there were 25 divs in the 2003 IA/RG but, only 10 repeat 10 heavy Divs in the IA/RG in 2003. 4x Mech: 1st, 5th, 51st, and Adnan. 6x Armor: 3rd, 6th, 10th, Hammurabi, Medina, and Al Nida. At max strength that is 200 tanks per mech and 300 per armor. NONE OF THESE DIVISIONS WERE ANYWHERE NEAR MAX STRENGTH. The infantry divs were at about 40-50% TO/E. The heavies were 70% at best. Their equipment is in those scrapyards. The US does not leave functional equipment lying around for enemy insurgents to use. We blow it. That is why our infantry know how to use thermit and C4 so well. The estimates of tanks in the 2003 IA/RG combined range from 1,500-2,300. All of the divisional artillery was at 50 percent or less. Remember 1991? The year the IA was reduced from 4th largest to one of the smallest armies in the world? The US concentrated on FA and armor. We made sure that it would never be operational again... /// SSMs are a terror weapon. Too inacurate to be useful militarily unless you put a nuke warhead on them. Iraq survived the 80s missile war without an ABM capability - Just as London survived the blitz - it is just fashionable to have one now...
DJ Elliott (08/07/2011 06:18:50)
Reality 101: 1990 tanks: ~5,500. 2002 tanks: 1,500-2,300. Salvaged tanks returned to operations since 2003: ~43 T72, ~76 T54/55, and 81 T55 [KRG]. About 10 percent - thermite welds breach-blocks into metal blocks real well. Howitzers were targeted even harder than tanks in 1991 and 2003. Plus most of the FA was worn out from the Iran-Iraq War. Iraqi Air defense was hammered even harder. 1991 thru 2003 - for 12 years the IqAF and AD were hammered. I deployed there enough times in the 90s. /// For that matter, look at the IqN. 5 PBs out of 140 vessels survived...
DJ Elliott (08/07/2011 06:36:09)
I've been seeing these claims for several weeks now. They're not based on reality. The majority of the IA's old equipment is unsalvagable scrap in the boneyards.... /// "After 2003, they captured the former Iraqi army tanks. About 4,000 tanks left by the former Iraqi army in the streets and cities disappeared, and our investigations indicate that the Kurds have most of them and Iran got the rest," he said. http://news.yahoo.com/analysis-kurds-serve-warning-u-withdrawal-nears-143214281.html
DJ Elliott (08/07/2011 06:52:26)
Jack: If you do not want to be quoted as a source - then provide links to the actual source. Since I could not find a source to confirm your coments - you became the single unconfirmed source in both cases. I seem to remember asking for links and comments are on the record...
DJ Elliott (08/07/2011 07:09:29)
Hi DJ This is not the first time I have given Info without sources, I was the first on the net to say that the M1A1 will go to the ninth and you wrote an entire report about the issue, I was the first to talk about the big deal with US; that turned out to be the m113 deal that no one talked about for a long time, the Serbian arms deal was the same ( all of these topics where mentioned on Iraqi TV programs like (huma al iraq) and interviews with the DM. NOTHING WAS WRITTEN until days or months later .
Jack Winters (08/08/2011 02:43:21)
Most was speculation; the Iraqi DM said the tanks were going to an armored DIV but didn’t say which, I made the Link , the other big deal-M113- you made the link with your sources , and the same is going on now with air defense issue; the Iraqi PM said we are going to get an Air defense System but did not say which one, People( Iraqi Commentators ) are saying HAWK ; why because Iraq Has not bought anything Russian yet except helo’s and only through the US, and since an air defense system needs a lot of training and the Iraqi GOV is worried about corruption; the US is the best source. No one thinks that the US is going to sell Patriots to Iraq, so the best system would be HAWK.
Jack Winters (08/08/2011 02:44:21)
Jack: As you said, before there were other sources. This time - in both cases - you were the only one saying it. I-Hawk makes sense. The IMoD report claiming the KRG has 350 tanks doesn't. What does make sense is that 350 more tanks are needed to fill out 5th and 7th Mech Divs...
DJ Elliott (08/08/2011 03:00:44)
I confirm JW claim about AD .. as i heard it from PM almaleki .
Almaleki (08/08/2011 06:03:32)
I'm doing some re-thinking about 10th Div spliting and forming another Div. What if the extra Support Bde is a Corps-level asset standing up? 10th relocate to Memona and a Corps stand up at Ali Base? This sounds more like that... http://www.usf-iraq.com/news/headlines/iraqi-army-tours-adders-supply-support-activity-facility Also, the movements between Besmaya and Taji could be relocating to make room for Corps' Troops at Taji....
DJ Elliott (08/11/2011 09:59:44)