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Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq

September 2007
Report to Congress
In accordance with the
Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2007
(Section 9010, Public Law 109-289)


Section 2-Iraqi Security Forces Training and Performance

2.3 Ministry of Defense

The Iraqi MoD military forces consist of the Joint Headquarters (JHQ); the Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IGFC), which commands the Army and the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF); the Air Force; and the Navy (including Marines). MoD forces currently have an authorized strength of approximately 195,200 personnel centered on an Army with 10 infantry divisions, one mechanized infantry division, one additional infantry division (being established as part of Prime Minister Maliki’s Expansion Initiative), one Special Operations Brigade, and associated combat support units and infrastructure protection battalions; an Air Force consisting of six squadrons; and a Navy with two squadrons and one Marine battalion. There are approximately 151,400 military personnel on the MoD payroll. In July 2007, the Prime Minister directed the establishment of an additional division headquarters and light infantry division which, upon completion, will bring the total force structure to 13 divisions. The 12th Division Headquarters, consisting of the headquarters and Military Police and Signal Companies, was designated for generation as part of the Prime Minister’s Initiatives in 2006. This divisional headquarters was to assume a portion of the 4th Division’s area of operation and assume command and control of several 4th Division brigades. In July 2007, based on operational considerations, the Prime Minister directed that the 14th Division Headquarters be generated in lieu of the 12th Division Headquarters. This unit, consisting of the headquarters and Military Police and Signal Companies, would assume a portion of the 10th Division’s area of operation in the southern portion of Iraq. The 14th Division (Light Infantry) would be formed by crossleveling several 10th Division brigades. The remainder of the divisional soldiers for the 14th Division will most likely be generated during late 2007 with their training and equipping expected to be completed in 2008. The 14th Division represents the 13th division overall for the Iraqi Army; however, there will not be a 13th Division due to the cultural sensitivities regarding the number 13. Generation of the 12th Division will now be delayed to 2008 due to the increased priority of generating the 14th Division. It is unknown how many of the 165,400 Iraqi military personnel who have been trained and equipped by the Coalition are still on the payroll, or how many on the payroll have been through Coalition training.

Ministry Transition Issues

As of September 1, 2007, nine Division Headquarters, 33 Brigade Headquarters, and 103 Iraqi Army battalions had assumed the lead for counterinsurgency operations (COIN) within their assigned areas of operations. The Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IGFC) has assumed command and control of eight of the 10 fully operational Iraqi Army divisions (the 5th and 7th Divisions remain under the operational control of MNC-I). The MoD, through the JHQ, has assumed responsibility for support and sustainment planning for these divisions as well as for forces transferring to JHQ command and control in the future. The 6th and 9th Divisions have subsequently been subordinated to the MoD’s Baghdad Operations Command as part of Fardh al-Qanoon (FAQ). By November 2007, the IGFC is expected to gain operational control of all ten Army divisions of the Objective Counterinsurgency Force.

Ministerial Capacity Development

Overall, the MoD is assessed as partially effective at managing ministry functions such as personnel management, budgeting, acquisitions and contracting, and plans and policies. Coalition assistance is required to provide fielded forces with required support. The MoD is, however, showing incremental progress in some areas such as life support contracting. Where it has already assumed the majority of responsibility, the quality and capacity of the new life support contractors servicing MoD have greatly improved this year. Moreover, the MoD’s ability to perform requirements-based budgeting has also improved significantly this year, and it has produced a 2007 Capabilities Requirements Plan in support of agreed Iraqi Defense policy objectives. The plan also includes an acquisition procurement strategy for either direct Ministry purchases or use of U.S. FMS cases.

The Ministry still suffers from deficiencies, particularly in the processes for obtaining approval for commitment of funds and contracting in general. The Ministry of Planning has published a new Iraqi Procurement Law effective May 2007. The Ministry is updating its Contracts Policy and Procedures Manual including the business process flow charts and delegated approval financial thresholds. As these processes mature, the MoD will continue to pursue a substantial portion of its acquisition and sustainment requirements through U.S. FMS cases, particularly for new units being generated. The MoD remains on track to develop and deliver the 2008 Capabilities Requirements Plan to the Directorate of Programs and Budgets for preparation of the 2008 Budget in the coming months. Efforts to build MoD capacity further will be enhanced by its new Civil Service Staff Development Center, which officially opened in July 2007.

Embedded Advisory Support

Transition Teams (TTs) are embedded in the MoD, the Joint Headquarters and with most battalions and brigade and division headquarters. Most of the teams at the unit level are comprised of about 10 personnel. At the national level, there are two teams that have about 50 personnel each, one for the civilian leadership of the Ministry and one for the Joint Headquarters (JHQ). The MoD-TT advises the civilian Iraqi MoD leadership and staff. The team currently consists of civilian advisors from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Since 2004, the MoD-TT has been led by an SES-level UK MoD civil servant. The MoD-TT consists of approximately 50 advisors including some 35 contractors, seven U.S. military personnel, and six UK and two Australian civil servants. An Australian general officer leads the TT that advises the JHQ. At the JHQ-TT, U.S. military personnel comprise about half of the advisors and the rest are split roughly between U.S. civilian contractors and military personnel from other Coalition countries. Both TTs report to MNSTC-I and provide mentoring support to senior officials in developing the Iraqi capacity to manage key ministerial functions. To enhance the Iraqi Army’s operational unit logistic capabilities, the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) is working with Iraqi logistics units and MNSTC-I’s Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT), and has teams embedded at the Taji National Depot to develop the national supply chain. Altogether, MNSTC-I has oversight of approximately 60 transition teams assigned to assist in logistics and sustainment.

Logistics and Sustainment

MoD’s growing but still too limited logistic and sustainment capacity remains a key hindrance to Iraqi forces’ ability to permanently assume missions from the Coalition. The MoD requires significant Coalition assistance, especially in warehouse, depot, transportation, and distribution operations. Plans are underway to transition responsibility for ammunition depots and national level maintenance from contractors in JHQ logistics units. Furthermore, progress has been made in filling motor transport units, regional support units, and garrison support units–all of which continue to build the Iraqi logistics, maintenance, and support capability. Development and implementation of the MoD strategic logistics policy concept is also maturing via the combined Coalition- JHQ Logistics Concept Implementation Committee (LCIC). Chairmanship of the LCIC has shifted to the JHQ with the Coalition providing the co-chair deputy. The ability of the MoD forces to maintain accountability for U.S.-provided equipment remains a challenge. According to the latest Iraqi Army reports on the 1st through 10th Divisions, these units have an average of 75% of authorized equipment. Even though these units have previously been issued 100% of authorized equipment, battlefield attrition, normal wear and tear from a high operational tempo, theft and pilfering, and maintenance shortfalls have all resulted in equipment attrition. Without fully capable Iraqi Army, Joint Headquarters, and MoD logistics systems, accounting for this attrition is difficult. The IGFC has initiated an effort to reconcile the differences between what was issued and what is onhand by ordering units to conduct 100% equipment inventories, and the IGFC is in the process of requiring all divisions to provide a monthly equipment report for equipment accountability purposes. The MoD, MNSTC-I and MNC-I are also focused on improving HMMWV maintenance levels. MiTT teams indicate that these Iraqi initiatives are helping to improve equipment accountability at the unit level.

MNSTC-I and the MoD continue to issue mission-critical items to the Iraqi Armed Forces, such as up-armored HMMWVs, wheeled Armored Personnel Carriers, heavy machine guns, and fuel trucks to the agreed Modified Table of Organizational Equipment (MTOE) levels. MNC-I also conducts a monthly equipment status report which tracks the issued, on-hand, and fully mission capable status of the key pacing items by the Iraqi Army divisions and Motorized Transportation Regiments. The Iraqi Army has established a Combined Logistics Operations Center (CLOC) and has been working closely with MNSTC-I on a daily basis. In coordination with the Iraqis, MNSTC-I has drafted an internal Ministry Transfer Policy that will provide accountability procedures for property transferred between different Ministries and among elements within the same Ministry. The MoD continues to receive delivery of, and train units on, U.S.-standard equipment—such as M4s, M16s, M203s, and supporting ammunition and repair parts—through FMS cases using MoD funds.

Throughout this period, DoD continued to focus on developing the MoD’s logistics support capabilities in the areas of fuel supply, maintenance, budget, material management, self-sustainment, ammunition, medical equipment, supply accountability, and national warehouse operations. The FY2007 Supplemental appropriation and FY2008 funding request included additional funding for the Iraq Security Forces Fund to support this effort. A major element of the initiative is the implementation of a Logistics Management Information Technology (IT) Solution to manage more than 11,000 line items of inventory stored at more than 11 storage sites including the Taji National Depot, five Regional Support Units (RSUs), selected Garrison Support Units (GSUs), and selected Air Force and Navy support sites. A key hindrance to Iraqi selfreliance in supplying fuel to its forces is that the MoD still receives fuel allocations from the Ministry of Oil (MoO) below required levels. Although the MoO is increasing its allocation to the MoD, shortfalls still occur as the Iraqi Army fields new vehicles and as the force structure continues to grow, requiring continued provision of fuel by Coalition forces. The MoD is initiating FMS procurements to acquire military line haul fuel tanker capabilities rather than rely on commercial transportation. The MoD is assuming greater responsibility for contracting for transportation of supplies, soldiers, and equipment via a contract for line transportation. By the end of September 2007, the MoD is scheduled to provide all life support to its fighting force through contracts; the MoD’s disbursements to its life support contractors have generally been on time throughout 2007—important success in MoD budget execution.

MNSTC-I is currently working with the MoD to transfer maintenance capabilities to the Iraqi Army. The MoD did not assume responsibility for the National Maintenance Contract at the end of June 2007 as planned. MNSTC-I is now supporting the Iraqi Army Maintenance Program (IAMP) through the end of November 2007. The JHQ M4 staff has agreed to a transition plan, and the Iraqi Army will assume responsibility for maintenance at 10 sites throughout Iraq as the USG transitions out of the IAMP contract. A joint Transition Advisory Council has been established to track the transition of the maintenance capability and to make decisions on the timetable. The MoD also has two FMS contracts in place worth US$80 million for the procurement of spare parts. The total cost of maintenance support contracts to be assumed by the MoD is estimated to be US$160 million. The MoD has a number of additional FMS contracts in place and is procuring equipment to support the expansion of the Iraqi Army.

The MoD Office of the Surgeon General (OSG) fully committed the 2007 budget of US$32 million to provide much needed medical supplies and care. This did not fully fund all the MoD OSG requirements. A separate FMS case for a level III field hospital is being executed. MNSTC-I provided initial funding and one-year sustainment of medical supplies. Although the MoD’s medical logistic capabilities are improving, they require continued Coalition assistance. The first of six planned mortuary facilities has been constructed and opened. Also, a medical follow-up unit has been established for administrative support to coordinate medical treatment for seriously wounded Iraqi military personnel and to coordinate death benefits for military fatalities and their survivors.

Discussions continued between the DoD and the MoD on the development of an Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) for the reciprocal provision of logistic support, supplies and services on a reimbursable basis. A draft agreement has been produced, but as of this reporting period, the Iraqi government had not determined what level of the GoI would be authorized to approve such an agreement.

Force Generation

The MoD’s institutional training base accounts for basic and military occupational specialty training for soldiers, noncommissioned officers, initial-entry cadets, new lieutenants, and staff officers. Embedded transition teams and partner units subordinate to MNC-I oversee and mentor operational training in counterinsurgencyoriented mission-essential tasks. The Iraqi government is funding US$950 million of the cost of increasing the Army’s structure from 10 to 13 divisions. This expansion is intended to increase the MoD’s ability to overmatch enemy forces, enhance its operational and tactical flexibility, and allow units to retrain and refit. MoD is procuring much of the equipment for these new units through DoD FMS cases. Iraqi staff officers in the JHQ assumed responsibility from MNSTC-I in May 2007 for force generation of Iraqi Army units and are now leading the planning for recruiting, training, manning, equipping, basing and forming of new Army units. MNSTC-I continues to mentor, partner with, and train JHQ force generation personnel.

Force Expansion

MNSTC-I funded equipment for 18,000 new soldiers who were trained as replacements for losses from the last four years. Continued replenishment of battle losses and other attrition will be required. To improve present-for-duty strength, MNSTC-I also funded a 21,100 soldier increase in the manning of combat units to increase the number of personnel assigned to units to 120% of current authorizations. All of these soldiers have completed their training, and as of mid-July 2007, Iraqi Army divisions reached approximately 103% of authorized strength. This strength level is deceptively high in that the majority of the Army personnel strength is in the lowest enlisted ranks. The mid-range enlisted and officer ranks are extremely low at 38% and 69%, respectively. This shortage is a focal point of both the Coalition and Iraqi teams. There are many initiatives being explored and implemented. Currently the main focus is on mobile recruiting teams that are attempting to recruit former NCOs and officers from the old army to fill critical voids in the Army as well as the other services. With the infusion of more than 9,000 soldiers by September, the divisions will have an estimated aggregate number of assigned personnel of approximately 110% of authorized levels. This initiative will continue until the number of personnel assigned to all combat battalions is at least 120% of authorizations.

A major reason for this manning increase is that only about 65% of authorized personnel are present for duty in fielded units at any time, and this percentage varied widely among units. (For ISOF, Air Force and Navy, only 61%, 39%, and 40% of authorized personnel, respectively, were present for duty at any time.) With increased manning of divisional units, the Army’s present-for-duty averages have increased to approximately 70% on any given day. Increasing assigned personnel strength to 120% of authorizations is expected to ensure a further improvement in present-for-duty averages to at least 75% of a battalion’s authorized strength. The greatest contributor to the difference between authorized strength and present-forduty strength is a policy that places about one-quarter of all soldiers on leave at any time to take pay home to their families. In addition, the Army has suffered up to 25% annual attrition due to casualties and other factors such as soldiers going absent without leave (AWOL). Iraqi Army divisions that face sustained combat operations report AWOL rates of between 5% and 8%.

The new Iraqi military justice system is being implemented by the Iraqis with the ongoing appointment, training, and posting of military judges, legal advisors, and disciplinary officers. The Iraqi Military Penal Law was enacted and became effective in July 2007, and the Military Procedures Law, establishing the military courts-martial and disciplinary system, is pending final approval by the Iraq Presidency Council and forwarding to the Ministry of Justice for publishing in the Official Gazette. Implementation of these laws, expected in September, will enable Iraqi commanders to deal fairly and effectively with absenteeism and desertion.


The Army (ground forces) component currently consists of approximately 131,600 soldiers, according to MoD payroll data, organized into 12 divisions; total personnel authorized for ground forces are 171,300. Supporting elements consisting of Training and Doctrine Command, five RSUs, and 28 GSUs are currently assigned approximately 14,500 support personnel; total authorizations are 16,700. Previously, 80 GSUs were planned, but many of them have been consolidated into larger units to ensure that each possessed organic base defense capabilities. All of the RSUs and 15 of the 28 GSUs have embedded MNSTC-I transition teams.

The Prime Minister has directed that the 17 Iraqi Army Infrastructure Battalions (IAIBs) go through a two-phased re-training and reequipping process to transform them into regular Iraqi Army Battalions. These battalions will have special skills directed towards infrastructure protection and consequence management. MNSTC-I is working closely with the Iraqi Joint Headquarters to complete the planning of this phased concept to transform IAIBs into Light Infantry Battalions that are fully integrated into the regular Iraqi Army. One IAIB has already moved to a Regional Training Center and will begin training in the near future. In May 2007, all Iraqi Army divisions were assigned responsibility for infrastructure protection in their areas of responsibility with operational control of Infrastructure Battalions. Full integration is projected to occur after they are trained to the same standards as regular Army soldiers, possibly by early 2009. Efforts to improve the capability of these units are led by partnered IA units and MiTTs.

National Counter-Terror Capability

Implementation of the National Counter- Terrorism (CT) capability remains on track to achieve full operational capability by December 2007, and the CT Bureau is operating. Communications between the newly established CT Bureau (CTB) and CT Command with the Iraq Special Operations Force (ISOF) Brigade headquarters, the Ministry of Defense, and the Joint Headquarters are functioning and maintained through daily video teleconferences and across the U.S.-funded Iraqi Defense Network. The CTB completed its 2008 budget planning and is drafting a National CT Strategy. Individual and collective training is also progressing with the MiTTs working with their Iraqi counterparts. A new CT law has been drafted and is progressing through the legislature. U.S. Special Operations Forces (USSOF) and Coalition partners working as the Special Operations Iraq Transition Teams (SOITT) train the ISOF Brigade headquarters command and staff personnel. The ISOF Brigade is the operational component of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Command. It has grown to an assigned strength of approximately 3,300 soldiers, which comprise the bulk of Iraq’s CT strike capability, with total authorizations of about 4,500. An ISOF expansion program has begun. Currently, one commando battalion is being established with regionally based companies planned in Basrah, Mosul, Al Asad, and Diyala. Over time, these may grow to battalion strength. The Basrah Company is currently conducting operations and the Mosul Company attained initial operational capability.


The Iraqi Navy has approximately 1,100 assigned sailors and Marines organized into an operational headquarters, two afloat squadrons, and four Marine companies that are stationed for point defense of the offshore oil platforms. The Navy will grow to 2,900 personnel as acquisition of two offshore support vessels, four patrol ships, 15 patrol boats and a number of smaller vessels progresses. Contracts for the purchase of many of these ships have been definitized, but execution has been delayed due to negotiations with vendors over exchange rates and taxation. The Iraqi Navy faces significant challenges in meeting training needs for its ambitious acquisition program, including development of leadership and technical skills. The MNSTC-I Naval Transition Team and Coalition Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard Forces continue to advise the Iraqi Navy. Naval infrastructure development, funded by MNSTC-I and the MoD, remains a primary effort in preparation for the delivery of their new ships slated to arrive beginning in the fourth quarter of CY08.

Air Force

There are approximately 900 personnel assigned to the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF). A concentrated recruitment and accession effort is underway to field 1,500 airmen by the end of 2007; the MoD has authorized a total of 2,900 IqAF personnel. To develop the IqAF officer corps, the Air Force has interfaced with the Iraqi Military Academy system and recently graduated the first 19 second lieutenants. The IqAF has also implemented an officer training program at the Air Force Training School. The first graduation from this course will be in October 2007. The IqAF will also open a flight training school in October 2007 to develop professional aviators. Currently, the IqAF has 91 mission-qualified pilots for 51 on-hand aircraft and is flying missions with both its C-130 and Cessna Caravan aircraft.

The Air Force is organized and equipped for counterinsurgency operations and is advised by eight embedded teams from the Coalition Air Force Transition Team. Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft are currently located at Kirkuk Air Base (3 Squadron with three Cessna 208B Caravans and 4 SAMA CH-2000s) and Basrah Air Base (70 Squadron with four SAMA CH-2000s and two Sea Bird Seeker SB7L-360s). Each unit performs daily operational missions over Baghdad and key national infrastructure locations supplying actionable intelligence to both Iraqi and Coalition ground forces. The intelligence gathered during these flights has provided timely evidence of Baghdad perimeter security breaches and detection of oil piracy. As described in previous reports, Iraq’s capabilities to conduct airborne ISR are being further enhanced with additional procurements of interim and advanced platforms. The last of three Cessna Caravan interim ISR aircraft arrived in June 2007, giving the IqAF an enhanced day and night capability once initial and mission qualification training is completed.

There are currently 35 helicopters assigned to the IqAF, split among the Bell UH-1H Huey IIs, Bell 206B Jet Rangers, and Mi-17 Hips. The fielding of rotary-wing aircraft continued with the delivery of six modified UH II (Iroquois) helicopters, bringing the total delivered to 16. Aircrews are currently conducting initial qualification and tactics training. The Iroquois fleet has achieved initial operating capability and is currently conducting battlefield mobility and VIP transport missions. The first 10 MoDprocured Mi-17 helicopters are still not operationally employed due to shortfalls in defensive systems and internal/external communications. The IqAF addressed this need with a US$6 million defensive system contract with a scheduled delivery of the first system suites 90 days after payment, but this date is slipping because of problems in the acquisition and contracting process. An additional four Mi-17s arrived in May with full defensive suites installed but with significant communication problems. The initial operational capability of the Mi-17 will occur in the third quarter of 2007 after night and tactics training is complete. The MoD has ordered a total of 28 Mi-17s, with final delivery scheduled for December 2007. The Iraqi Air Force 12 Squadron continues to conduct flight training with five Bell Jet Ranger aircraft.

The 23 Squadron at New Al Muthanna Air Base has three 1960s vintage C-130E aircraft. IqAF technicians perform all routine maintenance and all-Iraqi flight crews are generally the norm. The maturity of the 23 Squadron has enabled a reduction in the number of U.S. Air Force MiTT personnel assigned to the unit. The MoD has requested an additional three Excess Defense Article C-130s from the USG to bring the squadron size to six aircraft. All IqAF aircraft are currently being integrated to assist with other ISF units in order to win the COIN fight. The ISR and helicopter assets will enhance the capabilities of the ISOF if they are able to recruit enough pilots to fly them. Advisors to both the IqAF and the MoD's CT Bureau are currently working closely to develop this capability.


Capable police and military forces will enable the Iraqi government to battle terrorism, neutralize the insurgency, and provide stability in Iraq. Efforts are ongoing to build the capacity of the forces and the ministries to sustain themselves without Coalition support, and to operate independently without the full range of Coalition combat enablers. This includes developing a robust FMS program assisting with GoI force expansion initiatives, continuing support for GoI efforts to procure U.S. standard equipment, and supporting efforts to improve equipment accountability.

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