Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq
Report to Congress
In accordance with the
Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2008
(Section 9010, Public Law 109-289)
Report to Congress
In accordance with the
Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2008
(Section 9010, Public Law 109-289)
Section 2-Iraqi Security Forces Training and Performance
2.3 Ministry of Defense
The GoI authorizes approximately 208,000 personnel in the MoD, with over 181,000 personnel assigned. The Iraqi Army (IA) has 11 infantry divisions and one mechanized infantry division. In addition, as part of his expansion initiative, the Prime Minister has directed the establishment of one additional division, which is currently being generated. The MoD has made solid gains in institutional capacity and force generation— particularly unit set fielding—during this reporting period but is still developing capacity in other areas. The Joint Headquarters (JHQ) has significantly restructured its command and control arrangements. Coalition assistance provides fielded forces with some logistical support, but the MoD has assumed life-support responsibilities and is working to attain self-sufficiency in maintenance and logistics. The MoD is showing genuine, but sometimes inconsistent, progress in its acquisitions processes. The MoD also demonstrates an increasingly joint and inter-service approach to the planning and management of all ministry requirements. However, lapses in coordination between the largely civilian-staffed MoD and the JHQ continue to occur.
Ministry of Defense Transition Issues
Ministry Capacity Development
The MoD continues slow, uneven progress to refine and institutionalize its internal processes, eliminate corruption, strengthen cross-MoD/JHQ relationships and more effectively engage with external stakeholders. Overall, the MoD is assessed as “partially effective” at force management, resource management, personnel, acquisition, logistics and sustainment and training and development, but with an increased capacity to self-manage. The MoD has shown some progress in the areas of FMS management oversight and performing requirements-based budgeting. However, there will continue to be a need for Coalition assistance to provide fielded forces with required logistical and support services until MoD ministerial force management, resource management and sustainment processes mature.
MoD force management efforts experienced limited success during this reporting period in the areas of force planning, recruiting and command and control. The MoD has adopted a process in which new units emerging from collective training are equipped in unit sets. This results in cohesive units formed at higher states of readiness than previous efforts. This process is now part of MoD and JHQ force generation procedures. This approach will continue in 2008 as the means to generate new IA units. The MoD and JHQ staffs continue developing their capabilities to program force generation in accordance with MoD 2007 force generation priorities, but the challenge of integrating activities across functional lines remains significant. The JHQ Chief of Staff has approved the 2008 Force Generation Priority List. However, senior MoD executives—including the Secretary General and the Minister of Defense—have yet to approve it, though they are working from it. While this inaction hinders the ability of MoD and JHQ staff to deliver a coordinated program, force generation is proceeding as scheduled.
Although command, control and coordination are sufficient at the operational and tactical levels, planning and inter-ministerial coordination are often shallow and slow at the strategic level. The defense policies and directives that flow from these immature processes are often labored, insufficient and vague. The Integrated Resource Requirements and Oversight Committee (IRROC) has served as a forum for coordinating the efforts of the various MoD directorates, though its proceedings often lack structure. However, the MoD is currently reviewing the IRROC portfolio, further exacerbating problems with coordination and the uneven quality of staff work within the MoD.
The MoD 2008 budget allocation is approximately US$5 billion. This results in a 2008 MoD funding shortfall of approximately US$3.0 billion, based on service plan requirements. This shortfall will require additional GoI funding support or reprogramming capability acquisition into 2009 or beyond.
The MoD continues to develop a comprehensive personnel management program. Many policies and processes are now in place to support life-cycle personnel functions from recruitment to retirement. Underpinning much of this work has been the development of a robust electronic personnel and payroll system. The system provides salary payments to MoD personnel and auditable accounting records that feed directly into the MoD budgetary system.
Various expansion and replenishment initiatives during 2007 attempted to generate force-manning levels to 120% of required authorizations for IA divisions—primarily to accommodate regular leave schedules. This figure has increased to 135% for the 2nd through 5th IA divisions. As of January 17, 2008, IA divisions have reached an average of 113% of authorized strength for all operational units. This average consists of 157% of authorizations for enlisted personnel, just over 69% of authorized NCOs and just under 73% of authorized officers. Air Force and Navy manning are 45% and 75% of authorization, respectively. IA monthly attrition averages 3.6%, in part due to casualty rates two to three times higher than that of Coalition forces. On average, 2,000 soldiers become absent without leave (AWOL) each week, though an unspecified number return for duty. This equates to an average monthly AWOL rate of approximately 1.2%. Based on available CY 2007 data, approximately 24,500 soldiers were dropped from the IA rolls for desertion or AWOL. In addition to service-specific personnel programs, the MoD is improving its leader-toled ratios through its re-joining initiative. During this reporting period, the MoD successfully vetted nearly 500 officers and 9,212 NCOs from the former regime, allowing them to re-join the IA. Prior-service officers and NCOs attend a three-week re-joining course to prepare them for service in the IA. It is expected that up to 1,500 officers and 13,000 NCOs will ultimately enter the force based on the current re-joining effort. As the GoI implements the Accountability and Justice Law, even more officers and NCOs from the former regime are expected to re-join the IA. As the IA screens “re-joiners,” they capture and record individual biometric data. This screening facilitates achieving important security-related objectives. For example, MoD forces use this data for Identification Cards and to associate issued weapons with individual service members.
MNSTC-I continues to assist the MoD in purchasing and distributing critical equipment for the Iraqi forces. Through the FMS program, the MoD was able to acquire roughly 90% of all its 2006 requirements by the end of 2007. The Iraqi Direct Contracts Department filled the remaining 2006 requirements. Little improvement occurred in the Direct Contracts Department in 2007 and approval authority continues to be highly restricted and centralized. Due to cumbersome internal processes, the MoD completed only two direct acquisitions in the last six months of 2007. The Minister of Defense personally authorizes all MoD acquisition contracts exceeding 50 million Iraqi Dinar (approximately US$42,000). For routine spending, MoD officials are reluctant to exercise such authority for fear of corruption allegations, although they have been granted authority to approve expenditures to a given threshold
On December 30, 2007, the Budget Execution and Acquisition Requirements Operations Center (BEAR-OC) became operational. MoD and Coalition action officers, contracts and acquisition specialists, jointly staff the BEAROC. It will help MoD more efficiently equip and sustain the Iraqi armed forces and implement a genuine force generation program. The BEAR-OC will bolster MoD planning, execution and oversight of acquisitions, in particular the FMS effort. In addition to its acquisition tracking tasks, the BEAR-OC will enable MoD leadership to monitor FMS case progress from requirements identification to materiel delivery; this will improve internal management of FMS actions.
The MoD and MNSTC-I have made some progress in negotiations to secure an Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) that will facilitate the reciprocal provision of logistic support, supplies and services on a reimbursable basis between the MoD and the U.S. Government. This will provide the MoD with the opportunity to meet its priority logistics and support needs where there is a requirement for which normal acquisition processes are not sufficiently responsive. The MoD Secretary General has agreed to the ASCA test, and the GoI Special Economic Committee will consider the ACSA in February 2008. An ACSA agreement is expected to be signed in 2008.
Logistics and Sustainment
MoD’s limited logistic and sustainment capacity is improving, but it remains a key area for development. The MoD still requires significant Coalition assistance, especially in warehouse and depot operations. Plans are underway to transfer responsibility for ammunition and supply warehouse operations from the Coalition to Iraqi control. These plans stipulate the transfer of responsibility of national supply and ammunition depots from the Coalition to Iraqi forces by the end of 2008 and maintenance depots by the end of 2009. Furthermore, plans are in place to create motor transport units for new divisions that MoD will generate in the coming months. The MoD has decided that it will develop 13 fixed-site logistics BSUs—one to support each Iraqi Army division. Eight such logistics bases currently exist. Construction of all BSU infrastructure should be complete by the end of 2008.
The ability of the MoD forces to maintain accountability for U.S.-provided equipment remains a challenge. Battlefield attrition, normal wear and tear from a high operational tempo and maintenance shortfalls have resulted in equipment attrition. Without fully capable IA, JHQ and MoD logistics systems, accounting for the effects of this attrition is difficult. JHQ, IGFC and MNSTC-I continue their combined efforts to reconcile differences between issued and on-hand quantities of equipment through 100% inventories conducted by joint accountability inspection teams.
MNSTC-I involvement with issuing missioncritical items to the Iraqi forces has decreased at the same time as the numbers of these items issued by the MoD has increased.20 In December 2007, the JHQ established a Combined Logistics Operations Center (CLOC) to collect and track the amount of issued, on-hand and fully mission capable equipment, comprising the key pacing items of IA divisions. With the assistance of Coalition advisors, new reporting procedures are being developed to execute this mission. The MoD continues to receive delivery of, and train units on, U.S.-standard equipment, supporting ammunition and repair parts through FMS cases using MoD funds.
The MoD implemented a Life-Support Self- Reliance (LSSR) program for military food preparation and services effective December 1, 2007. The MoD provided initial funding to Divisional Commanders to procure basic equipment and establish local food vendor support. The MoD will provide an increased allocation of funding for LSSR in a phased manner. The MoD has formed committees to audit the funds used to pay for the food and services and to evaluate the quality of food and life-support services provided to the soldiers. The long-term component of the LSSR program involves procuring the infrastructure needed, and training soldiers in the skill sets required, for current and future units, BSUs and training units.
The MoD continues to receive monthly fuel allocations from the MoO that are below required levels. In December 2007, the MoO authorized an 80% increase in its allocation to the MoD, bringing the total amount supplied to 20 million liters of diesel and six million liters of benzene per month. However, shortfalls will increase as the IA fields new vehicles and as the force structure continues to grow. Because of this, the Coalition has found it necessary to provide emergency fuel supplements.
MNSTC-I is coordinating with the MoD to establish strategic-level ammunition selfsufficiency. The transition of the National Ammunition Depot (NAD) at Bayji from contract operations to mostly Iraqi control should occur during 2008. The MoD has identified the location of a second NAD at Najaf, which features existing ammunition storage facilities. The MoD approved the establishment of a Sea Port of Debarkation at Umm Qasr and an Air Port of Debarkation at Baghdad International Airport to support ammunition transfer and handling. Coalition and contractor personnel, with assigned Iraqi personnel under their instruction, operate the ammunition supply points at BSUs.
IA maintenance procedures have shown improvement, and data indicates that the maintenance backlog figure has stabilized. These procedural improvements have enabled the MoD to transition responsibility for eight of ten “third-level” maintenance sites from the contractor to the IA. The Coalition-funded Iraqi Army Maintenance Program (IAMP) contract was extended through the end of May 2008. This extension allows three things. First, it allows work to continue on a substantial backlog of vehicles at the eight sites that transitioned to IA maintenance. Second, it enables Iraqi vehicle maintenance at the two sites not transitioned to the IA. Third, it allows the Iraqis to develop parts warehouse management operations at all ten sites. The MoD plans to transition the last two sites before the contract expires. MoD has submitted requests for US$80 million in FMS contracts for the procurement of vehicle spare parts. The MoD does not yet have an automated system, however, to ensure accurate and timely parts replenishment.
Training and Development
Through the Ministerial Training and Development Center, the MoD has begun to address the training deficiencies among its civilian and military work force within the MoD. There were 26 MoD civil servant courses taught and 547 students trained from July to December 2007. The CY2008 course catalog identified courses to be taught in accordance with the Civil Service Development program.
The MoD is implementing a new training system. Previously, training was largely limited to the institutional training base (entrylevel, military occupational specialty qualification courses, “re-joiner” training, and officer and NCO training courses). The new IA Training System incrementally builds on the IA’s existing institutional training base by adding a home-station training capability at Divisional Training Centers (DTC) and a Combat Training Center (CTC) collective training capability. The availability of additional courses, such as the Corporal’s Courses and organizational maintenance courses, and upgraded range and training facilities at Regional Training Centers (RTCs) have all served to improve institutional training. The IA has also established an enhanced collective training capability at CTC Besmaya. MNSTC-I advisory teams have been instrumental in enabling their Iraqi counterparts to conduct their own basic combat training, leadership training and specialty training. By the end of 2008, contractor teams will augment advisory teams in the training centers. These contractor teams will assist Iraqis training development of individual leader skills, squad through company collective tasks and battlefield operating skills and battalion staff collective task skills. Through this effort, the IA will be better able to conduct individual leader, unit collective and battalion staff training with limited Coalition support.
The IA has also started to improve specialized training by establishing 37 Military Occupation Specialty Qualification (MOSQ) courses.21
The IA teaches these courses at RTCs and DTCs. By the end of 2008, the IA plans to offer 35 additional MOSQ courses, which will increase IA capacity to add trained and skilled soldiers to the force by greater than 50%. The IA Service and Support Institute (IASSI), located at Taji, offers 23 specialized logistic courses for level 1 and level 2 training. Three separate organizational level 1 and level 2 courses exist at RTC Kirkush, RTC Habbaniyah and Old Muthanna. A supervised on-thejob training program has also been instituted at the Taji National Depot to train level 3 mechanics. In addition, specialized enlisted and officer training is conducted separately at the Armor, Engineer, Signal, Combined Arms, Medical, Intelligence, Military Police, Bomb Disposal and Logistics schools.
In coordination with the Iraqi JHQ, MNSTC-I is examining IA MOSQ requirements to expand required capabilities to support specialized training. The IA conducts the Iraqi Small Arms Weapons Instructor Course, a five-week advanced course at RTC Habbaniyah. The IA continues to conduct explosive ordnance disposal training at the CTC Besmaya Bomb Disposal School, which opened on September 30, 2007, and has an annual training capacity of over 800 soldiers. The IA Trauma Training Course trained four MoD physicians and ten other health personnel in trauma care procedures during this period. Of the eight training sites offering Basic Medic Course (BMC) training this quarter, only one has reported course statistics. For that site, 31 students graduated BMC, increasing the number of MoD-trained medics to 1,606. Collectively, these actions will enable IA self-sufficiency in logistics, combat support and specialized combat arms tasks and missions.
As part of the IA training base expansion, training capacity will continue to increase in support of force modernization and service plans. The current capacity at RTCs, DTCs and CTCs is 18,830 soldiers per cycle. The annual IA basic combat training capacity is now 118,000 soldiers. The IA plans three new DTCs for 2008, which will together provide an additional capacity of 2,000 soldiers per cycle. These DTCs and RTCs will continue to provide capabilities for home-station training to their supported units—including individual, squadand- platoon collective and staff and leader tasks.
In 2007, through its specialty training, basic combat training and Re-joiner Leadership Training, the IA trained 76,862 soldiers. Formal officer training and development has marginally improved, but the quantity remains limited. The IA has just started a training needs analysis for their officer education requirements. The results of this analysis are expected by April 2008 with a follow-on plan to resource increased capacity thereafter.
Several nations have made offers to conduct training courses outside Iraq. The MoD is reviewing the procedures for selection of Iraqi officers for this training. In 2007, the MoD failed to fill 262 seats offered by nine nations and NATO, most of which were officer professional education courses. This equates to approximately US$6 million in lost training opportunities for the Iraqi MoD.
Many courses offered by Coalition forces require English language proficiency, though the MoD continues to lack an effective English language training program. Though English is taught at various locations in the MoD, some Iraqi officers and MoD employees often do not meet the English language requirements for courses offered outside Iraq. This contributes to lost training opportunities. The MoD Iraqi Defense Language Institute (DLI) lacks focus and support. Recently, the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) and MNSTC-I have joined to invigorate English language training. The C-130 Hercules FMS case has some embedded English language training, and the U.S. and UK also recently provided English language instructor courses that graduated 13 qualified candidates. Currently, the Iraqi DLI and NTM-I are conducting a thorough training needs analysis that should pave the way for a comprehensive plan to develop an English language training program.
Since the passage of the Military Justice and Penal Laws in September 2007, the Iraqi military justice system has met or exceeded Coalition expectations creating an emerging military justice system that can effectively promote good order and discipline. Military Courts are functioning in Baghdad and Basrah. Judges have been appointed in Mosul, Ramadi and Najaf. The first courts-martial have been conducted in Baghdad. The Iraqis are planning their own training courses for newly appointed military judges. The Coalition is also helping the Iraqis build an effective military justice reporting and management tool.
The JHQ Inspector General (IG) office continues to improve under new leadership and is currently focused on IA division unit readiness. In 2007, the JHQ IG conducted initial inspections of all but two IA division headquarters, as well as the IGFC headquarters, several Iraqi Air Force bases and the Iraqi Naval Base at Umm Qasr. In January 2008, the JHQ IG also completed inspections of the 2nd, 8th and 11th Division headquarters, as well as the Iraqi Special Operations Forces headquarters. The JHQ has also conducted several special investigations and handled numerous soldier assistance cases. For the first half of 2008, the JHQ IG is teaching and training military inspectors at each IA division. In order to improve the effectiveness and professionalism of these military inspectors, the JHQ IG is developing detailed inspection checklists based on IA standards and procedures. These checklists will standardize inspections and give division military inspectors a baseline from which to conduct internal division inspections. As training of division military inspectors is completed, the JHQ IG will focus on compliance inspections of division military inspector offices.
Embedded Advisory Support
Advisory Teams (ATs) embed with the MoD and the JHQ. A Senior Executive Service-level UK MoD civil servant has led the MoD-AT since 2004. The MoD-AT consists of approximately 17 advisors including four U.S. military personnel, six British and two Australian civil servants. An Australian general officer leads the 31-person JHQ-AT. The JHQ-AT comprises primarily U.S. military advisors with the remainder a mix of U.S. civilian contractor and military personnel from other Coalition countries. Both ATs report through the Directorate of Defense Affairs to MNSTC-I and provide advisory and mentoring support to senior officials in developing the Iraqi capacity to manage key ministerial functions. Transition Teams also embed with the IGFC and most division, brigade and battalion headquarters. At the tactical level, the Military Transition Teams (MiTTs) assigned to MNC-I usually consist of about ten personnel who advise Iraqi commanders and staff on planning processes and combat operations. The requirement for MiTTs is one per battalion and above, with 207 teams presently fielded with these units.
The Coalition Air Force Transition Team (CAFTT), headed by a U.S. Air Force Brigadier General, has advisor teams at the strategic (Air Staff), operational (Air Operations Center) and tactical (individual squadrons at bases) levels. CAFTT is responsible for assisting the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) to develop near-term airpower capabilities to support the COIN fight while setting the conditions for a credible and objective air defense force in the long term. This includes advising along the full spectrum of IqAF activities from building, training, equipping and sustaining to flying operational and training missions.
The Maritime Strategic Transition Team (MaSTT), headed by a British Royal Navy Captain, advises the Iraqi Head of Navy and Iraqi Headquarters Staff and is assisting in the development of a capable and responsive Iraqi Navy. Its Naval Transition Team (NaTT) embeds with the Iraqi Navy at the Umm Qasr Naval Base and supports generation of a properly organized, trained and equipped naval force.
Ministry of Defense Forces
Joint Headquarters – Command and Control
The ability of the Joint Headquarters (JHQ) to deliver and execute operational plans and advise at the strategic level remains nascent. The lines of command remain opaque and serve to encourage control at the highest level. Between operational and strategic boundaries, multiple conflicting lines exist—the Baghdad Operations Center reports to the Prime Minister, the Basrah Operations Center reports to the MoD and the IGFC reports to the JHQ. While currently manageable, transfers of additional provinces to PIC will increase the operational requirement on the Defense Minister and the Prime Minister, whose focus should be on strategic, not operational, issues. The need exists for a national security architecture with clear chains of command and formal delegation of authority. Coalition force advisors are working with GoI officials on these issues.
As of January 1, 2008, divisions in the Iraqi Army (IA) consist of approximately 141,000 assigned soldiers and officers. These divisions are currently manned at 113% of authorized strength in order to bolster present-for-duty strength (81% of authorized strength), compensating for the policy of monthly leave. Despite significant increases in the percentage of officers (43% to 73%) and NCOs (33% to 69%) assigned to IA units, a shortage of approximately 18,200 officer and NCO leaders exists and future requirements mean that an additional 20,000 will be required in 2008. As of January 2008, 10,086 former officers (“rejoiners”) are currently serving in the IA.22
IA monthly attrition rates average approximately 3.6% due to casualties and other factors. In 2007, approximately 24,500 Iraqi soldiers were dropped from the rolls for desertion or being AWOL. IA AWOL reporting typically lags other personnel accounting by over a month. Based on extant trends, once final CY2007 AWOL data is available, up to 27,000 personnel are expected to be dropped from the rolls. Current reporting methods used by the JHQ Personnel Directorate (JHQ M1) do not track specific reasons for soldiers going AWOL. Although soldiers take leave to bring their pay home, there is no factual or anecdotal evidence to support claims that this policy leads to increasing AWOL rates. Some soldiers travel significant distances from their units to go home on leave, and this issue does contribute to low present-for-duty rates over extended periods. In recognition of this problem, the MoD is attempting to reduce extended leave and travel time by assigning soldiers to the same general areas from which they were recruited.
The IA has developed, and is starting to implement, several concepts to increase the number and quality of leaders. These initiatives include accelerated officer commissioning programs for university graduates, waivers to current time-in-grade or time-in-service promotion requirements and active recruitment of former Iraqi officers and NCOs. Additionally, the top 10% of each Basic Combat Training class attends a “fast-track” Corporal’s Course. To improve leader quality, the IA has initiated a comprehensive process to document required leader competencies, policy, training support, promotions and training delivery for both officers and NCOs. The IA will conduct a pilot course for a revised Sergeant’s Course in May 2008. This “proof-of-principle” will train 40 sergeants who will become a training cadre to establish a new Sergeant’s Courses at each RTC. Lessons learned from this developmental process will refine the remaining NCO and officer leadership courses.
A number of units are currently in force generation, including one division headquarters, five brigade headquarters and 22 battalions, including an Engineering Infrastructure Battalion. By the end of March 2008 two additional brigades, six support companies, five infantry battalions and a motor transport regiment will begin the force generation process. The IA continues to build units as planned, and the MoD and JHQ work together to prioritize force generation units and to determine resourcing requirements for equipment, basing and training. Logistics unit development and generation is progressing at an accelerated rate based on projected 2008 IA force generation growth. This generation includes 13 logistics BSUs—one aligned to each IA division. Additionally, the generation of Motor Transport Regiments and Headquarters Service Companies for two additional divisions continues on schedule. These logistics units are necessary for the IA to achieve more complete self-sufficiency. Coordination with the MoD and JHQ focuses on the continued effort to maximize the training bases to full capacity to meet the requirements for force generation and replenishment.
By the end of March 2008, three battalions will train with and field BMP light tanks. Selected battalion personnel will receive 25 days of individual training on communications, driving and maintenance and gunnery operations. The remaining battalion personnel will conduct dismounted infantry training at the squad, platoon and company level. At the conclusion of the training cycle, the battalion will conduct a three-day live fire exercise. The first of these BMP equipped battalions began operations in January 2008.
Upon completion of the training phases, new battalions and brigades conduct unit set fielding. Through this Iraqi-led training and fielding process, the brigade and battalions receive their unit equipment and participate in marksmanship qualification (individual and crew served), maintenance and drivers training, close-quarters-combat and squad level collective tasks. Unit set fielding has proven to be a valuable combat multiplier by entering units into the battlespace at a higher level of manning, training and equipping readiness.
The IA conducts unit set fielding at multiple locations, leveraging existing training capabilities.
At the tactical level, the IA’s ability to plan and execute deployments steadily progresses. A number of units are able to plan and operate with minimal Coalition support, as evidenced by Operation Lion Pounce in Diwaniyah, successful planning and execution of the Hajj security plan and the on-going Mosul security plan. The current deployment of over 20 battalion or brigade headquarters from their traditional areas of responsibility shows an increased capability for the IA to assess and deploy troops where they are needed. There are still improvements to be made in their abilities to specify command relationships and properly sustain these units. As of February 2008, the IGFC has assumed command-andcontrol of 12 IA divisions including 40 brigade headquarters and 122 battalions. The 6th and 9th Divisions have been subordinated to the MoD Baghdad Operations Command for tactical control with IGFC retaining administrative control. Operational commands have expanded to include Ninewa, Karbala, Samarra, Basrah and Diyala. The IA plans an additional operations command for Anbar in 2008. These actions may ultimately result in the establishment of four Corps headquarters—an Iraqiconceived concept that is still in development.
The Iraqi Army Infrastructure Battalions (IAIBs) are conducting a retraining and reequipping process that will transform them into regular IA Battalions. The MoD decided to convert these units to a light infantry structure, trained in infrastructure protection using equipment on hand. The first six IAIBs and two brigade headquarters programmed for transition into regular IA units have completed training. The Engineering Infrastructure Battalion (EIB) is currently training at Taji training center. The MoD, MoE and MoO are coordinating on the development of this unit, and it will generate in two phases between December 2007 and May 2008. Phase I will include generation of a Headquarters and Service Company, two Security Companies and an Electric Repair Company. In Phase II, a Pipeline Repair Company will force generate and receive specialty training assistance from the MoO. This unit will provide the IA critical capability to repair damaged electrical power lines and oil pipelines in unsecured areas, with the support of the mobile security companies. The two security companies will undergo unit set fielding at Combat Training Center Besmayah. Equipment funding is being provided via a joint effort between MNSTC-I and the Embassy’s ITAO.
Eight of ten Iraqi maintenance sites have completely transitioned to self-reliance. The IAMP has reduced the HMMWV backlog from 324 in September 2007 to 82 in January 2008. CAATT is enhancing training by providing HMMWVs, recovery vehicles, trucks necessary to conduct effective hands-on maintenance training for 2nd and 3rd Line Maintenance, as well as driver training.
The IA has expanded fielding of units and training on U.S.-standard weapons such as M16A4s and M4s, which the MoD has procured through FMS. Accountability of M16A4s and M4s is enforced through a process that uses multiple forms of identification, including biometric technology. To date, the IA and MNSTC-I have fielded approximately 15,593 M16A4 and M4s and have conducted weapons familiarization. In conjunction with the M16A4 and M4 fielding and training, the IA and MNSTC-I have trained up to 1,614 IA officers and NCOs as trainers on these weapon systems, and up to 210 IA soldiers as weapons maintainers to date.
The Iraqi Navy has 1,115 assigned officers, sailors and marines. In late January 2008, the Iraqi Navy graduated 223 additional sailors and marines into the force. By third quarter 2008, the Navy will increase by another 300 sailors and 100 marines, taking it to 76% of its projected 2010 manpower requirement. The Navy headquarters element at the MoD continues to improve its effectiveness in the day-to-day management of the Iraqi Navy, its interaction within the MoD and enforcement of the strategy illustrated in the comprehensive Navy Plan. The Iraqi Navy operates out of a single base in Umm Qasr. It consists of an operational headquarters, one squadron afloat, one support squadron and one battalion of marines who provide point defense of the offshore oil platforms. The Iraqi Navy operates five small Patrol Boats and ten fast insertion craft in support of continual surveillance operations and protection of the Al Basrah and Kwhar al Amaya oil terminals. Additionally, the Iraqi Navy conducts patrols and boardings from their fast craft in the Khwar Abd Allah Waterway approaches to Umm Qasr. Typically, the Iraqi Navy conducts 28 to 32 independent patrols, resulting in 12 boardings, per week. This represents an increase of nearly 80% since the last report.
Future Iraqi Navy planned procurement includes 21 major vessels and 50 fast insertion and interdiction craft necessary by 2011. During this reporting period, Iraqi contracts have been signed and shipbuilding has commenced for two offshore support vessels, with the first due in March 2009; four patrol ships, with the first due in June 2009; three patrol boats, with the first due in February 2009; and 36 fast interdiction craft, which will commence coming on line in late 2008. The Navy has made further progress with Iraqi-funded FMS projects for major Sea Wall and Pier construction in Umm Qasr to support the new fleet, the next batch of six patrol boats and numerous smaller projects ranging from spare parts to new uniforms. In addition to these efforts, work continues to provide a functioning BSU—with sufficient billeting and dining facilities to meet growing naval manpower needs—by the end of the first quarter of 2008.
Despite these positive steps, the Iraqi Navy still faces challenges in matching its training needs in leadership, operations, navigation, technical skills, and Command and Control (C2) systems to its ambitious acquisition program.
Responses to these challenges include the additional 2008 FMS projects that are pending to address C2 requirements and the continued Coalition advising and development of the Iraqi Navy. In order to meet the maritime transition goals set for late 2010, the Navy may conduct some sophisticated training in other countries.
Iraqi Air Force
There are 1,305 personnel assigned to the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF), representing 45% of authorized strength. The IqAF currently has 56 assigned aircraft and 146 total pilots. The IqAF flew approximately 120 sorties in January 2007, 1,004 sorties in November 2007, and 1,205 sorties in December 2007. These sorties include intelligence, surveillance and reconaissance (ISR), transport and training missions.
The two training institutions in the IqAF are the Flight Training School in Kirkuk and the IqAF Training Wing at Taji. The IqAF Training Wing at Taji Air Base is responsible for four schools (Basic Military Training school, Basic Technical Training school, Air Force Academy and the Air Force Officer Course at the Iraq Military Academy al Rustamiyah), all of which were stood-up in 2007. Flight training takes place at the Flight Training School in Kirkuk. Training pipeline throughput continues to increase. In December 2007, the IqAF commissioned 74 officers. In January 2008, 116 new IqAF warrant officers—the first since Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)—graduated. The current IqAF annual capacity for technical training is 960, while annual pilot training capacity is 135. There are 14 IqAF training staff members assigned to these schools while CAFTT provides 56 personnel.
The IqAF took delivery of its first of six King Air 350 aircraft in December 2007. This aircraft is critical as it adds training capacity not currently available to the IqAF for the five additional advanced ISR-version King Air 350’s to be delivered in 2008. This will increase IqAF ISR fleet size by 38%, with concomitant growth in time-over-target capability. The IqAF rotary-wing fleet of 35 helicopters is located at Taji Air Base. The Mi- 17 helicopters of 4th Squadron continue to have very limited employment capability due to defensive system limitations. However, modifications are scheduled to begin in March. Fourteen Mi-17’s will arrive in 2008. There are 22 counter-terrorism-version Mi-17s that have been purchased; they will begin arriving in March 2009. The 23rd Squadron at New al- Muthanna Air Base has three C-130E aircraft on which IqAF technicians perform routine maintenance with minimal Coalition support.
The IqAF achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for non-kinetic COIN in December 2007, providing the GoI with proven mobility and ISR collection and dissemination capability. Exercise First Star demonstrated this capability on November 12-14, 2007. First Star was the first IqAF-planned exercise since OIF. The IqAF also declared IOC of its Air Operation Center in December 2007, providing increased command and control for its forces. The IqAF continues expanding its ISR coverage across the nation, and, in late- December 2007, four entirely IqAF-manned Mi-17s deployed to Basrah to conduct reconnaissance and “show-the-flag” missions. In January 2008, the IqAF flew surveillance missions in support of the Ashura pilgrimage to Karbala. One IqAF ISR mission identified rogue militia checkpoints in Nasiriyah and coordinated with Iraqi ground forces as the latter made several insurgent arrests. Finally, the IqAF continues to perform surveillance of electric lines and oil pipelines.
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