US Forces Order of Battle
This is a "best available" listing of US forces deployed to the Central Command AOR for Southwest Asia and for US forces deployed to European Command's locations in Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. It does not include forces deployed exclusively for operations in Central Asia though it may at times list units that are involved in both Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. This listing also does not account for US or Coalition forces involved in operations in the Horn of Africa.
The task of developing a comprehensive listing of US forces present in the area is particularly difficult as the number of units rotating in and out of Southwest Asia are substantial. The events of Sept. 11, 2001 and the Global War on Terrorism has made such an effort significantly more difficult as the military seeks to improve operational security (OPSEC) and to deceive potential enemies and the media as to the extent of American operations. The significant number of troops that have been mobilized or activated in the United States for unspecified duties, whether they be in support of Iraq Freedom or in support of homeland security also complicates matters as it is not entirely clear what units are going where. This is further compounded by the increasing reliance on the part of the Department of Defense on the mobilization of small-sized units to fill its manpower needs. These can range from individual companies, batteries, to even smaller-sized groups of troops rather the mobilization of entire battalion-sized units.
This being the case, mistakes, misidentifications, or ignorance regarding specific units being in the region, or not in the region will occur.
Beginning in July 2004, the United States began implementing the OIF 3 troop rotation. OIF-3 plans call for troops numbers to be reduced from 140,000 to roughly 130,000. The rotation was slated to take place until March 2005.
According to documents presented during a HASC hearing on July 7, 2004, US force disposition plans call for a Stryker Brigade to remain stationed in Northern Iraq. The 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, will replace in this role the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. In the North-central sector of Iraq, The 1st Infantry Division will be replaced by the 42nd Infantry Division of the NY National Guard, while II MEF will take over I MEF operations in Western Iraq. The Brigade of the 1st Armored Division attached to the Polish south-central sector, will be replaced by the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain. Finally, the 3rd Infantry Division will take over the 1st cavalry Divison in Baghdad. As part of the rotation, OIF units will be deploying 'heavy'.
The number of Army National Guard brigades in Iraq will increase during this rotation from three to five. The rotation will mark a first with a National Guard division headquarters (42nd Infantry Division) assuming, for the first time in Iraq, command active-duty brigades.
More than 1,500 paratroopers from the 2nd BDE, 82nd Airborne Division began arriving in Iraq on December 4, 2004 in order to help provide security for the upcoming elections. This is a separate deployment from the scheduled OIF rotations.
The 2nd Brigade's 3rd Battalion, 325th AIR has been attached to the 1st Cavalry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team. The Second Battalion has been attached to the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
The Washington Post reported on February 4, 2005, that Pentagon authorities, in response to the success of the Iraqi elections, have decided to start reducing the level of U.S. forces in Iraq next month by about 15,000 troops. The reduction reportedly involves units whose tours were extended in light of the elections and the 1,500 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne who were rushed to Iraq for election security.
In February the Army's 18th Airborne Corps took over as the Mulitnational Corps Iraq headquarters. The Multinational Corps commands all coalition forces in country with the exception of special operations forces, the Multinational Transition Security Command Iraq and coalition forces involved in detention operations.
As a result of the January 2005 Iraqi elections, the deployment of a number of units taking part in OIF 2 was extended in a manner similar to units which took part in OIF 1; this time in order to boost the number of troops in Iraq in time for the elections. The extension combined with regularly scheduled deployments and reinforcements boosted the US force in Iraq from 17 to 20 brigades and to an official and approximate figure of 153, 000 troops. That number is expected to dwindle down to 135,000, as units get rotated out of Iraq, including units whose tour had been extended.
This figure may, however, have been an undercount of actual in-country troop numbers, as Special Forces have been reported to generally be excluded from troop totals. As such, the total figure of US troops in Iraq may be higher than the official count of ~150,000 by multiple thousands. One such Special Forces unit, the 10th Special Forces Group deployed to Iraq in late-2004, for an undetermined length of time.
As of early March 2004 over 114,000 US personnel and over 23,000 coalition personnel from 35 nations were deployed in Iraq. Over 26,000 US and Coalition personnel were deployed in Kuwait, providing logistical support to Operation Iraqi Freedom. As of mid-April 2004 the number of troops in the Central Command Area of Responsibility was officially estimated at between 200,00 and 225,000 total. Inside the Horn of Africa there were around 1,200 that dedicate or focus themselves on the Horn of Africa. In Afghanistan there were around 20,000.
An additional 30,000 soldiers are estimated to be operating in Kuwait and other areas of the region supporting operations in Iraq. Thus, the total number of soldiers in Southwest Asia is believed to be about 170,000.
The US Air Force's Expeditionary Air and Space Force (EAF) concept and organization sets a guideline for Air Force deployments to operational locations. The EAF is comprised of 10 Aerospace Expeditionary Forces (AEF) each with lead combat and support wings including on-call wings that could be deployed if required. While deployments for active duty units generally lasts roughly 90-days, Reserve and Guard units deploy typically for 30 - 60 days. 17,000 airmen were deployed in the CENTCOM AOR according to Stars and Stripes on May 26, 2004.
Naval units include a headquarters and shore-based units comprised of about 1,200 people at Manama in Bahrain. Nearly a thousand civilian mariners are associated with Military Sealift Command ships at Diego Garcia. During the 1990s overall Naval force personnel levels in the CENTCOM AOR typically varied between 8,000 and 15,000. Each Carrier Strike Group, with its associated Carrier Air Wing, has approximately 11,000 sailors embarked. As of 01 March 2005 there was one carrier strike group and one expeditionary strike group in the area for a total of around 17,000 naval personnel. A total of about 313 Vertical Launch System cells are available for Tomahawk cruise missiles, though based on estimates of prior deployments, perhaps as many as 156 Tomahawks are actually deployed. The cruise missile force can be augmented significantly within days.
The Marine presence in Iraq is centered around the I Marine Expeditionary Force and the 1st Marine Division. One Marine Expeditionary Unit, the 15th MEU is deployed to Kuwait, where it arrived in mid-February. One Marine Expeditionary Unit is also in the region, though it is currently supporting operations in Afghanistan [and are thus not included in this tally]. On July 7, 2004, Lt. General Jan C. July, Deputy Commandant, Plans, Policies, & Operations, USMC, testified that 26,427 Marines were deployed in Iraq. An additional 657 were deployed in the Horn of Africa. Marine tactical units deploy for seven months. Headquarters and command elements deploy, however, for 12 months periods.
|Army/Reserve Component Distribution|
|Army National Guard/Reserve Troop Numbers|
According to July 7, 2004 testimony by Lt. General Jan C. July, the Marine Corps troop component distribution was at about 20% Reserves and 80% active duty.
Note: While this listing is dated, one should keep in mind that the page is often edited numerous times during a particular edition, sometimes daily. One should visit the page often to get the most up-to-date listing of the situation.
- 'Several Thousand' U.S. Troops To Leave Iraq And Afghanistan 4 January 2006 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. President George W. Bush today confirmed plans to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan this year.
- Iraq Force Adjustments Announced 23 Dec 2005 -- The Department of Defense announced today a decision to not deploy portions of the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based atFort Riley, Kansas to Iraq, and to modify the deployment orders of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, based in Baumholder, Germany, to remain in Kuwait as a call-forward force.
- Iraq Withdrawal Possible Next Year if Conditions Right VOA 21 Nov 2005 -- Media reports say the top U.S. general in Iraq has developed a plan to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to about 100,000. Currently, there are about 160,000 U.S. troops in the country, an increase from the usual number of 138,000 because of last month's constitutional referendum and next month's elections.
- Two More Battalions to Boost Security During Iraq Elections AFPS 24 Aug 2005 -- Two infantry battalions from the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy from Fort Bragg, N.C., to Iraq to support security efforts during the upcoming election period, defense officials announced today.
- On Feb. 11, 2005, the Department of Defense announced that Headquarters, V Corps, Heidelberg, Germany, and major subordinate units of the Corps would deploy to Iraq in support of the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Headquarters, V Corps was scheduled to replace XVIII Airborne Corps as the headquarters for the Multi-national Corps-Iraq in early 2006.
- On Jan. 18, 2005, the Department of Defense announced that the 1st Brigade and 2nd Brigade of the 1st Armored Division would deploy as part of OIF-4
- On Dec. 14, the Department of Defense announced the main units that would be scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom rotations scheduled to begin in mid-2005. The OIF-4 rotation was expected to be consistent with the then-existing force structure in Iraq of 17 brigades and three division headquarters. The first units deploying to Iraq are scheduled to arrive in mid-2005, and successive units are to deploy at various times through mid-2006. Units affected by the rotation were: the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Infantry Brigade (Separate), the 172d Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, the 101st Airborne Division, Air Assault (division headquarters and 4 brigades), the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and the 4th Infantry Division (division headquarters and 4 brigades).
- On Jan. 4, the Department of Defense announced that the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division would deploy to Iraq in support of OIF-4
- A March 11 MNF-I release reported that the 5th Civil Affairs Group had officially started its tour of duty in Iraq on March 10 when its transfer of authority ceremony from the 4th Civil Affairs Group
- On December 17, 2004, the 917th Corps Support Group took over the duties of the 167th Corps Support Group at FOB Endurance.
- Troop F, 2nd Squadron, 278th RCT is attached to the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor as part of Task Force Baghdad, and was prior to this attached to the 3rd Battalion. 8th Cavalry (Thanks J.)
- A Mar. 10 Army News story reported that the 398th Finance Group, Detachment 2, had returned home on Mar. 7.
- The 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery deployed in support of the 3rd BCT, 1st Cavalry Division in 2004. As of early Feb. 2005, the unit was supposed to return home shortly. The deployment of that unit had not been previously noted.
- A Mar. 03 MNF-I release reported that the 181st Support Battalion, 81st Brigade Combat Team had transfered authority to the 29th Support Battalion, 29th Brigade Combat Team on March 2 at LSA Anaconda, Balad, Iraq.
- A Mar. 03 MNF-I release reported that the 81st Brigade Combat Team had relinquished command of their operations to the 29th Brigade Combat Team on March 3 at LSA Anaconda, Balad, Iraq.
- The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported on Mar. 2, that at least one of the troops of the 1st Squadron, 11th ACR was taking over the duties in the Baghdad area of at least one of the companies from the 3rd BN, 153rd Infantry Rgt which was slated to begin redeploying home the following week. This would put the 1st Squadron, 11th ACR, under Task Force Baghdad and not Task Force Olympia.
- On March 2, DoD announced a casualty with the 26th Forward Support Bn, 2nd BDE, 3rd Infantry Division, TF Baghdad. The deployment of that unit, and of the 2nd BCT, 3rd ID, though expected, had not been previously noted.
- On March 2, DoD announced a casualty with the 360th Transportation Company, 68th Corps Support Battalion, 43rd Area Support Group, 1st COSCOM. The deployment of that unit had not been previously noted.
- On March 1, DoD announced a casualty with the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry, 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. The deployment of that unit, and of the 4th BCT, 3rd ID, though expected, had not been previously noted.
- The Christian Science Monitor reported on Mar. 1, that the 1st Cavalry Division would complete its rotation back home in April.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 28, that the 39th Infantry Brigade would not return home until the entire 1st Cavalry Division leaves.
- The Tacoma News Tribune reported on Feb. 25, that 220 men from the 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery with the 81st Armor Brigade (Separate) had returned home the day prior. The deployment of that unit had not been previously noted.
- The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Feb. 27, that the 395th Finance Battalion had returned home the previous day, after deploying to Kuwait, Iraq and Djibouti.
- The Tacoma News Tribune reported on Feb. 18, that the 81st Armor Brigade (Separate) was shutting down its operations in Iraq and was about to redeploy home, iwth some units scheduled to return the following week.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 17, that the 180 men of C Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry had returned home. The deployment of that unit had not been previously noted.
- On Feb. 27, the 1st Cavalry Division transferred authority for Baghdad operations to the 3rd Infantry Division
- As of Feb. 28, the 319th Signal Battalion was scheduled to soon redeploy home. It was serving under the 7th Signal Brigade
- The Wilkes Barre Times Leader reported Feb. 27, that part of the 2nd BN, 103rd Armor Rgt had returned home, namely Charlie Company. Bravo Company was scheduled to follow it later.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 26, that the 2nd BN, 197th Field Artillery had returned home that day.
- On Feb. 25, DOD announced a casualty with the 797th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 79th Ordnance Bn, 52nd Ordnance Group, TF Liberty. The deployment of that unit had not been previously noted.
- The Portland Press Herald reported on Feb. 25, that the 548 men of the 133rd Engineer Battalion had begun arriving back in the US on Feb. 23.
- The Rocky Mountain News reported on Feb. 24, that the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment would deart for Iraq within the following two weeks.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 23 that close to 300 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 201st Field Artillery would return home on Feb. 25 and 27 from Iraq. The deployment of that unit had not been previously noted.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 23, that the 500 or so soldiers from the 276th Engineer Battalion returned home that day.
- On Feb. 23, DoD released the names of casualties with the 1st Bn, 151st Field Artillery, 34th Infantry Division. The deployment of that unit had not been previously noted.
- According to a Feb. 22 August Chronicle report, the 293rd Military Police Company returned home on Feb. 20.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 22 that the 153rd Engineer Battalion had returned to the US.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 21 on the return that day of 500 troops, mostly from the 2nd BCT, 1st Cavalry Division. As of that date, 1,500 troops from the 1st Cavalry Division had returned home, with the rest slated to return by April.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 20, that the 891st Engineer Battalion had been in Iraq since mid-January and was stationed in Southern Iraq. The unit is stationed at Tallil AB.
- DoD released on Feb. 20 the name of a casualty with the 377th Transportation Company, 181st Transportation Bn, 1st COSCOM. The deployment of that unit had not been previously noted.
- The Olympian reported on Feb. 20, that al least part of the 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery was scheduled to return home that week.
- The 105th Military Police Battalion is in Iraq at Camp Bucca since October 2004, when it took over the 160th Military Police Battalion
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 18 that the 39th Infantry Brigade (eHSB) (Light) would, in theory, return home to Arkansas by late April.
- The 133rd Engineer Battalion was, accoring to a Feb. 18 Portland Press Herald report, pulling out of Mosul ahead of its initial schedule, with a possible return to CONUS by late the following week and a return home by mid-march.
- The Oil City Derrick, PA, PA, reported on Feb. 17, that Battery C, 1st BN, 107th Field Artillery had returned home that day. According to a Feb 18Youngstown Vindicator report, Battery A returned on Feb. 17. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Battery B had reached For Dix on Jan. 25.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 17, that 210 soldiers from the 115th Signal Battalion would arrive home on the 20th of Feb.
- The Associated Press reported on Feb. 17, that the 116th Cavalry Brigade had taken over responsibility for its sector in Iraq, replacing the 2nd BDE, 25th Infantry Division
- The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.) reported on Feb. 16, that the 3rd Battalion, 178th Field Artillery would return home within days.
- On Mar. 27, 2005, I Marine Expeditionary Force transfered authority of Multi-National Force-West to II Marine Expeditionary Force
- A Mar 21 USMC story reported that Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 142 was in Iraq, operatin out of Al-Asad AB.
- A Mar 21 USMC story reported that the 2nd Marine Division had assumed control of Al Anbar province from the 1st Marine Division
- A Mar. 17 Marine Corps story reported that the 15TH MEU(SOC) had arrived in Kuwait and would deploy into Iraq approximately 2 weeka later.
- A Mar 15 USMC story reported that Marines and sailors with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine had returned home to MCB Camp Lejeune on March 15. The unit had deployed as part of a 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-Terrorism) in September 200 to provide security to U.S. government buildings in the international zone, including portions of the U.S. Embassy.
- A Mar. 15 MNF-I/MNC-I News release reported that 2nd Marine Logistics Brigade (Forward), 2nd Force Service Support Group had assumed logistics support mission in Al Anbar province from the 1st Force Service Support Group on Mar. 12.
- A Mar. 15 MNF-I/MNC-I News release reported that the I MEF Engineer Group (I MEG) had officially stood down on Mar. 11 and had been relieved by the 30th Naval Construction Regiment (30th NCR) at Camp Fallujah.
- A Mar. 11 Marine Corps story reported that Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28 had been deployed to al Asad AB
A Mar. 09 Marine Corps story reported that the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine had received authority from the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment at Camp Al Qaim that day.
- A Mar. 09 Marine Corps story reported that the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine had arrived in Iraq in January. The deployment of that unit had not been previously noted.
- A Mar. 09 Marine Corps story reported that the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine had begun departing for Iraq on Mar. 9. It would replace the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine
- A Mar. 07 Marine Corps story reported that the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines had deployed on Feb. 27 for Ar Ramadi, Iraq. According to the story, like 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine, they would serve under the 2nd Marine Division while there.
- A Mar. 07 Marine Corps story reported that Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 (Reinforced) had returned home to MCAS Miramar on Feb. 23.
- A Mar. 07 Marine Corps story reported that Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 had been deployed to al Asad AB in support of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
- A Mar. 04 Marine Corps story reported that Marine Air Control Squadron-1, alnog with 252 personnel had returned home to MCAS Yuma on Feb. 27.
- A Mar. 02 Marine Corps story reported that Marine Aeriel Refueler Squadron 452 had returned home from Iraq on Feb. 25.
- A Mar. 01 >Marine Corps story reported that Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-264 had taken over from a href="/military/agency/usmc/hmm-265.htm">Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-265 on Feb. 19.
- A Mar. 3 Marine Corps story reported that the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine, 2nd Amphibious Assault Vehicle Battalion, 2nd Tanks Battalion, and 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, were in Iraq. The deployment of some of these units had not been previously noted.
- The Orange County Register reported on Mar. 2, that the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine was deploying to Iraq.
- The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Mar. 2, that 110 men from Headquarters BN, 1st MaRDIV had returned home the day prior.
- A Feb. 28 Marine Corps story reported that the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit had boarded three ships of the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group that day to prepare for a 4-week voyage back home to Okinawa, Japan.
- A Feb. 28 Marine Corps story reported that Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 had arrived at Al Asad AB on Feb. 10. It was, as of that date, the only VMGR squadron in Iraq.
- A Feb. 22 Marine Corps story reported that the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines had deployed for Western Iraq on Feb. 21
- A Feb. 22 Marine Corps story reported that Marine Attack Squadron 311 had reached its three-month deployment mark on Feb. 13.
- A Mar 31 Navy NewsStand story reported that 200 sailors making up the third and final wave of Navy Reserve Cargo Handlers mobilized and deployed by the Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Force (NAVELSF) in August 2004 woudl return to Naval Station Norfolk on April 2.
- On Mar 27, the Kearsarge ESG completed embarkation of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. It Deployed on Mar. 29.
- A Mar 21 Navy NewsStand story reported that 200 mobilized Reservists of the Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Force's (NAVELSF) Forward Bravo group had returned home to Norfolk from Kuwait on March 20 after completing a seven-month deployment.
- According to a Mar 28 Navy NewsStand story CVN-75 Harry S. Truman was relieved on Mar 19 2005 by CVN-70 Carl Vinson
- On March 15, 2005, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced that Italy would begin to withdraw its troops from Iraq in September 2005.
- On March 15, 137 Ukrainian soldiers arrived home as part of the first group from that country's contingent in Iraq to withdraw from Iraq.
- Moldova withdrew its contingent of 12 troops from Iraq in February 2005. The withdrawal had not been previously noted.
- The Kingdom of Tonga withdrew its contingent of 40+ troops from Iraq in December 2004. The withdrawal had not been previously noted.
- On March 14, 2005, The London Daily Telegraph reported that on March 7, 2005, Dutch military forces in Iraq handed over command in the province Al Muthanna to the British, thereby officially ending its mission in Iraq. It also reported that, as of March 14, 2005, only 200 Dutch troops were reported to still be in the province. They were scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of the month. The Associated Press reported on Mar. 15, that 150 troops had returned home on Feb. 21. The BBC reported on Mar. 15. that another 150 had returned home that day, but 800 troops were still in Iraq.
- Ukraine's defense ministry announced that it would begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq on March 15, with the departure of 150 troops.
- Poland is slated to withdraw several additional hundred soldiers from Iraq by summer
- BBC News reported on Mar. 2, that Ukraine had outlined the timetable fo the withdrawal of its 1,650 or so troops in Iraq. They are to depart the country in three stages set between mid-March and October 2005. During the first phase, 150 troops would leave. They would be later followed by an additional 590 troops. The remaining Ukrainian soldiers are to leave Iraq by mid-October.
- A contingent of 558 troops, as well as 40 liaison officers, from Georgia deployed on Mar. 02 for Iraq, via Kuwaitm where they will stay for two weeks. The troops are assigned to the Shavnabada Battalion. As a result, Georgia will have 898 troops in Iraq.
- Albania announced on Feb. 25, that it would boost its troop contribution to Iraq by 50 in April 2005 during a regularly scheduled troop rotation.
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