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Non-US Forces in Iraq - 18 October 2004

The size and capabilities of the Coalition forces involved in operations in Iraq has been a subject of much debate, confusion, and at times exageration. As of August 5, 2004, there were 29 non-U.S. military forces contributing to the ongoing stability operations throughout Iraq. These countries were Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Ukraine. The MNF-I website incorrectly included Honduras in the list; that country's troops returned in late May. It also incorrectly list the Dominican Republic; its troops left in early-May. The MNF-I website also includes New Zealand, although the New Zealand government has claimed that it had not joined the US-led force but that the deployment had been at the request of the United Nations.

The Kingdom of Tonga did, however, deploy 45 Royal Marines in early July to Iraq. Thailand withdrew its contingent from Iraq in late August and flew it home in early September. New Zealand redeployed its contingent of 61 troops in late-September 2004. Singapore's contribution of a KC-135 tanker aircraft returned home on September 11 after a three-month mission. As a result, there are 28 countries participating in the coalition.

On September 6, Armenia announced that it would deploy 50 troops to Iraq. On Oct. 6, the Armenian government hinted at the possibility that the deployment might not take place; until the deployment actually takes place, Armenia is not being included in the count of countries taking part in the coalition. Fiji is set to deploy 155 troops to Iraq, but they will be there under UN banner (UNAMI) and will therefore not be counted in the coalition.

Countries which had troops in or supported operations in Iraq at one point but have pulled out since: Nicaragua (Feb. 2004); Spain (late-Apr. 2004); Dominican Republic (early-May 2004); Honduras (late-May 2004); Philippines (~Jul. 19, 2004); Thailand (late-Aug. 2004); Singapore (Sep.04); and New Zealand (late Sep. 04).

Countries planning to withdraw from Iraq: Poland (starting Jan.04 and completed by end.05(?)).

Countries which have reduced or are planning to reduce their troop commitment: Ukraine (-200); Moldova (reduced contingent to 12); Norway (reduced from ~150 to 10 late-Jun.04, early Jul.04).

Countries rumored to be planning to increase troop contingent to Iraq: Georgia (+150-800); Romania (rumor); Albania (+130).

Countries planning to deploy troops to Iraq: Armenia (50) (?); Fiji (155 end of Oct.04 as part of UNAMI).

Countries refusing to send troops because of security situation: Pakistan.

Recent developments

  • The Ukrainian national security and defense council decided on Oct. 19, to gradually reduce the size of its contingent in Iraq. The reduction is reported to begin with the rotation of troops begun on Sep. 22 and will reduce the number of troops there by 200. The rotation was completed on Oct. 15, with 1,200 troops having returned home.
  • AAP Newsfeed reported on Oct. 18, that Australia, in addition to its contingent of troops in-country, also had in Iraq an army security called SECDET and composed of 120 troops assigned to protect the Australian embassy.
  • Singapore's KC-135 tanker aircraft and crew returned to Singapore on September 11, 2004 after completing a three month mission in the Persian Gulf. Their return home had not been previously noted.
  • A number of media accounts reported [Other account] on Oct. 18, 2004 that the US had requested the redeployement of between 600-800 British troops from the region of Al-Basrah to one nearer to Baghdad. Soldiers from the Black Watch Regiment are believed likely to be affected by this plan. The unit was due to remain in Iraq until January with the possibility of a return early if not needed. If the redeployment proceeds, then the return home of these troops would be likely be delayed as well.
  • On Oct. 18, Australia turned down a request by the United Nations to send additional troops to Iraq in order to protect U.N. personnel there. The country however agreed to provide support and training to a contingent of Fijian soldiers set to deploy to Iraq under a UN mandate. The article mentioned that Australia had about 920 troops in the region.
  • On Oct. 16, the LA Times reported that Poland's Prime Minister had announced that it would begin drawing down its contingent in Iraq starting in January 2004, with the pull-out possibly to be completed by the end of 2005.
  • The Associated Press reported on Oct. 15, that Armenia might not after all deploy 50 troops to Iraq given the current security situation and also given that the deployment was still subject to approval by the country's constitutional court and parliament.
  • The Associated Press reported on Oct. 15, that the British Brigade to which the Black Watch regiment is attached is due to rotate out at the end of the month.
  • The Associated Press reported on Oct. 15, that the British Brigade to which the Black Watch regiment is attached is due to rotate out at the end of the month.
  • BBC Monitoring reported on Oct. 13, that the Bulgarian Defence Minister had declared that a withdrawal of Bulgaria's contingent of troops in Iraq would only become possible once local forces are trained up.
  • UPI reported on Oct. 11, that the US was reportedly asking Thailand to deploy a new battalion of troops to Iraq. Thailand had offered sending its Chakri Naruebet helicopter carrier to serve as a floating hospital, but that offer had been rejected. The article mentioned that if Thailand does deploy troops, it would most likely be a company-sized unit of about 200.
  • Albanian TV announced on Oct. 11, the deployment of 71 Albanian troops for Iraq as part of a regularly scheduled rotation of troops. The contingent, the fourth to go to Iraq, reportedly includes members of the commando regiment in Zall Herr.
  • Agence France Press reported on Oct. 10, that Georgia was about to deploy a 300-strong contingent of troops to Iraq to replace its troops currently stationed there at the end of the month.
  • BBC Monitoring reported on Oct. 8, that Fiji was deploying an advance reconnaissance team to Iraq in preparation for the eventual deployment of 155 troops to Iraq under the United Nations banner for the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to provide security for the UN. The deployment date was reported to take place at the end of the month.
  • As of September 24, 2004, according to the Italian Ministry of Defense, Italy's ground component numbered in Iraq 3,085 troops. Italy also had 27 troops stationed in Kuwait and an Italian Red Cross cell of 57 whose station is unknown.
  • As of September 15, 2004, the Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands' website was stating that it has 1,345 troops stationed in Iraq.
  • Poland's Defense Minister announced on Oct. 4, 2004, that Poland would withdraw its troop contingent from Iraq by the end of 2005. The timing of the pullout is meant to coincide with UN Security Council resolution 1546. However, the rest of the Polish Government tried to distance itself from these comments, with later in the day, the Defense Minister reportedly claiming he had been expressing his personnal opinion
  • Thailand began withdrawing troops from Iraq in August 2004, on completion of its one-year commitment to Iraq. By August 27, 2004, all Thai troops had left Iraq for Victory Camp in Kuwait from where they were to be flown back home in early September. They were originally scheduled to return by Sept. 20, 2004. That redeployment had not previously been recorded.
  • According to a RFE/RL story the Armenian contingent to Iraq would consist of approximately "50-60 medics, U.S.-trained sappers, and drivers" and would only be deployed after getting the approval of the Armenian legislature. The Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian reportedly stressed the nature of the deployment as being "humanitarian". According to the article, the planned deployment was encountering significant domestic concern as well as some within the Armenian community in Iraq.
  • According to the Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), Poland's contribution to the Coalition would be reduced by more than 1,000 soldiers wouldbe composed mainly of units from the 11th Armoured Division during its fourth deployment of troops to Iraq.
  • New Zealand's contingent of 61 engineers arrived back home on Sept. 25. They are not being replaced.
  • The Washington Post reported on Sept. 24, that Georgia was planning to deploy an additional 800 troops to Iraq by the end of the year. The deployment, not yet announced, would increase the size of Georgia's contingent in Iraq to 980 troops. The article also reported that Romania was planning to increase the size of its contingent as well, and suggested the possibility of a contigent from Fiji being sent as well.
  • The International Herald Tribune reported on September 23, that South Korea had completed the deployment of 2,800 troops to Iraq. The brigade had absorbed other S. Korean unit already deployed in-country. An additional 800 troops would deploy to Iraq once expansion work on the Brigade's facility in Erbil is completed. The deployment took 50 days as a result of logistical difficulties encountered.
  • The Korea Herald, reported on Sep. 23, that approximately 1,300 soldiers from the Korea Zaytun (Olive in Arabic) unit had flown into Irbil from Kuwait using 23 US C-130 aircraft. An additional 1,200 troops from that unit deployed to Irbil via road using 394 tanks and other military vehicles, all the while under escort from US Apache helicopters and fighter jet aircraft. They joined the 300 who already dispatched to Irbil as an advance unit.
  • Acording to a Sept. 23, 2004 IRNA story, Pakistan had ruled out deploying troops to Iraq "under present circumstances".
  • Interfax reported on Sept. 22, that the Ukrainian 7th Detached Mechanized Brigade would deploy to Iraq in late-October by Il-76 aircraft. Equipment, which comprises 43 vehicles, including 31 BTR-80 APCs, and an additional 50 containers had already been shipped via sea.
  • AAP NEWSFEED reported on September 22, that Australia would pull out the hostage rescue team it had dispatched to Iraq on the basis of reports suggesting an Australian citizen had been kidnapped. No further details were available on their return date.
  • The Observer (UK) reported on Sept. 19, 2004, that Britain's military contribution in Iraq would be reduced by a third by the end of October during the next rotation of units, when the First Mechanised Infantry Brigade is to be replaced by the Germany-based Fourth Armoured Division which will be equipped with Warrior APCs instead of the Challenger tanks it normally uses. The First Mechanised Infantry Brigade is composed of six battle groups of around 800 men each, while the Fourth Armoured Division will only have four or five. The number of Royal Navy ships in the Persian Gulf will remain unchanged at four.
  • According to an article by the The Times (London) published on Sept. 18, the UK was ready to dispatch additional troops to Iraq to deal with the violence there. A 680-strong battalion was reported to be on 24-hour standby.
  • The Australian Newspaper reported on Sept. 16, that Australia has dispatched an advance team of of 12-30 Special Air Service (SAS) reconnaissance specialists aboard a C-130 on Sept. 14, at night to verify claims that two Australians had been taken hostage in Iraq.
  • AAP Newsfeed reported on September 16, 2004 that New Zealand's contingent of 61 military engineers deployed in the southern city of Basra would return home that month, following the conclusion of the unit's 12 month deployment, originally scheduled for 6 months. According to that report, the unit was deployed in response to a request from the United Nations as New-Zealand had refused to join the US-led force in Iraq.
  • The Korea Times reported on September 10, that S. Korea's deployment of 3,000 troops was well on track, given some progress in the Iraqi security situation, though no other information on dates was provided in the article.
  • The Ukrainian President announced on September 7, 2004, that the Ukrainian contingent in Iraq would be reduced by roughly 200 soldiers during the scheduled troop rotation currently taking place. The brigade set to be rotating into Iraq in September was to originally number 1,722 troops and replace about 1,576 troops. A reported by Deutsche Presse-Agentur stated that the Ukraine brigade in Iraq currently stationed numbered 1,650 officers and men and that with the troops cut, the contingent would be reduced to to 1,450 following the completion of the troop rotations ending in early October. The announcement reversed the government's previous position that the rotation involved would increase Ukraine's contribution as an additional helicopter squadron with 150 troops was to also deploy to Iraq.
  • Armenia announced that it would send 50 troops to Iraq. The troops concerned would fall under the Polish Multi-National Force. The force was expected to deploy by the end of the year, with a small team of deploying in September to pave the way for that deployment. Armenia's commitment would bring the number of countries involved in the Coalition to 32.
  • Agence France Presse reported on September 6, 2004 that Georgia would double its military contingent in Iraq during its next troop rotation in October to a size of 300 from 159, though the number is still less than the 550 Georgia pledged earlier this year.
  • 155 soldiers from El Salvador's Cuscatlan Battalion arrived home on August 30 as part of a regularly scheduled rotation. The remaining 219 soldiers were expected to return home on September 2.
  • In an article in the Western Daily Mail from August 26, 2004, an MoD spokesman was reported as saying that there were 8,361 UK service personnel in Iraq.

Countries Supporting Ops in Iraq
In IraqIn TheaterTotalFuture
1 United Kingdom 8,361 3,500 ~12,000 15,000 ~10,500 (?)
2 Italy 3,085 84 3,169
3 South Korea 2,800 2,800 ~ 3,600
4 Poland ~2,400-2500 ~2,400-2500 1,000-1,500
[0 by end of 2005?]
5 Ukraine ~1,400 ~1,400
6 Netherlands 1,345 1,345
7 Romania 700 700
8 Japan ~550 ~200 ~750
9 Denmark 496 496
10 Bulgaria ~485 ~485
11 El Salvador 380 380
12 Hungary 300 300
13 Australia ~300 ~620 ~920
14 Mongolia 180 180
15 Georgia 159 159 ~300
16 Azerbaijan 151 151
17 Portugal 128 128
18 Latvia 122 122
19 Czech Republic ~110 ~110 10
20 Lithuania 105 105
21 Slovakia 105 105
22 Albania 71 71 200
23 Estonia 55 55
24 Tonga ~45 ~45
25 Kazakhstan 29 29
26 Macedonia 28 28
27 Moldova 12 12
28 Norway 10 10 0
Thailand 0 0 0
Spain 0 0 0
Honduras 0 0 0
Dominican Republic 0 0 0
Nicaragua 0 0 0
Philippines 0 0 0
Singapore 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0
Armenia 0 50-60
Fiji * 0 155 {end of Oct.04?]
TOTAL ~23,900 ~28,500
* Fiji's troop contingent is to deploy as part of UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI)

US CENTCOM - Coalition Ground Forces

TOTAL ~ 26,300
Royal Marines [Tonga]~45
Cuzcatlan Battalion [El Savadoran]360
Peacekeeping Operations BN [Mongolia]~ 180
1100th Const. & Eng. Spt. Group [ROK]~ ???
U/I Military Police Unit [Czech]~ 80
U/I Chemical Warfare Co [Slovakia]~ 105
U/I SOF Unit [Macedonia]~ 28
U/I SOF Unit (w/ 101 ABN) [Albania]~ 70
U/I Unit [Latvia]~ 121
U/I Brigade [South Korea]~ 2,800
U/I Unit [Thailand]~ 460
Joint Task Force [Australia]
elements, Japanese Self Defense Force~ 75
elements, Danish [DANCON/IRAK]~ 496
U/I Support Unit~ 61
Danish BN [w/Lithuanian soldiers]446
Multi-National Division (South-East)
1st Battalion of the Black Watch Regiment 600
Royal Engineers 170
3 UK Armoured Division ~ 11,000
elements, 14 Signal RGT
elements, 16 Signal RGT
elements, 30 Signal RGT
42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic)
U/I Engineers
20 Armoured BDE
Queen's Royal Hussars Challenger 2
1st BN, The Light Infantry? - Warrior
1st BN, The Royal REGT of Wales? - Warrior
2nd BN, The Parachute REGT
1st BN, The Royal Scots
1st BN, The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
26 REGT Royal Artillery
35 Engineer REGT
elements, 9th/12th Royal Lancers CVR(T)
Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia)
TF Rake (w/ 35 ENG) [New Zealand]
4 General Support REGT, RLC
22 Field Hospital
elements, 33 Engineer REGT (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
17 Port & Maritime REGT
10 Transport REGT, RLC
Element, 11 EOD RGT RLC
1 REGT, Royal Military Police
23 Pioneer REGT, RLC
5 General Support Medical REGT, RAMC
Sassari BDE [Italy]~ 3,000
U/I NBC Co, 7th NBC BN [Italy]
U/I Co, 1st Lagunari Amphib Infantry BN [Italy]
Elements, 9th "Col Moschin" Special Forces BN [Italy]
265th Military Police Bn [Romania]100
U/I Military Police Co [Portugal]
U/I Co, 7th Signal BN [Italy]
18th Mech Infantry BN [Italy]
U/I Sq, 19th Armored Cavalry BN [Italy]
21st Combat Engineer BN [Italy]
6th Transport BN[Italy]
812th Infantry Bn Carpathian Hawks [Romania]
U/I BN, 2nd Carabinieri BDE [Italy]~ 400
Netherlands SFIR-3 Contingent~ 1,500
42nd Mechanised Battalion(Composite)Patria XA-180 APCs
Det. 298 Sqn (RNLAF)3-4 CH-47D
Det.300/301 Sqn (RNLAF)6 NAH-64D
Det. 11/14 FA Bty3 AN/TPQ-32
Logistics (POD) Det.
Royal Constabulary Dets.
Multi-National Division (Central South)
12 Mechanized BDE [Poland]~ 2,400
10 Mechanized BN [10 ACD Poland]
3rd Infantry Bn, 61st Stryam Mech Bde[Bulgaria]~ 485
U/I Hungarian Elements
elements, Grand Duchess Birute Motorised Infantry BN [Lithuania]~ 45
Cuscatlan Bn [El Salvador]380
7th Detached Mechanized Infantry BDE [Ukraine]~ 1,40060 - BTR-80(?)
11 - BRDM-2(?)
U/I Separate Mechanized BNBTR-80
U/I Separate Mechanized BNBTR-80
U/I Separate Mechanized BNBRDMs

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