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Iraqi Civil Defense Corps

Soon after the April 2004 Battle of Fallujah, with the return to Iraqi sovereignty and the dissolution of the CPA in June 2004, in July 2004 Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi renamed the ICDC the Iraqi National Guard (ING). He placed it ostensibly under the Ministry of Defense, although it continued to work in support of Coalition forces. Then in December 2004, the Iraqi Defense Minister announced that the ING, which was having problems withstanding insurgent attacks, would be disbanded in January 2005 and incorporated into the army.

The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC) was envisioned as an organization of locally recruited small units, working under Coalition forces, providing disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, fixed-site security, and convoy security. Ambassador Bremer announced plans for the ICDC on July 20, 2003, during Sunday television interviews. The ICDC was to have one battalion associated with each multi-national division, although the requirement eventually grew to one battalion in every province. The divisions trained their own ICDC battalions, as was the case with the 4th Infantry Division. To the extent the training was standardized, it lasted about three weeks, but in some cases it was as short as one week. Some U.S. commanders spent Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds to equip their ICDC personnel. ICDC members were mostly non-military and they enlisted with the understanding that they would serve in the areas from which they were drawn, not deployed outside their traditional tribal, ethnic, or sectarian areas.

The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps fell under the authority of the Ministry of National Security Defense. It was charged with the internal defense of the country. Members of the ICDC were tasked as linguists, drivers, HUMINT, Disaster Relief, HA, providing fixed site security, and route/convoy security under the command of Coalition Forces. The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps were tasked with the following missions: Joint patrolling with Coalition Forces; fixed site security; route security; natural disaster aid, and general assistance.

The ICDC was not controlled by the local Iraq government. It was a CJTF-7 initiative controlled by Coalition forces. CPA Order Number 28, Establishment of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, September 3, 2003, established this temporary security and emergency service agency for Iraq to complement operations conducted by Coalition military forces in Iraq. As of mid-October 2003 more than 6,000 members of a new Iraq Civil Defense Corps were employed. Nationwide, Iraq's Civil Defense Corps stood at about 4,700 trained soldiers by 29 October 2003. Wolfowitz told the House Armed Services Committee in late September 2003 that plans call for expanding the force to 15,000 by January 2004. As of 13 February 2004, more than 25,000 Iraqi Civil Defense Corps personnel had been hired and trained, and 3,600 were undergoing training.

New recruits into the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps were mostly non-military. They tend to reflect local government demographics. The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps was comprised of 15,000 men divided along 18 battalions of 846 men. Members of the ICDC wore solid brown uniforms, are armed with AKs and equipped with jeeps and trucks, iwth 2 jeeps and 12 trucks per battalion. They were paid according to the New Iraqi Army pay scale by Coalition forces under a 1-year renewable contract.

Iraqi Civil Defense Corps soldiers were Iraqi citizens who remain in their communities and are integrated into the coalition military units. New recruits receive three weeks of intensive combat training. They first learn basic commands in English, the rules of engagement, and how to set up a control point. From there, they practice troop-leading procedures, crowd and riot control, and squad movements. During the final training week, trainees qualify on their AK-47 rifles.

Although on the surface it may seem inconsequential, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps needed new uniforms. Trainees wore uniforms of the old Iraqi army -- something they hate and are anxious to disassociate themselves from. The uniform was tan. Shia personnel would not however wear the tan uniform because of the color's association with the former regime of Saddam Hussein. The ICDC also had baseball-type caps in red, blue, and black with ICDC in block letters.

Coalition soldiers relinquished security and guarding responsibilities of Objective Jaguar, an ammunition supply point, to the soldiers from Delta Company, part of the Iraq Civil Defense Corps in a ceremony 01 October 2003. The 12-square-kilometer supply point had been guarded by 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) for the last five months. The soldiers of the ICDC underwent two phases of training by American soldiers. First, they spent two weeks in a basic training camp at Camp Claiborne in Mosul. Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) trained the Iraqis in marksmanship, drill and ceremony and other military disciplines. After a period of leave for the Iraqis, soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, took the soldiers to Objective Jaguar, outside of the village of Al Hatra, for another week of training.

The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps performed a range of duties, including fixed-site security, route/convoy security, patrols, cordons, establishment of checkpoints, and other tasks under Multinational Force command arrangements. Under CPA/ORD/73 of 22 April 2004 the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, to include all associated personnel, facilities, and equipment, established pursuant to CPA Order Number 28 was transferred to the Ministry of Defence as a component of the Iraqi Armed Forces.

As of 30 Apr 2004. See CENTCOM Briefing

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Page last modified: 12-01-2012 18:10:42 ZULU