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Reform of the army::Iraqi Army

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Reform of the army

Iraqi Asad Babil tanks and an M113 APC from the Iraqi Army 9th Mechanized Division pass through a highway checkpoint in Mushahada, Iraq.

Based on Bush administration expectations that coalition forces would be welcomed as liberators after the overthrow of the Hussein regime,<ref>Christopher Spearin, ‘A Justified Heaping of the Blame?,’ in Stoker (ed). Military Advising and Assistance, Routledge, 2008, p.229</ref> prewar planners had only been expecting little if any resistance from the Iraqi people. Thus the new army was initially focused on external defence operations. The new Army was originally intended to comprise 27 battalions in three divisions numbering 40,000 soldiers in three years time. Vinnell Corporation was engaged to train the first nine battalions.

The Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT), headed by Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, was the organization set up by the United States military with the responsibility of training and development of the new army. On August 2, 2003, the first battalion of new Iraqi Army recruits started a nine-week training course at a training base in Qaraqosh. They graduated on October 4, 2003.<ref name="CPA">http://www.cpa-iraq.org/pressreleases/20031007_Oct-04-NIAGrad.pdf</ref> Training of Iraqi forces was initially done by Vinnell Corporation contractors. On April 5, 2004, several Iraqi battalions refuse to fight as part of the force engaged in the First Battle of Fallujah.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} In June 2004, the CMATT was dissolved, and passed on its responsibilities to the Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq (MNSTC-I) (initially headed by Lt. Gen. David Petraeus) with the new focus on providing security for the Iraqi people from the emerging threat posed by the Iraqi insurgency.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

While the regular army was being formed, U.S. commanders around the country needed additional troops more quickly, and thus the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (later{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=When |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[when?] }} to become the Iraqi National Guard) was formed. Coalition commanders formed these militia-type units separately in each area; only later were they gradually brought together as one force. There were several instances where they have refused to take military action against fellow Iraqis, such as in Fallujah, deserted, or allegedly aided the resistance. It is alleged that most guardsmen were drawn from the Shia majority in Southern Iraq or the Kurdish majority in northern Iraq, rather than from the Sunni area which they were ordered to attack. In September 2004, a senior member of the National Guard, General Talib al-Lahibi was arrested on suspicion of having links with insurgent groups.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In December 2004, it was announced that the Iraqi National Guard would be dissolved.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> At this time its strength was officially over 40,000 men. Its units became part of the Army. The absorption of the ING by the regular army appears to have taken place on January 6, 2005, Iraqi Army Day.<ref>Cordesman and Baetjer, 2006, p.147-148. On the ING, see Neil Barnett, 'Iraq's turbulent transition,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 8 September 2004, p.23</ref>

On August 14, 2004, the NATO Training Mission - Iraq was established to assist the Iraqi military, including the Army. On September 20 the provisional Fallujah Brigade dissolved after being sent in to secure the city. The Fallujah Brigade experiment of using former insurgents to secure a city was not repeated.

Army training was transferred from Vinnell Corporation to the United States armed forces supported by U.S. allies, and is now done by three Iraqi training battalions. Training has been impeded by domestic instability, infiltration by insurgents, and high desertion rates.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} From June 2004, the partnership between Coalition forces and Iraqi forces has increased due to the growing number of battalions in the Iraqi army, which then stood around 115. Out of this number, it was deemed that 80 of them were able to carry out operations in the field with Coalition support limited to logistics and strategic planning, whilst another 20-30 battalions still needed major Coalition support to carry out their operations. As of October 5, 2005 the Iraqi Army had 90 battalions trained well enough to be "deployed independently", i.e. without the help of others such as the United States.<ref>The Long War Journal, Training the Iraqi Army - Revisited, Again, 2005</ref>

Iraqi commandos training under the supervision of soldiers of the US 82nd Airborne.

On May 3, 2006 a significant command-and-control development took place. The Iraqi Army command and control center opened in a ceremony at the Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IFGC) headquarters at Camp Victory.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The IGFC was established to exercise command and control of assigned Iraqi Army forces and, upon assuming Operational Control, to plan and direct operations to defeat the Iraqi insurgency. At the time, the IFGC was commanded by Lt. Gen. Abdul-Qadar. In 2006 the ten planned divisions began to be certified and assume battlespace responsibility: the 6th and 8th before June 26, 2006, the 9th on June 26, 2006, the 5th on July 3, 2006, the 4th on August 8, 2006, and the 2nd on December 21, 2006. After divisions were certified, they began to be transferred from U.S. operational control to Iraqi control of the IGFC. The 8th Division was transferred on September 7, 2006,<ref>US hands over control of Iraq military|Iraq Updates</ref> and the 3rd Division on December 1, 2006. Another unspecified division also was transferred to IGFC control.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Also transferred to the Iraqi chain of command were smaller logistics units: on November 1, 2006, the 5th Motor Transport Regiment (MTR) was the fifth of nine MTRs to be transferred to the Iraqi Army divisions. 2007 plans included, MNF-I said, great efforts to make the Iraqi Army able to sustain itself logistically.<ref>MTRs transferred in order of event: 8th, 4th, 6th, 5th and 1st (2 Nov). IA 5th MTR driving toward success - Daily article on www.mnf-iraq.com, 20 November 2006.</ref>

As of June 26, 2006, three Iraqi divisions, 18 brigades and 69 battalions were in control of battlespace (including two police commando battalions).<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

2008

Members of Iraqi Army 3rd Brigade, 14th Division participate in a parade for Iraqi and Coalition military members attending the graduation ceremony, February 13.

On March 25, 2008, the Iraqi Army launched its first solely planned and executed high-profile division-level operation, Operation Charge of the Knights in Basra. They received Multi-National Force - Iraq support only in air support, logistics and via embedded advisors. Also, a British infantry brigade, part of Multi-National Division South-East, and stationed in Basra, were ready in a tactical overwatch role. Their participation was limited to the provision of embedded training teams.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

In April–June 2008, two brigades of the Iraqi Army 11th Division, supported by US forces, moved into the southern third of Sadr City. They were tasked to stop rocket and mortar attacks on US bases and the Green Zone. Following the Siege of Sadr City - a month of fighting - the Mahdi Army agreed to let Iraqi forces into the remaining portion of the city. On May 20, troops from the Iraqi Army 3rd Brigade of the 1st (Iraqi Reaction Force) Division and a brigade from the 9th Division moved into the northern districts of Sadr City and began clearing operations.

May – Iraqi army forces launched Operation Lion's Roar (later renamed to Operation Mother of Two Springs) in Mosul and surrounding areas of Nineva province. Iraq became one of the top purchasers of U.S. military equipment with the Iraqi army trading its AK-47 assault rifles for the more accurate U.S. M-16 and M-4 rifles, among other equipment.<ref>Ceerwan Aziz, "Iraqi forces load up on U.S. arms," USA Today (5/22/2008). Retrieved 11 October 2014</ref>

In June 2008 the Army moved troops to the southern Maysan province. Following a four-day amnesty for insurgents to turn over weapons, the Iraqi Army moved into the provincial capital Amarah.


Iraqi Army sections
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Reform of the army
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