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Iraqi Army division begins to mechanize
DVIDS ^ | 8 June 2011 | Sgt. David Strayer

Posted on 06/09/2011 7:16:53 AM PDT by DJ Elliott

KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq – Iraqi army soldiers selected from four brigades of 5th IA Division conducted operator training on the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier vehicle with assistance from U.S. soldiers from 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division at Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, April 27.

During the M113 training cycle, focused on training the IA on becoming master drivers and vehicle maintenance specialists, students learned basic operating procedures and vehicle maneuvering skills, as well as troubleshooting vehicle malfunctions.

“The M113 course lasts ten days, so there is a good amount of information to fit into that time period,” said Maj. Rasheed Muwwakkil, a logistics advisor to the Iraqi security forces. “All of the IA attending the course are extremely motivated to learn and take an active part in the class, especially when it comes to the anything hands-on and getting a familiarity with the vehicle.”

The M113 is one of the most widely used infantry vehicles in military history. Introduced in 1962, it was the primary armored vehicle used by American forces during the Vietnam War.

M2 and M3 Bradley fighting vehicles replaced the M113 as a front-line combat vehicle in the U.S. Army, but the M113 is still used by U.S. Soldiers in support roles in many of its variations, such as mortar carriers and armored ambulances.

While the 10-day M113 APC driver and maintenance course is aimed at successfully producing Iraqi army soldiers who can be called subject matter experts on operating and conducting user-level maintenance, that is not the course’s only purpose, said Muwwakkil.

“This training course, like many of the training courses here at KMTB, has a purpose outside simple instruction,” said Muwwakkil. “This 10-day course is actually meant to be a train-the-trainer course. We want these guys to be able to take the training that we provide to them and be able to retrain soldiers in their own units later.”

“This is the fourth M113 course we have done, and it seems this way across the board, but the IA soldiers that come through really are getting better and better with each passing rotation,” said Sgt. William Swift, an instructor for M113 driver and maintenance training with Company B, Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd AAB, 25th Inf. Div.

“Since this is a train-the-trainer course, we have left all the logistics for the course to the IA, so they are troubleshooting all of their own problems and arranging for fuel, food, and parts if something were to happen to a vehicle,” said Swift. “They are essentially facilitating their own training.”

Iraqi military leaders chose the 5th IA Division to become one of the first divisions to be mechanized. All of the training and advising with IA units at KMTB has been to prepare soldiers for the new mission they will take on once U.S. forces transition out of Iraq later this year, Muwwakkil explained.

“This is all about getting them ready to take on the conventional mission set of a nation’s army—things like border defense and protecting the people,” he added. “That’s why this division has been selected to become modernized and mechanized.”

“All of the training here at KMTB is slowly coming together; the end product will be a modernized, well-trained division that is prepared to defend its nation,” Muwwakkil said. “Things like the M113 APC training is just one step closer to that end goal.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: army; iraq; m113; mechanize

1 posted on 06/09/2011 7:17:01 AM PDT by DJ Elliott
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To: DJ Elliott

I thought Klinton made fishing reefs out of these?
RPG magnets in any event.


2 posted on 06/09/2011 7:29:02 AM PDT by donozark (It's hard to afford a psychiatrist when you work at a gas station...)
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To: DJ Elliott
The M113 APC, its been around forever. I trained on it in 1971 at Armored Recon school at Ft Knox. It had a 318 Detroit Diesel and you steered it with two levers, pulling back the one on the side you wanted to turn, locking that track. It had a 50 cal on top and was a ball to drive and fire. Only had about an inch of aluminum armor though. A 30 cal would go through it. It's hard to believe they still use them. I wonder if they still make them?

Mike

3 posted on 06/09/2011 7:29:39 AM PDT by MichaelP (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools ~HS)
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To: donozark

It was 2008 when the Army announced that the last 6,000 M113 varients were being replaced with Bradley and Stryker varients. This is to be done by 2014.

1,026 M113 varients are being provided to the IA under US FMS EDA program [The Iraqis pay shipping and refurbishment]:
66 M1064 120mm Mortar Carriers
68 M113A2 AMEV [Ambulance]
618 M113A2 APC
80 M577 Command Post Vehicles
192 M548 Cargo Carriers
2 M577A2 EMTV [Emergency Medical Treatment Vehicle]

By my accounting we have about 2,900 more M113 varients left to dispose of in the US Army...


4 posted on 06/09/2011 7:48:22 AM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: DJ Elliott
Early on, in the Iraq War, there seemed to be great difficulty in obtaining these APCs. Back when the IEDs were claiming a HUMVEE a day or more, and many urged "armored HUMVEEs," etc. Some suggested using M113s. Maybe they were in need of refurbishment and could not readily be utilized?

Mixed feelings on these. In VN most preferred riding on top of them rather than inside. "Cookers."

5 posted on 06/09/2011 8:09:37 AM PDT by donozark (It's hard to afford a psychiatrist when you work at a gas station...)
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To: donozark
RPG magnets in any event.

All the more reason to find somebody else to take them.

6 posted on 06/09/2011 8:13:52 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: PapaBear3625

And get them to pay us for them as well. Refurbishment anyway...


7 posted on 06/09/2011 8:22:16 AM PDT by donozark (British Army, Fighting Proudly in Afghanistan-Since 1839)
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To: DJ Elliott

Not a bad vehicle if you remember that it’s not a tank. The A3 model has some good upgrades.


8 posted on 06/09/2011 8:28:09 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: donozark

IIRC, the M113 was intended as a stepping stone to more advanced IFV’s and even tanks. That would mean that it’s chief virtues in this training mission is simplicity & availability.

A little surprised that they aren’t using BMP’s, but we are speaking about a US training mission here.


9 posted on 06/09/2011 8:41:52 AM PDT by Tallguy (You can safely ignore anything that precedes the word "But"...)
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To: MichaelP

The M113 APC is a great ride and the Iraqis will be able to run away from a threat just fine. It is a bit sensitive to mines and anything over 7.62x39, so it’s just a HumVee with poor visibility. We give lots of these away to allies as somewhere in an American desert there must be thousands parked.


10 posted on 06/09/2011 8:57:04 AM PDT by RicocheT
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To: DJ Elliott

The US military has made the Iraqi Army amazingly powerful. All sorts of military schools, from basic training through command and general staff; a strong emphasis on logistics, supply and maintenance; division and corps level operations, worth their weight in gold.

As of July 2009, the Iraqi Army had 17 divisions, containing 56 brigades or 185 combat battalions.


11 posted on 06/09/2011 9:03:10 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: donozark

The IA is spending over 200 million on refurb and transportation in this deal.


12 posted on 06/09/2011 10:20:23 AM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: Tallguy

The IA has BMP1s and is also buying BTR4s.
They are getting these M113s for the price of refurb and transport.


13 posted on 06/09/2011 10:22:23 AM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Only 14 Divs. The numbers 13, 15, and 16 are not used.
Current count is 14 IA Divs, 57 Bdes [only 4 heavy], and 198 line Bns [plus 20 personnal security].

I write the ISF OOB...


14 posted on 06/09/2011 10:25:30 AM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

PS That is a weak army by the standards of the neighborhood. Even Kuwait has more armor and a stronger Navy and Air Force...


15 posted on 06/09/2011 10:27:13 AM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: DJ Elliott

Yes, but Iraq has received both division and corps level operations training. While it’s common to have paper divisions in the region, the largest organic command they can functionally field is brigade sized.

An operational division can often outperform twice or three times its size of separate brigades. This is one tremendous force multiplier. Then a second is an appreciation for logistics, maintenance, air transport and resupply.

The typical ME country sinks all its efforts into combat arms with no interest or attention to maintenance or resupply. For this reason, their operations are “brittle”. If anything breaks, or they have to sustain operations, they quickly grind to a halt. Even in peacetime much of their equipment is waiting on parts or essential maintenance.

And as the Israelis noted, they think ammunition is fireworks, so have zero fire discipline.

Last but not least, the Iraqi training programs would make WT Sherman proud. Most of the ME just throws hot bodies into uniforms and hands them a rifle. On top of it, the Iraqi army has a lot of experience in lower level combat operations.

By comparison, with some US military training, the ARVN, with no resupply, still managed to hold out against the NVA with bottomless resupply, for two years on their own. The US military bitterly remembers that betrayal, so has gone to extreme lengths to insure it does not happen again to the IA, even if the US congress tries the same abandonment.


16 posted on 06/09/2011 11:55:21 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

The IA has not formed any corps yet.
Divisional exercises only started last year.

Most of the IA is still drilling at Bn level.
Only 5 IA Divisions are being drilled at Bde and Div level.
[3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 10th.]
And most of their training is still at Bn for external defense.

There are major differences between being good for COIN and being capable of conventional warfare.
E.G. They only formed their first divisional artillery battalion recently as part of getting their first functional howitzers a couple of months ago. [105th FAR/5th Div]

There is a reason why IMoD and IA all say they will not be ready until 2020. It is not just air. They are missing major support and combat components.

Your characterization of the IA is grossly exagerated.


17 posted on 06/09/2011 8:54:03 PM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

I have said this before and it remains true today.
The IA is on par with ROKA circa June 1950 without the terrain benifits of Korea:
No significant artillery.
No significant anti-armor capability.
No significant armor compared to the neighbors.
No air defense at all.
Missing Level 1 and Level 3 logistics support.

Capable of internal security but, on their own they would loose in under 2 weeks to any of the neighbors if they choose to invade Iraq.

The fiction about how good the IA is - It is just propaganda justification for pulling the US out.
Kuwait, with an army the size of a re-enforced Mech Div, outguns the IA in every category except infantry.

The IA is not equipped or trained for external defense.
That external defense training started November 2010.
That external defense equipment is still in grossly insufficient numbers and what has arrived they still have to learn how to properly employ.
Their logistics and C2 is not built up to support the units they have. Major components are missing.
They are a decade from having an realistic air defense since they have no air defense at all.

I don’t know who is feeding you the bumb-gouge, I have been tracking their developments for years. They are 10 years from what you describe by IMoD’s own self-appraisal.

By the way, I am the same DJ Elliott that everyone plagerizes the ISF OOB from.

http://home.comcast.net/~djyae/site/?/page/Iraq_Order_of_Battle/

That OOB is updated monthly and is the result of 60-100 hours of research each month.


18 posted on 06/09/2011 9:44:56 PM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

PS The IA only started forming Divisional Communications Battalions last year.

If they don’t have the comms to coordinate at divisional level, how are they supposed to be trained to fight at that level?

You can’t train on what you don’t have. At best, the IA is trained to brigade level only. The higher is a work in progress.

I probably need to do another monster article listing the missing components of the IA - to provide a reality check.

Been too busy writing a novel to work on that list of headaches.


19 posted on 06/14/2011 9:48:33 PM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

http://www.dvidshub.net/video/118131/4th-infantry-division-oversees-advise-train-and-assist-mission

Like I said, the IA is still a battalion level functional army. I would love to know where you are getting the claim that they are seriously trained at Bde, Div, and Corps level. They don’t have the equipment or all the component units for those levels.

No authoritative source rates them as high as you claim.

Even the Iraqis do not plan to be at the level you claim until 2020.

IMOD Phase 1 [2005-2010]: Tactical Independence
IMOD Phase 2 [2011-2015]: Operational Independence
IMOD Phase 3 {2016-2020]: Strategic Independence


20 posted on 06/15/2011 11:27:14 PM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: DJ Elliott

http://www.forum.militaryltd.com/uk-forces-general-discussion/m16557-multi-national-mentoring-helps-iraqi-army

http://www.ausa.org/publications/armymagazine/archive/2006/9/Documents/Steele_Iraqi_0906.pdf

http://newsblaze.com/story/20060516071949nnnn.nb/topstory.html

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/63033/10th-iraqi-army-division-exercises-command-coordination

http://waronterrornews.typepad.com/home/2011/04/iraqi-army-preps-for-divisional-live-fire-exercise.html


21 posted on 06/16/2011 8:41:37 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

The first link is from when the UK was still in Basrah - Before the formation of the 14th IA Div. 2 of its brigades were disbanded and replacement Brigades built in 2008-2009. Those were the 40th [former 4-10] and the 52nd [former 3-10]. You obviously didn’t hear but, the US had to retrain the 10th IA Div after the UK left. The UK had been cooking the books in the south.

The second link was from 2006, when the policy changed from training for external to getting a credible internal security force. That data is completely obsolete. They only restarted external training in Nov 2010. COIN is not even close to the level of intensity and coordination needed for external defense.

The third link from 2006 is also obsolete. All of the SIBs [19 bns] have since then been purged [2008], sent back to bootcamp [2009-2010], and started over mostly as the 12th Div [commisioned with 2 reformed brigades and a HQ in 2009]. The elements of the 4th Div listed there were broke up to provide cadre during this reformation. Effectively, that force is receiving retraining.

The fourth link is one of the COIN training evolutions. Notice only half of the 10th Div was involved. There are 4 brigades in an IA Div. That is because the rest of 10th Div’s battalions are in external training at Ali Base. COIN CPXs are not even close to coordinating a division in combined arms against an external enemy. There is good reasons why COIN is also called Low Intensity Conflict.

The fifth link is a battalion level exercise of the 12th Division’s Commando Battalion supported by a mortar battery. Supports my point.

If those are supposed to support your point, then where is the Corps and Division level exercises in external defense. COIN is not even a close comparison.

The IA does not have the communications to coordinate at Division, they are still forming Divisional Communications Battalions.

The IA only formed its first divisional field artillery battalion - each division rates a FA Brigade. You can’t train on what you don’t have.

The IA is still building divisional engineers up.

The IA Brigades do not have Brigade Support Battalions except in 9th Div. You can get away with that for COIN - not for external.

The first Chem Defense Company in the IA only formed 8 months ago. Each Brigade requires a Chem Co and each Div a Chem Bn.

Then there is the fact that the IA does not have any Corps or corps-level troops/support. They were scheduled to form in 2008-2011 but, the budget crunch postponed that.


22 posted on 06/16/2011 9:39:18 AM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

A bit more current, as in this year:

http://www.defense.gov/Blog_files/Blog_assets/BRT%20MajGenBUCHANAN.pdf

“Sustainment and logistics is a — is another example. The MOD, in particular, has funded about 10 percent of what we think is required, for the last two years, for maintenance.”

“And the last area I want to highlight has to do with combined arms and their ability to integrate combined arms. Because they’ve been focused almost entirely on counterinsurgency operations, they have not yet been able to — and have not had to — integrate the various effects of combined arms from infantry, artillery, attack aviation, armored forces — you know, to have the optimum effect that they’re looking for because they haven’t been facing threats that require that. We’ve maintained the responsibility for external defense of the country. And so we’re working now — and I can go into this a little bit later — but we’re working very hard to help give them some of those basic capabilities that they can build on so that they can better meet their security needs for the future.”

http://home.comcast.net/~djyae/site/?/blog/view/90/

This is the interview link that goes with my article - in case you don’t trust my writing.
http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2011/03/u-s-army-bloggers-roundtable-operation-new-day/

You might try reading some of my other articles about the IA from this year as opposed to old puff-pieces from 2006.

http://home.comcast.net/~djyae/site/?/blog/view/89/

http://home.comcast.net/~djyae/site/?/blog/view/84/


23 posted on 06/16/2011 10:01:16 AM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

http://www.dvidshub.net/video/120307/maj-gen-jefferey-buchanan-part-1


24 posted on 07/08/2011 10:21:35 PM PDT by DJ Elliott (Montrose Toast Blog)
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