View Full Version : US Forces Order of Battle - 09 January

10 Jan 04,, 11:02
US Forces Order of Battle - 09 January

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.

The task of developing a comprehensive listing of US forces present in the area is particularly difficult as forces have been known to rotate in and out of the region in response to heightened operational tempo or exercises. 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 and to deceive potential enemies and the media, among others.

Furthermore, the volume of troops moving in and out of the region will surely result in mistakes, misidentifications, or ignorance regarding specific units.

Exluding forces deployed in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, there are probably about 156,000 military personnel in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, including about 350 aircraft of all types. The number of troops deployed in the area fluctuates on a daily basis as new forces surge into the region and some units begin to return to the United States. Of the 150,000 soldiers in the region, the National Guard Bureau on September 17, 2003 indicated that 29,000 are from the Army and Air National Guard and 50,000 from the reserves.

Ground Forces in the region include virtually all of 101st Airborne Division, 4th Infantry Division, 1st Armored Division, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and elements of the 82nd Airborne Division have been deployed to Iraq. There are a significant number of echelon above division support units in the region. It is believed that the total Army presence in Iraq is nearly 130,000 soldiers.

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. Deployments for active duty units lasts roughly 90-days while Reserve and Guard units deploy typically for 30 - 60 days. In an effort to provide relief to pilots that had been deployed for prolonged periods of time the Air Force initiated a "Blue" rotation that would bring new assets to the region. It is not clear just how many airmen are deployed, though the number is likely to be around 10,000 with roughly 250 aircraft of all types.

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 Battle Group, with its associated Carrier Air Wing, has approximately 11,000 sailors embarked. As of 15 October 2003 there was one carrier strike group and one expeditionary strike group in the area for a total of around 16,000 naval personnel. These units included about 125 helicopters and aircraft. A total of about 425 Vertical Launch System cells are available for Tomahawk cruise missiles, which is roughly three times the average number typically deployed in recent years. Based on estimates of prior deployments, perhaps as many as 200 Tomahawks are actually deployed. The cruise missile force can be augmented significantly within days.

As of 20 August 2003 a total of 27 countries, in addition to the United States, had contributed a total of approximately 21,700 troops to ongoing stability operations in Iraq. These 27 are Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, El Salvador, Estonia, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. In addition to the 27 countries with forces already on the ground in Iraq, four others (Moldova, the Philippines, Portugal, and Thailand) have committed to providing troops. Fourteen other countries are currently considering whether to provide forces for Iraq.

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.

Recent Developments

DOD / Coalition
The New York Times reported on January 8 that a 400-member team, the Joint Captured Matériel Exploitation Group, which is subordinate to the Iraq Survey Group, has been withdrawn from Iraq. The unit was headed by an Australian general.
The New York Times story also identified an explosive disposal unit named Task Force D/E, for disablement and elimination.

The 203rd Engineer Battalion, a National Guard unit from Missouri, has been identified by a visitor of the site as being located in Iraq. The unit has apparently been in country, supporting the 1st Armored Division since June 2003.
The Fayetteville Observer reports on January 8, 2004 that the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division began deploying to Iraq. This deployment may last between 4 to 6 months.
The Army News Service reported on January 7, 2004 that the 67th Signal Battalion was deploying to the CENTCOM AOR to replace the 63rd Signal Battalion, which will be returning in February. The unit deployed shortly after the New Year.
The first elements of the 101st Airborne Division have begun to return to the United States, ahead of the rest of the division which is slated to begin returning in large portions at the end of January 2004. Roughly 200 soldiers returned to Fort Campbell on January 7, 2004.
The first element of III Corps headquarters has begun deploying to the CENTCOM AOR according to local papers. Roughly 250 soldiers took part in the initial deployment.
Associated Press reports on December 31st that the 101st Airborne Division will begin returning to the United States sometime in late January, rather than the previously expected February or March.

The Navy announced on January 8 that the USS Boxer had been ordered to deploy to the Persian Gulf region in support of the OIF-2 rotation. The Boxer will be ferrying equipment and personnel from the I Marine Expeditionary Force and from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Two CH-46Ds from Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 11 will be deploying with the Boxer to provide logistical support. The Boxer is scheduled to return to San Diego in April.
The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reported on January 9 that the USS Bataan may also receive orders to deploy to the Persian Gulf region to ferry Marines from Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point. It would be deployed for roughly two to three months.

Marine Corps
The Jacksonville Daily News reports on January 9 that roughly 5,000 Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force would be joining 1st Marine Division in Iraq. Marines from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, and elements from the 2nd Force Service Support Group: 8th Communication Battalion, 2nd Intelligence Battlion, the headquarters, communications, and Delta companies of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Military Police Battalion, the Transportation Company, 2nd Transportation Support Battalion, the Ordnance Maintenance and Electronic Maintenance companies from 2nd Maintenance Battalion, elements of the Ammunition Company, 2nd Supply Battalion, Alpha and Bravo Surgical companies of 2nd Medical Battalion, and the Alpha Bridge and Bulk Fuel companies of 8th Engineer Support Battalion are all scheduled to deploy.
Also, the Jacksonville Daily News indicates that elements of HMM 261, HMLA 167 (actually the JDN states that and HMLA 176 is to be sent to Iraq but no such unit has been detected), Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, MWSS 273, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2, and elements from 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, MAC Squadron 2, and Marine Air Support Squadron 1 will be deploying to Iraq.
Some 200 Marines are reported to be deploying with the Boxer and she will also carry 16 CH-53s from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466.
The Wall Street Journal reports on January 6, 2004 that at least two battalions from the 7th Marine Regiment, the 1/7 and the 3/7 are currently training in preperation for a deployment to Iraq. It is unclear how much of the rest of the regiment is being sent.
The Pacific Stars and Stripes is reporting that the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment and the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment may be slated to head for Iraq with the 1st Marine Division.

10 Jan 04,, 11:03