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Old 08-11-2003, 01:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
HarmlessRabbit's Avatar
Location: San Jose, CA
Just the facts on USA forces in Iraq

Here's a very recent article on the actual USA forces breakdown in Iraq. For once, I'm not going to make a political statement , I just thought the information was interesting. It's nice to know where a billion dollars a week is going!


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 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 195,000 military personnel in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, including about 500 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.

Ground Forces in the region include a Patriot missile task force with two batteries deployed in Saudi Arabia and two in Kuwait. Virtually all of 3rd Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, 4th Infantry Division, 1st Armored Division, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and an element 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 the region is nearly 167,300 soldiers. Army equipment figures are based on standard Tables of Organization and Equipment for the units deployed. The number of Army mechanized equipment actually on the ground is thought to be roughly 814 M1 Abrams and 549 M2 Bradleys. There are 140 AH-64 Apache helicopters in the region.

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 July 2003 there was one carrier strike group and one amphibious ready group in the area for a total of around 61,000 naval personnel. These units included about 175 helicopters and aircraft. A total of about 449 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 250 Tomahawks are actually deployed. The cruise missile force can be augmented significantly within days.

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

* Combined Joint Task Force Consequence Management stood down in May 2003 according to an ARCENT story in July 2003.


* The 65th Engineer Battalion is not operating in Iraq contrary to information attached to a US Army photograph of soldiers operating in support of OIF. According to members of the unit who were kind enough to correct the mistake, the unit is not currently deployed.
* Fort Riley announced on August 7, 2003 that roughly 3,000 soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division would deploy to Iraq, attached to the 82nd Airborne Division, sometime in late August. The units tapped to deploy include the 1-16th Infantry, the 1-34th Armor, 1-5th Field Artillery, 1st Engineer Battalion, 101st Forward Support Battalion, Battery C 4-3rd Air Defense Artillery, Troop D 4th Cavalry, 331st Signal Company, 10th Air Support Operations Squadron, 1st Maintenance Company, 568th Engineer Company, and Company D 15th Personnel Services Battalion.
* On August 8, 2003 elements of the 123rd Signal Battalion and the final elements of the 92nd Engineer Battalion are to return to Fort Stewart.
* 300 soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment returned to Fort Stewart on August 7, 2003.
* According to a CENTCOM news story dated August 2003, 170 soldiers from the 514th Maintenance Company is deployed to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. The unit is part of the 548th Corps Support Battalion, an element of the 10th Mountain Division.
* The 703rd Main Support Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division returned to the United States on August 5, 2003 according to a Hinnesville Courier on August 6, 2003.
* The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on August 3 that elements of the XVIII Airborne Corps Support Group has begun to return to the US as well as unidentified elements of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
* The Associated Press reports on July 30, 2003 that roughly 460 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment returned to Fort Stewart on July 30 and July 31. The report also indicated that nearly half of the 3rd ID is already home.
* According to an Army News Service story on July 28, 2003 the 30th Infantry Brigade and the 39th Infantry Brigade have both been alerted for a potential deployment to Iraq.
* 600 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment will be sent to Iraq in February 2003 according to the Associated Press on July 28, 2003.
* 50 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, Company C, will be deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan by August 1, 2003, according to the Miami Herald on July 29, 2003.
* Two companies of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment returned to the United States on July 28, 2003 according to the Associated Press.
* Elements of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division crossed into Kuwait on July 28, 2003.
* 325 soldiers from the 24th Transportation Battalion returned from Southwest Asia on July 25, 2003 according to the Newport News Daily Press on the same day. Soldiers from the 11th Transportation Battalion are also returning.
* Roughly 210 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery returned to Fort Bragg on July 25, 2003 according to the Fayetteville Observer on July 26.

Marine Corps

* The 1st Force Reconnaissance Company is currently operating in Iraq according to a Marine Corps News story on August 1, 2003. An unknown number of Marines from the 4th Civil Affairs Group is operating in Iraq.
* The Associated Press on July 31, 2003 reported that the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment began returning to the US on July 29. Some 900 Marines have either already returned or are in the process of returning to the US. Roughly 100 Marines remain in Kuwait packing up equipment to be returned to the US. They will remain in the region for a "couple of weeks". The unit is being removed form the list.
* Marines from the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion are in Iraq. Lance Cpl. Gregory MacDonald was killed on June 25, 2003.
* The USS Iwo Jima and its Amphibious Ready Group have been ordered to depart the CENTCOM AOR and head for a position off Liberia in support of potential peacekeeping operations in that country.

Air Force

* According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal on August 5, 2003 roughly 75 airmen from the 152nd Airlift Wing deployed to Qatar on August 4 and will join the units 4 C-130s and 40 other airmen for 4 months.
* 100 airmen from the 167th Airlift Wing returned to the US on August 1, 2003 according to the Associated Press on the same day.
* The 940th Air Refueling Wing returned to the US on August 1, 2003 according to the Sacramento Bee on August 2.
* The 16th Airlift Squadron is conducting operations in support of OIF from Rhein-Main Air Base under the 362nd Air Expeditionary Group according to the State (Columbia S.C.) on August 3, 2003.
* Elements of the 307th RED HORSE are back in the United States after having been deployed to Kuwait and Iraq, according to the San Antonio Express-News on July 29, 2003.
* The Associated Press reported on July 29, 2003 that nearly 275 airmen, and 4 C-130s from the 934th Airlift Wing have begun deploying to the Middle East in support of Enduring Freedom. It is not clear where the unit will be located.
* Airmen from the 139th Airlift Wing are operating at Qatar, likely at Al Udeid. Nearly 200 airmen from the unit were to return to the US on August 4, 2003 but recent orders will have the 110 airmen remain in the country indefinitely according to the Associated Press on July 29, 2003.
* 50 airmen from the 114th Civil Engineering Squadron are returning to the US on or about August 3, 2003 according to the Associated ress on July 31, 2003.
* Six C-130s from Pope Air Force Base deployed to Southwest Asia, accoriding to an Air Mobility Command photo release. It is not clear where they went, or from squadron they were from.
* A CENTCOM photo identifies a C-130 from the 166th Airlift Wing as being deployed in the SWA region.

Coast Guard

* Port Security Unit 309 is currently deployed and operating at Shuaiba Port, Kuwait.
* Port Security Unit 311 returned to the US in June 2003.


* The Polish 12th Mechanized Brigade is going to Iraq, not the 10th according to the Warsaw Voice on June 1, 2003. According to the BBC on July 17, 2003 an element of the 25th Airborne Cavalry Brigade is also deploying.
* Roughly 1,600 soldiers from the Ukraine 5th Mechanized Division are to deploy to Iraq on August 7 according to the Associated Press on July 31, 2003.
* Ukraine's 19th Army Battalion is to redeploy from Kuwait to Iraq. The unit has 448 men.
HarmlessRabbit is offline  
Old 08-12-2003, 12:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
42, baby!
Dragonlich's Avatar
Location: The Netherlands
Actually, there's also a Dutch contingent of some 700 marines in Iraq at the moment.
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Old 08-12-2003, 01:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
Cherry-pickin' devil's advocate
Location: Los Angeles
He does say just the USa forces in the title...

Hey whats up with all the new int'l troop contingents sent in by U.N. or whatever now? I havent caught that in the news until recently confusing me.
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Old 08-12-2003, 01:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
42, baby!
Dragonlich's Avatar
Location: The Netherlands
Originally posted by Zeld2.0
He does say just the USa forces in the title...

Hey whats up with all the new int'l troop contingents sent in by U.N. or whatever now? I havent caught that in the news until recently confusing me.
He did point at the "coalition" troops in his article. And no, these are not send by the UN. They're part of the US effort to stabilize Iraq. Also missing are a small contingent of Japanese troops, which are either there already, or will be send shortly. I thought there were also some South-Koreans there.

If/when the UN approves, you'll see many more international troops. Germany is even thinking about going in then.
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Old 08-12-2003, 08:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
HarmlessRabbit's Avatar
Location: San Jose, CA
actually if you click on the "coalition forces" on the right, you'll see the japanese and dutch forces you mention:


i'm not sure why some coalition forces are listed in that section and some in the section I posted, maybe the ones in the USA document are under US command and the others are independent?
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Old 08-12-2003, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
42, baby!
Dragonlich's Avatar
Location: The Netherlands
Sorry, I should probably have checked that link.

I know that the Dutch forces are going to control some desert area in the south of Iraq, and are in command of that area. I would assume they're still under the command of the US generals, though - it'd be a bit silly if they were not. If they ever get attacked, they're pretty much dependent on US/UK support, after all; and we would *not* want the situation we had in Bosnia, where the vague UN command structure meant we were left without such support.
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Old 08-12-2003, 10:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
Location: South of the border
Several central american countries are also sending troops to Irak, although in very small numbers. Between El salvador and Nicaragua I think they are sending a little less than 1,000 soldiers. In the papers over here, it says that they're gonna help out with the "reconstruction" of Irak, but that they will first receive some training in Kuwait before they're moved to Irak.
"The weak are food for the strong, so die and let me feast!" - Makoto Shishio (RK)
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