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Assessment of U.S. and Coalition Plans and Efforts to Train, Advise, Assist, and Equip the Iraqi Counterterrorism Service and the Iraqi Special Operations Forces

DODIG-2017-074

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Objective:

To assess U.S. and Coalition efforts to train, advise, assist, and equip the Iraqi Counterterrorism Service (CTS) and the Iraqi Special Operations Forces 1 in support of operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Findings: 

We found that U.S. Forces used the Iraq Train and Equip Fund procurement process to equip the CTS for combat operations in accordance with the provisions in the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act and title 10 of the United States Code.

We also identified several areas for improvement in the U.S. and Coalition mission to train, advise, and assist the CTS:

  1. U.S. and Coalition advisers had difficulty in drawing equipment from CTS warehouses to provide adequate training to CTS recruits at the CTS training command, called the Academia.
  2. Training courses developed by the U.S. and the Coalition did not contain well-defined standards of evaluation for CTS trainees.
  3. CTS trainees did not receive live-fire training on all weapon systems they were expected to use in combat.

Recommendations: 

Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force–Iraq, in coordination with Chief, Office of Security Cooperation–Iraq, advise and assist the Commander, Iraqi Counterterrorism Service, to develop a plan establishing release authority for Counterterrorism Service equipment and supplies that will specifically improve the responsiveness of the logistic support necessary for CTS training.

Commander, Special Operations Training Command–Iraq, in coordination with Iraqi Counterterrorism Service Academia leadership, develop and incorporate objective and measurable training evaluation criteria and standards for all tasks trained in Academia programs of instruction.

Commander, Special Operations Joint Task Force– Operation Inherent Resolve, in coordination with the Iraqi Counterterrorism Service Academia, identify all training requirements to support live-fire of the AT-4, M-72, and SPG-9 weapons by Academia trainees and develop the training programs of instruction to support these requirements.

Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force–Iraq, in coordination with Chief, Office of Security Cooperation–Iraq, other Coalition partners, and Iraqi Counterterrorism Service Academia leadership, develop and implement a resource plan to provide the weapons, ammunition, and range facilities necessary to support the programs of instruction for live-fire training on the AT-4, M-72, and SPG-9 weapons by Academia trainees.

Commander, Special Operations Joint Task Force– Operation Inherent Resolve, in coordination with Chief, Office of Security Cooperation–Iraq, and Commander, Iraqi Counterterrorism Service, develop a plan for improving the refit process for the Iraqi Counterterrorism Service. (The discussion related to this recommendation is in the classified annex to this report, Appendix C.)