HomeReportsAll DoD OIG Reports

U.S. and Coalition Efforts to Train, Advise, Assist, and Equip the Iraqi Police Hold Force DODIG-2018-147

PRINT  |  E-MAIL


Objective:

The objective of this evaluation was to determine whether U.S. and Coalition efforts to train, advise, assist, and equip Iraqi Police Hold Force units supported the Hold Force mission of securing liberated areas and preventing a future insurgency in Iraq.

Specifically, we determined whether:

  1. The Hold Force mission was integrated into the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Plan.
  2. The Programs of Instruction of the Coalition countries conducting training for Iraqi Police Hold Force units were consistent with regard to content and method of instruction, and whether the training content supported the Hold Force mission of securing liberated areas and preventing a future insurgency in Iraq.
  3. The training received by the Iraqi Police Hold Force units supported the Hold Force Mission of securing liberated areas and preventing a future insurgency in Iraq.
  4. The equipment provided to the Iraqi Police Hold Force supported the Hold Force mission of securing liberated areas and preventing a future insurgency in Iraq.
  5. The Commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve had a sustainment plan in place for U.S. – provided equipment.
  6. The Iraqi Police Hold Force manning requirements (recruitment and retention) were being met.
  7. The Advise and Assist efforts of the command supported the Hold Force mission of securing liberated areas and preventing a future insurgency in Iraq.

In this evaluation, we focused on the U.S. and Coalition efforts to support the Hold Force mission of securing liberated areas and preventing a future insurgency in Iraq. We were unable to determine whether the U.S. and Coalition efforts increased the capability of Iraqi Police Hold Force units because the training and deployment of Iraqi Police Hold Force units was still underway and there were no U.S. or Coalition advisors assigned at the unit level to observe their effectiveness. Additionally, we determined that U.S. and Coalition Forces did not have a direct role or responsibility in the Iraqi personnel recruitment and retention process and thus did not further evaluate this issue.

Background:

Operation Inherent Resolve is the U.S. and Coalition campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). As the campaign transitions from the physical defeat of ISIS to the lasting defeat of the terrorist organization, U.S. and Coalition efforts are transitioning from supporting offensive operations to helping build Iraqi security functions. To support this transition, the U.S. and Coalition are helping build the capacity of the Iraqi Police Hold Force. The Iraqi Police Hold Force includes Federal Police, Local Police, Energy Police, and Border Guard units, with the mission of securing liberated areas and preventing a future insurgency.

Finding:

We determined that:

The equipment provided to the Iraqi Police Hold Force supported the Hold Force mission of securing liberated areas and preventing a future insurgency in Iraq. The equipment was provided to enable Iraqi Police Hold Force units to conduct clearing operations, checkpoints, and patrols. Additionally, the equipment provided mobile infrastructure to Police and Border Guard units to replace infrastructure destroyed during the ISIS invasion.

The Programs of Instruction from the Coalition countries conducting the training for the Iraqi Police Hold Force were consistent with regard to content and method of instruction. In addition, training courses funded by the Counter ISIS Train and Equip Fund were designed to:

  • Support Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve and the Ministries of Defense and Interior’s intention to create a Wide Area Security Force composed of police units to support long-term stability and security in Iraq; and
  • Provide Iraqi Police Hold Force units the skills needed to use the Police Presence in a Box and Border Guard in a Box sets as command stations that replace infrastructure destroyed during the ISIS invasion and restore the public’s trust in the Iraqi government.

Additionally, Police Task Force – Iraq used funding provided by the European Union and other Coalition Countries to support training programs on traditional police functions ranging from basic policing to advanced courses focusing on specialized skills.

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve provided equipment to the Iraqi Police Hold Force in a way that ultimately encouraged the Iraqis to sustain their own equipment by delivering equipment that Iraqis were familiar with and which did not need specialized parts or knowledge to maintain. Additionally, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve and the Ministry of Interior agreed that the Ministry of Interior could provide the necessary maintenance and sustainment of the equipment given to Iraqi Police Hold Force units.

U.S. and Coalition Forces did not provide advise and assist activities to Iraqi Police Hold Force units conducting Hold Force operations because competing command priorities, resulted in Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve focusing its advise and assist resources on offensive operations. As a result, the command had limited visibility of Iraqi Police Hold Force operations and could not fully determine Iraqi Police Hold Force unit capabilities or adequately assess future training and equipping requirements.

Recommendations:

We recommend that the Commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve implement procedures to ensure that feedback concerning Iraqi Police Hold Force unit capabilities, current operations, and future training and equipping requirements flows from the field to the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

Management Comments:

The Deputy Chief of Staff of Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve, responding for the Commander of Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve, agreed with our recommendation stating that four processes and entities address the flow of feedback from the field back to the Command. Specifically:

  • The Force Generation Working Group captures future training and equipping requirements at the brigade level and below.
  • The Directorate of Training and Joint Operations Center – Iraq receive Iraqi Police Hold Force requirements from the Iraqis.
  • The ministry Liaison Team receives feedback directly from the Iraqi Police Forces and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior.
  • The Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Directorate of Training has an Assessment and Lessons Learned team that assesses Iraqi Security Forces strength, capabilities, and development, validates lessons learned, and includes the information into future Programs of Instruction.

Our Response:

Comments from the Deputy Chief of Staff of Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve addressed all specifics of the recommendation. The recommendation is resolved, but will remain open. We have evidence that the Ministry Liaison Team received feedback directly from the Iraqi Police Hold Forces and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. However, the command did not provide evidence of the other remedial actions. To close the recommendation, we request additional information that documents that:

  • The Force Generation Working Group captured future training and equipping requirements at the brigade level and below.
  • The Directorate of Training and Joint Operations Center – Iraq received Iraqi Police Hold force requirements from the Iraqis.
  • The Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Directorate of Training assessed Iraqi Police Hold Force unit strength and capabilities (pre-and post-Program of Instruction), and included the lessons learned in future Programs of Instruction.

Notice of Concern:

On February 16, 2018, we issued a notice of concern to the Commander of United States Central Command identifying security and safety concerns regarding the storage of U.S. owned ammunition and explosives at the Besmaya Range Complex. The 1st Theater Sustainment Command responded on behalf of the Commander of United States Central Command on March 3, 2018, and stated that construction for the refurbishment of the basic load ammunition holding area will begin in March 2018 and that it is developing a plan to move U.S.-owned ammunition from Besmaya to ammunition sites at Taji and the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center.

Management’s comment to the notice of concern was responsive; therefore, the recommendation is resolved, but will remain open. We will close the recommendation when we determine that Management has moved the ammunition and completed construction on the basic load ammunition holding area at the Besmaya Range Complex.