U.S. Forces in Iraq

Varying media estimates of military forces in Iraq have raised concerns about the actual number of troops deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Last year, a major announcement on a surge in troop deployments to Iraq by President Bush included a planned gradual increase of more than 20,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Baghdad and Anbar province over several months. Since the "new strategy for Iraq" speech by the President in January 2007, troop deployments gradually increased during the months of February through October 2007 but decreased beginning in November 2007. This report provides solely Department of Defense (DOD) statistical information on U.S. forces serving in Iraq. It also provides brief official information on the military units schedule for the next rotation of duty into Iraq.

Order Code RS22449 Updated July 24, 2008 U.S. Forces in Iraq JoAnne O’Bryant and Michael Waterhouse Information Research Specialists Knowledge Services Group Summary Varying media estimates of military forces in Iraq have raised concerns about the actual number of troops deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Interest in troop level deployments continues in 2008. Last year, a major announcement on a surge in troop deployments to Iraq by President Bush included a planned gradual increase of more than 20,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Baghdad and Anbar province over several months. Since the “new strategy for Iraq” speech by the President on January 10, 2007, troop deployments gradually increased during the months of February through October in 2007 but decreased beginning in November 2007. This report provides solely Department of Defense (DOD) statistical information on U.S. forces serving in Iraq. It also provides brief official information on the military units scheduled for the next rotation of duty into Iraq. As of June 1, 2008, according to DOD, the United States had 182,060 troops stationed in Iraq — 150,400 active component and 31,660 National Guard or Reserves. For security reasons, DOD does not routinely report the composition, size, or specific destination of military forces deployed to the Persian Gulf. This report will be updated upon receipt of new DOD data. For additional information on U.S. forces, see RL34387, Operation Iraqi Freedom: Strategies, Approaches, Results and Issues for Congress, by Catherine Dale. Force Levels As of June 1, 2008, according to the Department of Defense (DOD), the United States had 182,060 military personnel deployed in Iraq. Of these, 150,400 were active component personnel and 31,660 were National Guard and Reserves. Figures 1 and 2 provide the distribution by armed service of active component personnel. These totals do not include 23,000 military support personnel in Kuwait, or naval personnel aboard ships patrolling through the Persian Gulf.1 Amid concerns about U.S. troop levels, in a January 10, 2007 address to the nation, President Bush announced an increase of more than 20,000 U.S. troops to be deployed to Iraq as part of a new initiative in ongoing efforts to stabilize the security situation. As 1 DOD Fact Sheet, Global Commitments, December 14, 2007. CRS-2 announced, these forces were to be primarily deployed to Baghdad and Anbar province, the major current areas of unrest and conflict in Iraq. These additional force levels were originally to be accomplished primarily by a stepped-up pace of military unit rotations into Iraq and a delay for some personnel departures from that country. However, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced on April 11, 2007, that all active-duty Army personnel in the U.S. Central Command area would serve 15-month tours in the region, up from the previous 12-month tour rotations.2 Since the speech on troop deployments by President Bush and the announcement by Secretary Gates, a gradual increase in troop deployments in Iraq occurred between February through October 2007 but troop levels decreased beginning in November 2007. Current active duty levels, however, are still higher than reported before the surge announcement by President Bush. Figure 1. Active Component Personnel in Iraq (as of June 1, 2008) 99,600 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 19,800 20,200 10,800 20,000 0 Army Air Force Navy Marine Corps Source: Department of Defense, Office of the Joint Chief Staff, “Boots on Ground” data. 2 American Forces Press Service, Gates Extends Army Tours in Iraq to 15 Months, April 11, 2007. CRS-3 Figure 2. Reserve Component Personnel in Iraq (as of June 1, 2008) Army NG 18,300 1,200 Air NG 6,700 Army Rv 1,050 Air Rv 2,100 Navy Rv 2,310 Marines Rv 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 Source: Department of Defense, Office of the Joint Chief Staff, “Boots on Ground” data. Comparative Operation Iraqi Freedom U.S. Force Levels. Overall U.S. force levels in Iraq declined from November 2005 to January 2007, particularly the Reserve Component. After a slight increase in February 2007, the surge built up troop levels through October 2007. Based on DOD statistics, Figures 3 through 6 provide comparative data on both active and reserve component force levels, including month-tomonth and year-to-year comparisons of U.S. troops in Iraq. DOD officials have declined to project the timing or size of future force reductions, stating these will depend upon the security situation within Iraq. Figure 3. OIF Active Component Force Levels (June 2007/June 2008) 99,600 100,000 90,654 Jun-07 Jun-08 90,000 80,000 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 22,204 19,800 30,000 3,837 20,000 10,459 20,200 10,800 10,000 0 Army Navy AF MC Source: Department of Defense, Office of Joint Chief Staff, “Boots on Ground” data. CRS-4 Figure 4. OIF Reserve Component Force Levels (June 2007/June 2008) 20,000 18,300 Jun-07 18,000 Jun-08 16,000 13,639 14,000 12,000 10,000 6,826 6,700 8,000 6,000 4,000 1,200 2,000 2,100 1,050 1,087 717 713 Air Rv Navy Rv 2,310 200 0 Army NG Air NG Army Rv Marines Rv Source: Department of Defense, Office of the Joint Chief Staff, “Boots on Ground” data. Figure 5. Comparative U.S. Force Levels in Iraq (January 2007/December 2007) 180,000 160,000 140,000 144,486 120,000 100,000 167,353 134,754 161,783 164,424 144,202 156,247 165,607 137,976 80,000 60,000 150,336 157,674 128,569 40,000 20,000 0 Jan-07 Feb-07 Mar-07 Apr-07 May-07 Jun-07 Jul-07 Aug-07 Sep-07 Oct-07 Nov-07 Dec-07 Source: Department of Defense, Office of the Joint Chief Staff, “Boots on Ground” data, January 1, 2007, through December 1, 2007. CRS-5 Figure 6. Comparative U.S. Force Levels in Iraq (January 2008 - June 2008) 250,000 197,850 200,000 155,846 158,400 159,700 162,400 Jan Feb Mar Apr 182,060 150,000 100,000 50,000 0 May Jun Source: Department of Defense, Office of the Joint Chief Staff, “Boots on Ground” data. Figure 7. Comparative U.S. Force Levels in Iraq (Years 2006, 2007, 2008) 200,000 180,000 160,000 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 - 182,060 150,336 128,798 June 2006 June 2007 June 2008 Source: Department of Defense, Office of the Joint Chief Staff, “Boots on Ground” data. Operation Iraqi Freedom Troop Rotations. On December 3, 2007, DOD announced its latest scheduled troop deployments for unit rotations to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). These planned 2009 Army National Guard unit deployments to Iraq supplement earlier announcements involving 2008 Army or Marine Corps units. These rotations are summarized in Table 1 below. These rotations and extensions of active and reserve component Army tours to 15 months would maintain U.S. military capacity at 20 brigade or regimental combat teams on the ground in Iraq. Marine Corps rotations last seven months. On August 1, 2008, Army active duty and reserve component rotations are to be reduced to 12 months. Future policy and logistics announcements may change the number of scheduled units assigned to Iraq. CRS-6 Table 1. Operation Iraqi Freedom: 2008 and 2009 Rotational Units Military Unit Home Military Base Rotation to Iraq Army 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Fort Carson, CO Early 2008 10th Mountain Division, Headquarters Fort Drum, NY Spring 2008 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Camp Pendleton, CA Early 2008 Regimental Combat Team 1 Camp Pendleton, CA Early 2008 Regimental Combat Team 5 Camp Pendleton, CA Early 2008 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Fort Hood, TX Summer 2008 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina National Guard Clinton, NC Summer 2008 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard Philadelphia, PA Summer 2008 56th Brigade Combat Team, 36th Infantry Division, Texas National Guard Fort Worth, TX Summer 2008 29th Brigade Combat Team, Hawaii National Guard Kalaeloa, HI Summer 2008 81st Brigade Combat Team, Washington National Guard Seattle, WA Summer 2008 45th Fires Brigade, Oklahoma National Guard Enid, OK Summer 2008 50th Brigade Combat Team, New Jersey National Guard Lawrenceville, NJ Summer 2008 32nd Brigade Combat Team, Wisconsin National Guard Madison, WI Summer 2009 41st Brigade Combat Team, Oregon National Guard Tigard, OR Summer 2009 155th Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi National Guard Lucedale, MS Summer 2009 Marine Corps Army National Guard Source: DOD News Releases July, October, and December 2007.