Forces: The Strategic Infrastructure Battalions of Iraq


November 14, 2005: Over the past 2½ years, Iraqi terrorists have repeatedly targeted oil pipelines and electrical transmission towers. Their attacks have led to interruptions in the shipment of oil and transmission of electricity. As a result, Iraqi production of oil has only barely reached levels prevailing during the Saddam regime, while electrical supplies are frequently disrupted in major cities. To cope with this problem, earlier this year the Iraqi Army authorized the creation of four "Strategic Infrastructure Battalions" (SIBs), at a cost of about $35 million. These units have now begun to supplement the existing security forces of the Oil Ministry, and will eventually also assist those of the Ministry of Electricity.

The SIBs are trained and equipped as light motorized infantry, which permits them to conduct mobile patrols along highly vulnerable oil pipelines and electrical transmission grid, as well as bolster the defenses of pumping stations and transmission nodes.

An additional benefit of creating the four SIBs - with the possibility of more in the future - is that the Iraqi Army can field these units faster than by trying to do the job with regular infantry battalions, which take longer to train and cost more to equip, since they are required to conduct many different types of missions.


Article Archive

Forces: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close