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Iraq receives Textron Commandos

The Commando Select armoured vehicles handed over to the CTS. (Iraqi Ministry of Defence)

Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) has received 20 vehicles from the US-led coalition, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Defence announced on 14 September.

The spokesperson released photographs showing the vehicles are Commando Select armoured personnel carriers made by US company Textron, all equipped with protected weapon stations rather than turrets.

Iraq's National Police already use Commandos but these are the first to be operated by the CTS, which the coalition is helping to transition away from being an elite light infantry force back to being a dedicated counter-terrorism special operations force. The Commando Select version has a maximum weight of 18,100 kg and can carry 10 people, including three crew.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Wayne Marotto said the vehicles were supplied via the US Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund (CTEF).

During a coalition change-of-command ceremony in Baghdad on 9 September, US Central Command commander General Kenneth McKenzie credited the outgoing Lieutenant Geneneral Paul Calvert with stepping up the delivery of equipment to Iraq during his 12-month tenure.

“Rolling stock yards at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, which were once filled with equipment waiting to get delivered to Iraq are now empty,” he said. “Gen Calvert has also worked relentlessly to reduce the backlog of CTEF-funded equipment that was awaiting delivery in the United States: about USD450 million worth of equipment that is now in Iraqi hands and being used against our common foes.”

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