Monday, September 29, 2014

Northeast Regional Operations Headquarters


Acronyms and Abbreviations
Appendix: Personnel Structure and Commander IMINT
Footnotes/Works Cited

Acronyms and Abbreviations:
AB: Armored Brigade
Army: Term of art that refers specifically to the 'Artesh' (aka. the regular-armed-forces). Distinct from 'Army' as a general reference either to a nation's ground forces, or armed forces in general
BG: Brigadier General
BG2: Brigadier General, 2nd-Class
CB: Commando Brigade
Col.: Colonel 
HQ: Headquarters 
IB: Infantry Brigade
IRIA: Islamic Republic of Iran Army (AKA, Army Ground Forces, or NEZAJA
IRIADF: Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force (AKA, Khatam ol-Anbiya Headquarters)
IRIAF: Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
MIB: Mechanized Infantry Brigade 

The third part in this series covers the Army's Northeast Operations Headquarters, which is based in Mashhad, and borders Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan. The first part in this series covers the Northwest Headquarters, and the second part covers the Western Headquarters.

The Northeast HQ is one of five other regional HQs created under the Army Ground Forces' (IRIA) 'Samen restructuring plan'. Operating on the assumption that they would face a simultaneous, multi-front attack that would preclude centralized strategic control of battles, the IRIA created these HQs to control operations and coordinate tactical actions within their respective theaters. By coordinating tactical actions at this level, the IRIA hopes to achieve their operational objective of regional integrity, which when taken as a whole comprises the national-level defense-in-depth strategy.

Their role is further described by the commander of the IRIA – BG Ahmed Reza Pourdastan – in a 2013 interview: 
“With the objective that units be completely self-sufficient and be able to confront threats independently, we created five regional headquarters in the northeast, southeast, southwest, west, and northwest, and we designed the structure and organization of these headquarters to be self-sufficient and not need outside equipment when confronting threats. These HQs have all of the structure and organization required for an independent and self-sufficient unit, [including] support, and transport units, as well as hospitals.”[1]

The HQ itself is based in the city of Mashhad, and is currently commanded by BG2 Ali Jahanshahi, who was appointed to the position in November 2013. [2] [3] Its deputy commander is BG2 Hadi Pour-Esmail. [4] The HQ's area of responsibility covers the provinces of South Khorasan, Razavi Khorasan, North Khorasan, Golestan, Mazandaran, and Semnan. Moreover, as the top Army body in the region, the HQ is also responsible for other Army forces, including the Air Defense Force (IRIADF) and the Air Force (IRIAF). [5]
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Units subordinate to the headquarters include the now-independent brigades of the Army Ground Forces' 77th Mechanized, 30th Infantry, and 58th Commando Divisions, as well as the pre-existing 38th Armored Brigade, the newly formed 444th Engineering Group. Less is known about other Army units ostensibly under the HQ's authority, including the IRIADF's own regional operations, and the IRIAF's forward-air-station and tactical-fighter-base.

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- 77th 'Sa A'Pirouz Samen Alaeme' Mechanized Infantry Division Operations HQ (IRIA) [6]
     Location: Mashhad
     Cmdr: BG2 Reza Azriyan [7]
     Associated Units:

      177th Brigade
          Location: Torbat Heydariyeh
          Cmdr: Col. Abufazl Bozorgi [8]

      277th 'Shahid Tavalaee' Brigade
          Location: Quchan
          Cmdr: Col Gholamreza/Alireza Fakhrabad [9]

      377th 'Shahid Sarlashkar Parooz Hebroni' Brigade
          Location: Mashhad
          Cmdr: BG2 Masoud Tamizi [10]

- 30th Infantry Division (IRIA)
     Location: Gorgan
     Cmdr: Unknown
     Associated Units:

     130th 'Shahid Daljuyan' Infantry Brigade
          Location: Bojnourd
          Cmdr: Col. Alireza Sadeqi [11]

      230th 'Shahid Mataji' Infantry Brigade
          Location: Mazandaran and Golestan prov'n; Gorgan, Gonbad, Azadshahr, and Doab. [12]
          Cmdr: BG2 Hossein Mirtaqi [13]

     330th Brigade
          Location: Gorgan [14]
          Note: Little or no references to brigade.

- 58th 'Zulfiqar' Commando Division Operations HQ (IRIA)
     Location: Shahrud
     Cmdr: BG2 Majid Zareh  [15]
     Associated Units:

      158th 'Shahid Keshavarzian' Brigade
          Location: Shahrud
          Cmdr: Col. Mehdi Mehmarbashi [16]
      258th 'Shahid Pajuhandeh' Brigade
          Location: Shahrud
          Cmdr: Col. Abulqassem Karimi Hosseini [17]

- 38th Independent Armored Brigade (IRIA)     Location: Torbat Jam
     Cmdr: Col. Mohammed Suleimani [18]

- 444th Combat Engineering Group (IRIA)
     Location: Unknown
     Cmdr: Unknown

- Region 5 Logistics/Support (IRIA)
     Location: Mashhad
     Cmdr: BG2 Hossein Firouzyan [19]

- 5th Army-Aviation Combat Base (IRIAA)
     Cmdr: Col. Abdulreza Khodadadi [20]
     Includes 'Vali Asr' UAV group; no details.

- 'Imam Reza' Northeast Air Defense Region (IRIADF)
     Cmdr: BG2 Abdallah Rashad [21]

- Mashhad Forward Air Station (IRIAF)
     Location: Mashhad
     Cmdr: Unknown

- 12th 'Shahid Hosseini' Tactical Air Base (IRIAF)
     Location: Birjand
     Cmdr: Col. Hamid Moustafavi [22]

Appendix: Personnel Structure and Commander IMINT:
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Footnotes/Works Cited:
[1] Rapid Reaction, the Focus of Future Wars: Evaluation of NEZAJA rapid reaction Forces from the Sacred Defense to the Samen Plan. AJA. 02/25/2013
[2] Top Army Commander in the Northeast: The Sympathy of the Armed Forces was a Factor in the Success of Operation Samen Alaeme. IRNA. 09/27/2014
[3] [temporarily unavailable, as of 09/28/2014] Khorasan News01/08/2012.
[4] The Army is Holding Eight Programs in North Khorasan. MNA. 09/20/2014.
[5] The Activity of Transregional Countrys' Military Forces are in Full View of the Iranian Army. FNA. 01/20/2013
[6] Judo Championship Held by Units of the NEZAJA's North East Regional HQ. IRNA. 08/19/2013
[7] [news in brief; no title] Nasim Online. 11/05/2013.
[8] [Flowers Laid on the] Graves of Martyrs in Torbat Heydariyeh. Torbat-e Man. 09/25/2014
[9] The Army's Self-Confidence and Self-Sufficiency is the Causes Frustration in the Arrogance. FNA. 04/18/2014.
[10] Interview with Seven Honorable [Generals] of Iran. Khorasan/Sardabir. 04/17/2014.
[11] ibid MNA 09/20/2014
[12] Military Forces from the 230th Brigade to Hold Parades in Four Cities in Golestan and Mazandaran. MNA. 04/17/2014.
[13] The Power and Stability of the Army Ground Forces to be Displayed During Sacred Defense Week. IRNA. 08/25/2014
[14] [temporarily unavailable, as of 09/28/2014] Khorasan News. 05/07/2013
[15] The Warriors of the Sacred Defense Proved the Legitimacy of Islamic Iran to the World. IRNA. 09/22/2014
[16] The Capability of the Army Today Is Not [Concealed]. FNA. 04/18/2014
[17] The Main Role of the Army in the Protection of the Homeland / Model [Establishing During] the Sacred Defense is Fixing Problems. MNA. 04/17/2013.
[18] The Army Has Brought Honor and Pride to the Population. Jam-e Rooz. 04/18/2014
[19] ibid Khorasan/Sardabir, 04/17/2014
[20]  ibid Khorasan/Sardabir, 04/17/2014
[21] ibid Khorasan/Sardabir, 04/17/2014
[22] IRIAF Air Bases. The Arkenstone. 07/22/2014


  1. Simple Bubba here - Do you think the 177 and 277 could be Motorized Infantry Brigades (Trucks and light vehicles) instead of plain old Infantry Brigades? Im asking this question solely based on that the old division use to be a called Mechanized... and not on any observations of equipment.

    Thanks for putting your references and the effort you do in your blog...

    1. Howdy sir, it's been awhile.

      Short answer, yes.

      Longer answer …

      As far as I can tell, Iran doesn't use term 'motorized' in the same way the west does, in the sense of organic soft-skin mobility. I've only seen the terms "infantry" and "mechanized-[infantry]" used. While 'mechanized' clearly refers to organic mechanization, it's unclear whether 'infantry' brigades had organic motor transport when they were subordinate to a division.

      That being said, I think this should be a moot question since they're in the process of being converted to independent brigades, which should in turn mean that they're getting organic transport if they didn't have it in already.

      There's not a whole lot of consistency in Iranian media when it comes to distinctions between infantry/mechanized-infantry. Sometimes units are referred to as mechanized, sometimes they're just referred to as infantry. This is compounded by the fact that even some non-mechanized infantry are mechanized to some degree with APCs and tanks, just at some unknown level, which apparently isn't enough to qualify them as 'mechanized'.

  2. Any updates on the two remaining Op HQ??
    Recently I've seen some data on the SouthWestern. Maybe it can help

    1. In the nearterm I wasn't planning on an entry, but since it sounds like you're interested and it was on my to-do list at some point in the future I'll see what I can dig up and put together into a post.