Chilean Army / Ejercito de Chile
As of 2011 the Chilean Army was 36,250 strong and was organized with an Army headquarters in Santiago, six divisions [previously seven] throughout its territory, an Aviation Brigade in Rancagua, and a Special Operations Brigade in Colina. The Chilean Army had been undergoing a modernization process that transformed it from a territorial-based organization to a deployable, operational organization. The Chilean Army is one of the most professional and technologically advanced armies in Latin America. The Chilean Army has long enjoyed a reputation as a creditable military force. Although it had not fought a war against a foreign enemy since the War of the Pacific, the army is still well regarded by armed forces throughout Latin America.
The mission of the Army is to help maintain the nation’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Therefore, it has the responsibility of participating in the land defense of the country in the event of any action coming from abroad, which may threaten or attack them. It fulfills its mission by means of effective preparation and proper use of its human and material resources. It develops and maintains the combat readiness of its forces by means of combat training and military education. The Army participates in State initiatives for safeguarding international peace and security under the authority of the United Nations. Under the mandate of the Organization of American States (OAS), it participates in the Inter-American Board of Defense (JID), and is represented in the Inter-American Defense College (CID). As one of its founding members, the Army also plays an active role in the American Armies Conference (AAC), a multilateral military agency with the objective of promoting close integration and cooperation between the American armies to study issues of mutual interest in terms of the continent’s security and defense.
The Command of the Army is exercised by the Commander in Chief of the Army (CJE), as head of the service. The different Operational Units that cover the national territory and the different training, support and other technical Commands report directly to the Commander in Chief of the Army. Many advisory agencies, the Operational Units and Commands are, thus, under the authority of the Commander in Chief. The Army General Staff is among the first group and is the main advisory body for the decision making and decision taking processes. The Office of the Secretary General, the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Army, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Center for Military Studies and Research are all at the same level.
The Army’s presence in the national territory is visible by means of the different military garrisons, from those located in the Chilean high plateau in the extreme north, to those in Chilean Antarctica. Essentially, these means consist of operational units called Divisions, under which there are tactical units such as regiments and battalions from the different branches and services of the Army. The modernizing developments that has materialized the army in the last decade mainly manifests itself in its organizational structure. New units were created during this process, some were closed, and others were merged into the already known reinforced regiments comprising arms and services under a same command, making more operational its actions with a greater power of deterrence. For many years there were seven divisions, but recently the Third Army Division was dis-established, and now there are only six.
Overall, the Army is structured around the proper organization of command and combat and combat support forces, within the operational framework, constituting its peace and war potential. The Army’s major asset is its men and women, whose training and professionalism make them the main axis of the service’s capacities.
The Information Subsystem meets the intelligence needs of the three military operational levels (strategic, operational, and tactical) and makes use of different types of collection capabilities to provide the necessary and timely information to the authorities to facilitate the decision-making process. The Command and Control Subsystem (C4I) coordinates and directs operations, fitting into the command and control systems C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) at higher levels, facilitating the execution of data processing activities and the decision-making process, and maintaining an up-to-date view of the situation, as well as providing with EW activities. It also orders and controls all of these activities.
The Maneuvering Subsystem performs various duties based on the Army’s territorial deployment, the types of units, the population density, and the capacity to obtain resources for material and industrial readiness, among others. The purpose of this work is to help the Army achieve its strategic objective by the use of force, through units of different characteristics and capacities, which interact in a coordinated fashion. The Logistical Support Subsystem optimizes the resources and the use of the technological applications, centralizes the facilities to satisfy material, life, and combat needs, and organizes logistical units according to operational needs. This subsystem is sustainable provided it is developed in peacetime, and the maintenance function acquires vital importance as it increases the useful life of the existing material.
As an executive agency of the service’s educational system, the Military Institutes Command (CIM) manages the education and training of Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Enlisted men. Its colleges, military academies, branches and specialties schools are centers for imparting the teaching-learning process to all personnel, for the purpose of achieving the professional and specialization levels required by the modern demands of authority, control and execution of the military profession.
The Administrative, Logistical and Technical Support Organizations are at the same level as the operational units and are in charge of providing training, administrative, logistical and technical support to the different Army units. Some of the commands perform both military-related duties as well as those that collaborate with the different aspects of the country’s development.
The Logistical Support Command (CALE) Executes all logistical actions for the Service meeting the living and combat needs of the troops in all areas and services, such as Quartermasters, Health, Transportation, Ordnance and Veterinary. These duties are performed through Maintenance, Service, Supply and Repair. The Army Administrative Support Command (CAAE) manages the staff support and welfare system of the Institution, through several facilities throughout the country. The administrative support services, such as Social Welfare, State housing programs, Recreation centers, Religious and Funeral services, and the Family information bureau for enlisted men, are all under this command. The Military Industry and Engineering Command (CIMI) centralizes all military industrial activities in the service, grouping the different industrial facilities of the Army under one command. Through the different CIMI agencies, the Army’s Factories and Workshop (FAMAE), the Military Geographic Institute (IGM) and the Research and Control Institute (IDIC), the Army provides the most significant support to development and to the national industry.
The Army Engineers Command (CINGE) mission is to advise the Commander in Chief of the Army (CJE) in relation to military infrastructure, management of the institution’s real property, and execution of road infrastructure projects and works by means of the Military Works Corps (CMT). The Army Signals Command (CTE) mission is to advise the Commander in Chief of the Army (CJE) in matters related to telecommunications, electronic warfare as well as Information management and data processing systems, and to manage the Army’s telecommunications system, (C4I System: Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) implementing the authority and administration system of the Commander in Chief of the Army. The Army Health Command (COSALE) manages the Army’s health system and provides medical and health services through a network of facilities. This capacity allows it to provide special support in some services to public and private health organizations. Its main facility is the Santiago Military Hospital.
At the same level as the Operational Units and Commands, are the General Commander of the Army Garrison, Metropolitan Region, in Santiago, and the Army Aviation Brigade with headquarters in the city of Rancagua, Region VI.
The Army is comprised of Branches and Services of diverse characteristics and with different functions, both individually and jointly. The Branches are: Infantry, Artillery, Armored Cavalry, Engineers and Signals. Services include logistics and administration. Logistical services are those of Ordnance, Quartermaster, Transportation, Health and Veterinary. Administrative Services, in peacetime, correspond to General Adjutancy, Military Justice, Military Police, Religious Service and Welfare; and in wartime, they include Burial and Replacement services.
The Chilean Army is undergoing an “integral strategic change.” This change consists of a modernization process based on the incorporation of the concept of force projection and interoperability, and strengthening the vocational-professional model, the institutional integration of the society and its commitment to the republican spirit.
The Chilean Army plays a permanent part in national life. Generically, its actions take place in four basic areas of activity, which comprise the main tasks of its military function. On this basis, given its territorial deployment, its strategic capacities, and its contribution to the politicalstrategic field, the Army works to enforce the objectives of the Defense Policy and contributes to Foreign Policy. Similarly, as an integral part of society, the Army collaborates with the nation’s development through its technology and industry-related activities and through the effective and rational use of its capabilities and potential.
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