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El Salvador Army - Civil War

As of 2014 the major military bases were at or near:

  1. El Paraiso
  2. La Libertad
  3. San Francisco de Gotera
  4. San Jose
  5. San Miguel
  6. San Salvador
  7. San Vicente
  8. Sitio del Nino
  9. Usulutan
  10. Zacatecoluca

Air Fields

El Salvador has two airfields capable of sustaining air operations and providing strat-lift capability for civilian and military transportation needs. El Salvador International (Comalapa) Airfield, 29 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of San Salvador at Comalapa, handles most national and international services and all air cargo and is the principal aerial port of entry (APOE) and the only airfield suitable for supporting C-5 aircraft. The airfield supports GRUPOTACA, a privately owned international airline, and El Salvadors Air Force.

The other major airfield is Ilopango, located 6.4 kilometers (4 miles) east-southeast of San Salvador. Ilopango is the headquarters for El Salvadors Air Force and is suitable for C-130 aircraft. There are numerous airfields around the country used for agriculture and emergency landings; El Salvador depends on domestic airlines to link remote areas, those accessible only by light aircraft in rugged terrain, void of road and rail infrastructure.

El Salvador International Airfield is a multi-use international airport, supporting commercial passenger, air cargo, and military operations. The airfield is evaluated as the best commercial airport in Central America and is a hub for airline operations in the region. El Salvadore International is the main fixed-wing operating base for the El Salvadoran Air Force. It has an asphalt runway, 3,201 meters- (10,499 feet-) long by 45 meters- (148 feet-) wide. Operational Capability: 18 C130s, 76 C-15s, or 188 A-37s could be parked with adequate clearance and taxi space on a combined total apron area of 83,989 square meters (933,212 square feet).

Military Ports

A ports military cargo capacity is the average amount of military cargo that can be discharged from ship to wharves/berths and cleared from the port (via rail, road, or inland waterway) during a 24-hour period, of which 20 are considered effective cargo-moving hours. The capacity describes a logistic re-supply effort during an extended period (three days or more), taking into account operating delays that normally limit cargo-handling operations.

El Salvador has five seaports, two of which handle nearly all of the countrys seaborne trade. The two largest ports are Acajutla Port Facility, which is the most important due to its all-weather dock facilities, and Cutuco in La Union Port Facility; both are located on the Pacific coast. The main Atlantic port used by El Salvador is in Santo de Castilla, Guatemala. Cargo from this port is shipped overland by road or rail.

Salvadoran ports are shallow and cannot accommodate either a fully laden Fast Sealift Ship (FSS) or Large, Medium-Speed RO/RO (LMSR) vessel. Commercial fishing is concentrated at Acajutla, La Libertad, Puerto El Triunfo, and La Union. All port infrastructure and supporting facilities are assessed to be in good condition unless otherwise stated.

The Acajutla port facility is the largest in El Salvador and is the countrys main logistical lifeline. Most exports and imports are shipped through Acajutla. It is located on the Pacific coast approximately 85 kilometers (53 miles) southwest of the capital. The port is served by a two-lane, bituminous-treated road, which intersects with the Pan America highway, and a single track, narrow-gauge (.914 meter) rail line connecting Acajutla to San Salvador. This port is a coastal breakwater port with no specific anchorage area. Cargo vessels usually anchor about 1.9 kilometers (1 mile) northwest of the breakwater and tankers remain underway, within VHF range. The tides rise about 1.8 meters (6 feet) at springs and 1.5 meters (5 feet) at neaps. The water depth is over 15 meters (49 feet) Acajutla is a general cargo port equipped to handle breakbulk, liquidbulk, drybulk, roll-on/roll-off, and containers.

The La Union port facility at Punta Gorda is in southeast El Salvador on the northwestern arm of the Gulf of Fonesca. It is located about 2 kilometers (1 mile) east-southeast of the city of La Union and about 0.6 kilometer (.4 mile) southeast of the La Union port facility at Cutuco. A 2-lane, bituminous road provides a link to nearby La Union. The nearest major airport is El Salvador International, about 29 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of San Salvador. The port no longer handles cargo.

The Libertad port facility is located 20 kilometers (12miles) southwest of San Salvador. The facility is a single-pier fishing port, which has been closed to commercial shipping since 1976. Its pier is still intact but in poor condition.

El Triunfo is a shallow-water coastal port with good shelter, located in southeast El Salvador, 13 kilometers (8 miles) north of the Bay of Jiquiliscos entrance. It is a small loading and fishing port for the town of Jiquilisco. Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda is a natural coastal port. Approach to the port is from the south through the Gulf of Fonesca. Access is through a natural channel situated between the Zacate coral reef, off the isle of Zacatillo and Punta Chiquirin; the channel is approximately 300 meters- (984 feet-) wide, with a depth of 6.5 meters (21.3 feet). Shoals lie alongside the channel. Pilotage is not compulsory, but is recommended. Tides rise about 3 meters (10 feet) at springs and 2 meters (6.5 feet) at neaps. Currents are fairly regular except during the rainy season. Off Punta Chiquirin, the ebb current sometimes runs at a rate of 3 knots. The prevailing winds are usually light. Designated anchorage is available about 2.7 kilometers (1.6 miles) south of Punta Chiquirin in depths of 11-13 meters (36-43 feet); there is additional anchorage within the bay.

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