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Infantería de Marina

The Infantería de Marina, or Marine Corps, is a corps formed by special forces. It is a force of the Navy whose mission is to carry out military actions in the coast started in the sea, under the plans drawn up by the command. As operational strength of the fleet, the Navy third will be specially prepared for immediate intervention in amphibious operations. The Tercio Armada (TEAR) is the main force of Infantería de Marina. Its mission is to provide the fleet capacity of amphibious assault by a landing force. The TEAR is a unit specially trained, organized, equipped and designed to carry out assaults amphibians. The Tercio of the Armada was born as an evolution of the Grupo Especial [ad hoc group, or Special Group], which in turn came from the Southern Tercio after seeing the need for a modern amphibious force.

The traditional and ancient designation of "Tercio Armada" derives for Decree 1.148/1968, on the basis of the ad hoc group, forming the core of the forces of Marines and adopting the crowned double-headed eagle as coat of arms and on her shields of the tercio of the Navy of the ocean sea (1566) and the new tercio of the Army of the Ocean sea (1682).

A "Tercio" - literally a "third" - is a traditional Spanish military formation. A Tercio is the traditional term for a regiment or Agrupcion (group). In the fighting against France for the Kingdom of Naples, Fernández de Córdoba first developed the Spanish tercios, flexible units of 3,000 infantrymen using both pikes and harquebuses. French artillery was already the best in Europe by 1494, whereas the Spaniards developed the tercio, an infantry unit that combined the most effective field fortifications and weaponry of the Italians and Swiss. Spanish military superiority eventually owed its success to the introduction in 1521 of the musket.

The Tercio de Figueroa, of which so much is heard of in the wars of the 16th Century, both by sea and land, was the most famous of all the regiments of Spanish infantry. In 1567 it was composed of 40 companies and 6446 men. From its designation of tercio de la armada del mar Oceano it seems to have been specially reserved for expeditions beyond the sea, resembling in its constitution the French Infanterie de la Marine. Under the name of the Regiment of Cordova it survived to a late date, f1ghting at Trafalgar under Admiral Gravina against the English. Don Lope de Figueroa, who gave his name to this distinguished regiment, was himself one of the most illustrious of the Spanish captains of the age.

For 12 years the Special Group held its activity, began with the training, exercises and amphibious maneuvers starting virtually from scratch. Four years later was created the amphibious command with naval means for the conduct of amphibious operations. In 1969 the Group special forces disembarked in Equatorial Guinea to protect the evacuation of nationals resident Spaniards. A year later participate in the recession of Sidi Ifni to the Moroccan Kingdom, lowering the Spanish flag in that region, together with the Legion.

The TEAR is the result of a force that sits in the headquarters of marine battalions in the 17th century. The evolution of the Marine Expeditionary battalions and later the transformation in Tercio South, is the origin of what is called the "ad hoc", created in 1957 in San Fernando (Cádiz), embryo of the third army, which integrated units of the Tercio South Application and school support group, as well as units that were incorporated in the remaining thirds of Levante, North and Balearic Islands, under the command of a Brigadier General.

The marines, numbering 11,500 troops in 1988, were divided into base defense forces and landing forces. One of the three base defense battalions, denominated Tercio, was stationed at each of the headquarters at Ferrol, Cartagena, and San Fernando. "Groups" (midway between battalions and regiments) were stationed at Madrid and at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The fleet tercio (equal to a regiment), available for immediate embarkation, was based at San Fernando. Its principal arms included light tanks, armored personnel vehicles, self-propelled artillery, and TOW and Dragon antitank missiles.

With the commission of the two LPDs of the "Galicia" class, the decision to transform the Tercio de Armada (TEAR) - the amphibious component - into an amphibious brigade meant that by the end of 1999, the TEAR had a strength of over 3500 marines, 90 per cent of them professionals. By 1999 the Marines were organized into 4 Tercio (brigade/regiment) based at Lerrol, Cartagena, and Cadiz (2); 2 Gnipa (regiment/battalion) at Madrid and Las Palmas; and the Tercio de Armada based at San Fernando for duties afloat.

The cuartelamiento is the former headquarters of the 18th century, expanded and renovated at the present time, to adapt it to the new needs resulting from the new units and especially the incorporation of women into the armed forces. The TEAR is basically divided into two elements: the BRIMAR and the basic unit. The BRIMAR is the marine infantry brigade, one of the nine (9) operational brigades of the Spanish Navy forces. It is a modern, well-balanced, equipped with latest generation material and can act anywhere in the world for a limited time. It is subdivided into eight groups of battalion level which together make up the operational structure of the marine infantry brigade, and its tasks are perfectly determined.

The Base Unit provides the BRIMAR support of basic services necessary to run the quartering. Thereby the Brimar disengaging logistical tasks which are not depending on the match. To this end it has a structure consistent with the missions to perform, since the mere maintenance of the quartering until the necessary so that the Brimar available at any time all that is needed when it is activated for the various missions which are entrusted to them or when you turn on any of its groups to carry out training exercises. The Tercio army units, provides everything needed so that their components can make the Marines of marine activities in view of its preparation (track military firing range, classrooms lessons,...), but also of media activities (social Club)(gym, dining rooms, car parks in the interior and in the vicinity,...).

The current phase of the Marine Corps is indirect, like all others, following the victorious landings on Guadalcanal and Americans in the Pacific during the 1940s. From this moment the "taboo" that an attack on the coast was impossible was broken, and amphibious warfare again acquired importance. It was at 1957 when the mission of the landing force recovered, and in 1968 by a decree it was assigned the main mission of "carrying out military operations on the coast, actions initiated in the sea, under the plans drawn up by the command."

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:56:28 ZULU