Marines: January 25, 2000


The Spanish Marine Corps is the world's oldest, having been founded in 1537. It is credited with the key role in the Spanish victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The Tercio de Armada today is an elite amphibious brigade consisting of two infantry battalions, a mechanized battalion, an artillery battalion, an engineer company, two TOW anti-tank companies, a special operations company, a support battalion, and a helicopter battalion. The mechanized battalion includes two mechanized infantry companies (with M113s, to be replaced by Pizarros), a medium tank company with 16 M60A3 (to be replaced by Leopard-2A6), and a light tank company with 17 Scorpions. The artillery battalion includes one battery of 155mm self-propelled M109A5 howitzers and two batteries of towed 105mm howitzers. The Brigade includes 200 Humvees, which provide most of the mobility for the infantry units and their heavy weapons. --Stephen V Cole


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