Naval Infantry Force

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Infantería de Marina
Escudo Infantería de Marina de México.svg
Naval Infantry emblem
Active 1822 – Present
Country  United Mexican States
Branch Mexican Navy
Type Naval infantry
Role Amphibious warfare
Size 20,000
Motto En la tierra, en el aire y en el mar (English: On land, air and sea)
Colors Scarlet
Anniversaries June 1, Marine Day
Commanders
Current
commander
Mariano Francisco Saynez Mendoza

The Naval Infantry Force (Spanish: 'Fuerza de Infantería de Marina') are the marine corps and amphibious infantry force of the Mexican Navy. The main task of the Infantería de Marina is to guarantee the maritime security of the country's ports and external and internal defense of the country. To accomplish these responsibilities, the corps is trained and equipped to take on any type of operations from Sea, Air and Land.[1]

The Naval Infantry Corps was reorganized in 2007–2009 into 30 Naval Infantry Battalions (Batallones de Infantería de Marina—BIM), a paratroop battalion, a battalion attached to the Presidential Guard Brigade, two Fast Reaction Forces with six battalions each, and three Special Forces groups.[2] The Naval Infantry are responsible for port security, protection of the ten-kilometer coastal fringe, and patrolling major waterways.

Mission[edit]

A Mexican Navy boarding team searches the German Navy combat support ship Frankfurt am Main (A-1412) for prohibited items during the maritime interdiction operation exercise portion of UNITAS Gold in April 2009.

To accomplish the necessary services and tasks, the Naval Infantry's overall responsibilities are to develop amphibious naval capabilities in the areas of operations of the Navy in order to mobilize naval troops immediately and decisively.

The Naval Infantry execute the following tasks:

  • Command and Control: Planning, preparation and conduct of operations.
  • Amphibious assault: To execute amphibious operations as part of a Naval Force.
  • Air assault: To run infiltration operations in areas of difficult access.
  • Amphibious command: To execute special operations such as: reconnaissance, incursions, urban combat and to support other regular operations.
  • Combat Support: To execute operations in support of artillery in the development of amphibious and other regular forces operations
  • Reconnaissance: Operations to obtain information to support operational units.
  • Immediate Response: To run operations in emergency situations, to help the civilian population.[3]

History[edit]

Mexican Marine on the main dock of Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Mexican Drug War[edit]

Main article: Mexican Drug War

Since the start of President Felipe Calderón's war on the drug cartels, the Infantería de Marina's role has grown from maritime port security to combating organized crime, drug trafficking, extermination of marijuana fields, drug interdictions at sea, and also participating in arrest of cartel suspects in land based operations.[4]

For the last three years the navy has carried out permanent intense anti-narcotic operations. Such task as the extermination of marijuana fields which mostly takes place in the north-western part of the country is done by first locating the fields by satellite or simply by air reconnaissance, then sending a team of marines to eradicate the cannabis plants.[5] One of its big seizures was in late October 2007, when navy personnel in a joint operation with other agencies seized 23 tons of cocaine in the port city of Manzanillo, Colima.[6][7] Due to its actions, the Navy and in kind the Naval Infantry Force has risen in stature in the United States.[8]

Narco submarine interception[edit]

Drug interdiction at sea is also part of the Navy's strategy to combat drug trafficking, this came to light when on July 16, 2008, the Navy intercepted a 10-metre (33 ft) long narco submarine travelling about 200 kilometres (120 mi) off the southwest of the state of Oaxaca; in a raid, Navy Special Forces rappelled from a helicopter on to the deck of the narco submarine and arrested four smugglers before they could scuttle their vessel. The vessel was found to be loaded with 5.8 tons of cocaine and was towed to Huatulco, Oaxaca, by a Navy patrol boat.[9][10][11][12][13]

Symbols[edit]

Emblem[edit]

Mexican Naval Infantry emblem
Marines Standard

The shield anchor, crossed with the carbine, has been part of the Naval Infantry since 1823. The shield of the Naval Infantry, as today, is the essence of their integration into the meaning of heraldry. Examples are the gold trim, which gives nobility, seriousness and elegance; the Admiralty anchor, which symbolizes belonging to the Navy; and finally crossed muskets, which were the weapons that our Marines had, strengthening our country as a nation-state, free and sovereign. Together they represent the dedication to serve Mexico by air, land and sea. The color red has always characterized the Marines around the world.

Standard[edit]

The Iconography of the Marines of Mexico has developed a description of the standard as follows: the center, the Marine Shield with its original colors, scarlet red cloth with gold-colored robes. In addition to being waved at official ceremonies, the flag of the Marines accompanying the forces in the Operations are entrusted, parades and camps of instruction. Moreover, it is waving in the offices of Command Units IM, General Coordinator of Marine and offices of the Secretary of the Navy.

Organization and role[edit]

The overall head of the Naval Infantry is the President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, in his role as Commander-in-Chief of the Mexican Armed Forces. The development plan of the Ministry of the Navy presented by the Executive C. Secretary of the Navy admiral, stated that the Navy of Mexico should be properly organized, equipped and trained to anticipate and neutralize any internal or external threat.

The Navy is defined in its strategic review by the status of Mexico as a coastal state, highlighting the importance of its borders with the United States of America, Belize and Guatemala, and identifying areas of strategic importance such as the Caribbean and the Yucatán Channel, for their transit of maritime trade is of great importance for the country, without forgetting that it is also an area crowded by tourist cruises that visit Mexican ports and their use as a runner and high rate of drug trafficking activities. The Bay of Campeche, which is distinguished by its deposits of oil and marine resources and the enormous network of oil and gas pipelines between the production platforms and destinations on the coast, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Gulf area by sea and land are considered as a future strategic development of the country, industrial corridor and gateway between the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico; the Grijalva Hydroelectric Complex is considered an important center of power generation in the country; and the Gulf of California has ecological importance and tourist influence, as well as activities of a drug trafficking corridor.

To meet the operational requirements of the Navy, it was necessary to create structure of a reaction force with organizational skills: flexibility, multi-tactical use of rapid response, firepower, mobility and economy of forces, in addition to the efforts of support for transport by air, sea and land, to the missions and tasks assigned by the Navy to fulfill its mission.

Therefore, the Amphibious Marine Reaction Force is defined as an organized force, equipped and trained as a component part of a Naval Force to develop operations in the immediate response missions that are assigned. It falls into an operational concept which states that given the need to respond as a projection of naval power, it requires that their actions be limited by an autonomous period of time. According to the task, units are integrated to meet requirements identified in a variety of operational environments; their capacity to be transported by air, sea and land are organic to the unit. Therefore, the flexibility of its organizational units can integrate in different areas of operations such as amphibious combat, urban operations in the jungle, night airborne assault, and vertical river of interdiction raids, in addition to other civic action operations and support to other units when ordered.

Structure[edit]

After reorganization, the Marine forces were deployed under a new strategic operational concept with specific functions, including in the Navy to the following Marine Corps units:[14]

  • Two Amphibious Reaction Forces—deployed along the country's coastline, comprising Amphibious Infantry Battalions, Artillery Battalions, Amphibious Commando Battalions, Boat and Vehicle Battalions and Amphibious and Services Battalions.
  • Thirty naval infantry battalions, one presidential guard battalion, and one paratrooper battalion.
  • Three Special Forces groups

Special Forces units[edit]

Fuerzas Especiales (FES) Special Forces, is a special operations unit of the Navy officially established in late 2001.

Equipment[edit]

Naval Infantry Inventory
Vehicle/System Status Origin
Land Vehicles
APC-70 Modified BTR-60, has diesel engine and it does not have the turret with the 14.5 mm machine gun. Used with a 40 mm Mk 19 grenade launcher  Russia
Ural-4320 Off-road 6x6 truck  Russia
Carat Wolverine APC Armoured Vehicle based on the Ford F-Series chassis, In Mexico these vehicles are known as Scorpions. [15][16]  Mexico
UNIMOG U-4000[17]  Germany
Freightliner M2[18] 4x2 truck  Mexico
MiniComando Ford[19] 4x4 F-250 series pick up  Mexico
MiniComando Dodge[20] 4x4 Pick up  Mexico
Mercedes-Benz G-Class[21][22] 4x4 cross-country vehicle  Germany
Land Rover 4x4  United Kingdom
Dodge Ram Crew cab pick up installed with handle bars and turret to install M2 Browning MG  Mexico/ United States
F-150 Crew cab pick up installed with handle bars  Mexico/ United States
Assault Rifles
M16 Rifle In service  United States
M4 Carbine In service  United States
Submachine gun
Heckler & Koch MP5 In service  Mexico
Heckler & Koch UMP In service  Germany
FN P90 In service  Belgium
Machine guns
M2 Browning machine gun In service  United States
HK21 In service  Mexico
CETME Ameli In service  Spain
FN Minimi In service  Belgium
GAU-19 In service. Used on board of MD902 Helicopter.  United States
Grenade launcher
CIS 40 AGL 40mm grenade launcher In service  Singapore
Milkor MGL In service  South Africa
M203 grenade launcher In service  United States
Shotgun
Remington 1100 In service  United States
Sniper rifle
Heckler & Koch MSG90 In service  Germany
Barrett M82 In service  United States
Remington 700 In service  United States
Pistol
Glock pistol In service  Austria
Heckler & Koch USP In service  Germany
FN Five-seveN In service. Special Forces  Belgium
Artillery[23]
OTO Melara Mod 56 105 mm In service  Italy
Bofors 40 mm  Sweden
51 mm FIROS (Multiple Launch Rocket System)  Italy
60 mm and 81 mm mortars  Mexico

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Secretaría de Marina-Armada de México". SEMAR. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  2. ^ "Informe 2009 Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Semar.gob.mx. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Secretaría de Marina-Armada de México". SEMAR. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  5. ^ "Secretaría de Marina-Armada de México". SEMAR. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  6. ^ "Secretaría de Marina-Armada de México". SEMAR. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  7. ^ "Secretaría de Marina-Armada de México". SEMAR. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  8. ^ George W. Grayson (1 September 2012). "Navy Outshines Army in Mexico's Drug War". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ July, Reuters (2008-07-17). "Mexico captures submarine loaded with drugs". Canada.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  11. ^ "The Narco Submarine". Vivirlatino.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  12. ^ "Americas | Mexican navy seizes cocaine sub". BBC News. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  13. ^ "Drug cartels using submarines to smuggle cocaine | CTV News". Ctv.ca. 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  14. ^ [3][dead link]
  15. ^ "Carat Security Group - Tactical APC and Command vehicles". Caratsecurity.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  16. ^ Catseyeonspace. "Vehiculo". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  17. ^ "Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Semar.gob.mx. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  18. ^ "Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Semar.gob.mx. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  19. ^ "Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Semar.gob.mx. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  20. ^ "Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Semar.gob.mx. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  21. ^ "Recibe Semar vehículos para incrementar capacidad operativa :: El Informador". Informador.com.mx. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  22. ^ [4][dead link]
  23. ^ "51mm FIROS". Orbat.com. Retrieved 2012-10-03.