The decision to create the Military Emergencies Unit was agreed upon at a cabinet meeting of the Zapatero administration on October 7, 2005. This was enacted in law by the Real Decreto 416/2006 (Royal Decree 416/2006) on April 11, 2006.
Intervention during emergencies that have their origin in natural hazards; among these are floods, spill-overs, earthquakes, land slides, large snow storms and other adverse weather conditions.
Intervention fighting forest fires.
Intervention during emergencies derived from technological hazards; among which are chemical, nuclear, radiological and biological hazards
Intervention during emergencies as a consequence of terrorist attacks or illicit or violent acts, including those acts against critical infrastructures, dangerous installations or with nuclear, biological, radiological or chemical agents.
Intervention during situations of environmental contamination.
The UME consists of Headquarters (Unidad de Cuartel General, UCG), five emergency intervention battalions (Batallon de Intervención en Emergencias, BIEM), a support regiment (Regimiento de Apoyo a Emergencias, RAEM) and an aerial group (Agrupación de Medios Aéreos, AGRUMEDA)