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National Army of Colombia

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Colombian National Army
Ejército Nacional de Colombia
Escudo Ejercito Nacional de Colombia.svg
Active August 19, 1819 – present
Country Colombia
Role Foreign and Domestic Defense
Size 235,538 (2009)[1]
Garrison/HQ Colombian Ministry of Defense
Motto(s) Patria, Honor, Lealtad - ("Homeland, Honor, Loyalty")
Colors Red with Army Crest
March "Himno del Ejército"
Anniversaries August 7 (Battle of Boyacá)
Engagements Colombian Independence War
Gran Colombia–Peru War
Ecuadorian–Colombian War
Thousand Days War (Civil war)
War Against Peru
Korean War
Colombian Armed Conflict
Commanders
Commander-in-Chief President Juan Manuel Santos
Notable
commanders
Simon Bolivar,
Francisco de Paula Santander,
Gustavo Rojas Pinilla,
Harold Bedoya Pizarro,
Manuel José Bonett
Rafael Reyes Prieto
Insignia
Flag Flag of the Colombian Army.png

The National Army of Colombia (Spanish: Ejército Nacional de Colombia) is the land military force of Colombia and the largest branch of the Colombian Armed Forces. It is responsible for carrying out land-based military operations along with the Colombian Naval Infantry (Infanteria de Marina) and for protecting the Colombian state against domestic or foreign threats.

The modern Colombian Army has its roots in the Army of the Commoners (Ejército de los Comuneros), which was formed on 7 August 1819 – before the establishment of the present day Colombia – to meet the demands of the Revolutionary War against the Spanish Empire. After their triumph against the Spanish, the Congress of Angostura created the Greater Colombian Army, to replace the disbanded Commoners Army.

History[edit]

The Battle of Boyacá in 1819 was the decisive battle that ensured Colombia's independence from Spain and the establishment of Gran Colombia

The Colombian Army traces its history back to the 1770s and 1780s, when the Comuneros (Commoners) – mostly descendants of Spanish and Amerindians – decided to separate from the Spanish Empire to create their own country and initiated a revolutionary war.

Independence[edit]

On July 20 of 1810, Colombia declared its independence from the Spanish Empire , a Volunteer National Guard was raised composed of infantry and cavalry units. As independence was declared, and with the Spanish driven out temporarily,a nationwide civil war known as la Patria Boba (the Foolish Fatherland) broke out from 1810 to1816 between federalists and centralists as many cities and provinces across the country set up their its own autonomous junta, which declared themselves sovereign from each other as result of the lack of communications between many provinces and cities due to Colombia's complicated mountain terrain. This prevented a full establishment of a regular army, and it would take 9 years before a truly national army would be formed. This gave a rise to a prolonged period of instability and Spanish were able to take advantage of this with Spanish crown sending General Pablo Morillo.

The Greater Colombian Army was consolidated on August 7, 1819, following the defeat of the Spaniards at the Battle of Boyacá under the command of Simon Bolivar. Since then the Colombian Army has been the biggest organization in Colombia.

19th Century and civil wars (1819-1903)[edit]

With independence gained after the defeat of the Spanish Royalist forces at the Battle of Boyacá in 1819, the republic of Gran Colombia was established by the Constitution of Cúcuta in 1821, with its capital in Bogotá. There upon the Gran Colombian Army was formed.

Gran Colombia – Peru war[edit]

In 1828 a war broke out with Peru and the Gran Colombian Army was called upon to defend the nation's sovereignty. The war lasted into 1829 with a Peruvian naval victory, but the Colombians were victorious on land with the crushing of the Peruvian invasion force at the Battle of Tarqui. The war ended as a stalemate.[2]

Civil wars (1830-1903)[edit]

Colombian Troops in a banquet during the Thousand Days War
Future president of Colombia General Rafael Reyes Prieto in 1886

After the dissolution in 1830 of Gran Colombia and the death of Bolivar, the Army of the new New Granada had been involved in war and civil war without being able to progress or modernize. Its officers were not well trained or technically skilled. The government addressed this by founding and organizing military schools and colleges, but was hampered by the constant civil wars that financially drained the country's economy. In 1839 General Tomas Cipriano de Mosquera hired Italian Colonel Agustin Códazzi as an inspector of the army. As a consequence of these civil wars over partisan affairs, the chiefs and officers began to be involved in politics. The need to professionalize and retrain the army prompted the creation of a military school, which was created in 1887. In order to reorganize the army, the government hired a French military mission. Its mission was fruitful and the organization along French lines based on divisions, regiments and battalions was implemented in the country. Unfortunately another civil war, perhaps the most devastating of them all, the Thousand Days War, was declared on October 8, 1899, and did not allow the retraining and education of officers and commanders. This civil war lasted until 1903. With the ending of the Thousand Days War, General Rafael Reyes Prieto was elected President of Colombia with many ambitious plans to reorganize and professionalize the army. The first thing he did was to reduce troop numbers drastically: the army at the time had an estimated 80,000 troops who were poorly equipped, poorly trained, poorly dressed and very malnourished. Also the army lacked professionalism and sense of duty to the country and never acted as a national army, acting instead as militias and armed factions led by Commanders who had their own political agendas.[3]

Military reform of 1907[edit]

Colombian cadets circa 1910, You can see the implementation of Prussian uniforms by the Chilean Military Mission

In 1907 a military reform was carried out by President Rafael Reyes Prieto right in the aftermath of the Thousand Days War which had devastated the country economically and morally. The ministry of war hired a Chilean military mission to advise the ministry on how to professionalize the army. This led to the creation of the Colombian Military Academy in June 1907. The Army was then dramatically reorganized under the guise of the Chilean military mission, the Chilean army which had adopted Prussian military doctrine and uniforms since 1886 did the same to the Colombian army as Colombian troops began using Prussian military uniforms and doctrine, which is still present today in the Colombian Military Academy with ceremonial uniforms being of Prussian influence and the use of Pickelhuabe helmets.The Chileans reorganized the Colombian Army into Divisions made up of 3 Infantry regiments,1 Artillery regiment, and 1 Cavalry regiment, meanwhile military engineers were grouped with the Infantry regiments. This military reform allowed the Colombian army to become professionalized and truly National army was established. The army remained under the influence of the Chilean military mission until the mission left in 1914.[4] Colombia remained neutral during World War 1 but did watch how the conflict progressed and sent military attachés to Europe after the war to study new technological advancements in aviation, infantry, cavalry, engineering and training methods.

The Leticia Incident and the 1930s[edit]

Colombian Army making maneuvers to counter Peruvian attack

In 1926 the Colombian Government hired another military mission, this time from Switzerland, to reorganize the army again. As a result of this new combined brigades were implemented.[5] In late 1932 an armed band of Peruvian civilians and soldiers (supposedly acting without Peruvian government approval) took the Amazonian town of Leticia and forced the Colombian residents to flee. The Peruvian President tried to disassociate himself from these actions, but popular opinion quickly forced him to support the seizure of Leticia. The Colombian government responded forcefully, sending an expeditionary force which defeated the Peruvians and retook Leticia. The war led to an explosion of Colombian patriotism.[6] In the Battle of Güeppí 1000 Colombian troops attacked 200 entrenched Peruvian troops and took control of the sector with the Peruvians abandoning their positions.[7]

The League of Nations was asked to mediate with the support of Brazilian diplomats, and eventually oversaw the peaceful return of the area to Colombian control. The process generated an interesting historical precedent: for the first time ever soldiers wore the armband of an international organization (the League of Nations) as they performed peacekeeping duties. The soldiers were Colombian, and the use of the League armbands was primarily a face-saving device to permit the Peruvians to leave without appearing to submit to the Colombians. Nevertheless, the use of these 75 Colombian soldiers as international peacekeepers was an antecedent of United Nations peacekeeping several decades later.

During the latter part of the 1930s Colombia began buying more German war material and the German Stahlhelm helmet became the standard issue helmet for all Colombian troops until the 1950s.[8]

1940s-1950s[edit]

See also: La Violencia

On the outbreak of Second World War in September 1939, Colombia, in accordance with its international policy, declared itself a belligerent, as did many other Latin American countries, and received arms and equipment from the United States as part of the Lend Lease program. The first American military missions arrived in the country, and Colombian officials were sent to the United States to perfect their knowledge; as a result of these links a new doctrine[clarification needed] was adopted in the military forces. After the war, the army continued to receive assistance from American missions, and officers attended courses in the United States. Political changes in the country starting in 1946 led up to the civil war known as la Violencia, which started with the El Bogotazo riots of April 9, 1948. The army then became involved in the restoration of public order.[9]

Recent history[edit]

The Colombian Army is presently at war with leftist rebels of the FARC, ELN and EPL, as well as other minor groups. Members of the military have been accused or condemned of collaborating with the activities of right wing paramilitaries, such as the AUC and others. The BBC and other sources have reported on cases of corruption within the military, as well as other scandals.[citation needed] However, the army has taken measures to become a transparent and professional fighting force.[citation needed]

Plan Colombia and modernization[edit]

Colombian Troops conducting anti-terrorist operations 2013

The United States government approved the Plan Colombia initiative in the late 1990s. Part of the resources provided by this initiative would be directed to the support of the Colombian Army by strengthening its combat and logistics capabilities. This Plan greatly benefited the Colombian Army. During the 1990s with the guerrillas gaining more money than ever due to controlling large portions of the drug trade, the FARC began changing their tactics and went from guerrilla warfare to a war of large movements and large attacks where large numbers of guerrillas would combine their forces to capture towns and cities. With the aid received from Plan Colombia, then commander of the armed forces General Fernando Tapias led an internal purification in the army that had the support of the other force commanders and the government. This process contributed to improving substantially the problematic relationship the country had previously had with the United States. This was the beginning of the modernization of the army: Colombian soldiers began receiving the training and technology to confront the guerrillas head-on. With the buying of American Black Hawk helicopters, they learned to deploy quickly into rugged guerrilla terrain. Technical equipment was improved drastically with the US providing satellite-guided bomb “kits” to the Colombian army which also made the Colombian army the first military force in South America to utilize these "smart bombs". With the aid of these bombs the army killed more than two dozen FARC commanders, including Mono Jojoy. With training improved and better equipment the Colombian people now have high regards for the army and internationally they are widely viewed as Latin America’s best-prepared and most professional army.[10]

Operation Jaque[edit]

See also: Operation Jaque
This Mi-17 was one of the two helicopters that participated in the Operation it has been given the name: Libertad Uno (Liberty One) [11]

The Colombian Army carried out Operation Jaque, a military operation that resulted in the rescue of 15 hostages, including former Colombian presidential candidate Íngrid Betancourt. The hostages had been held by the FARC. The operation took place on July 2, 2008, along the Apaporis River in Guaviare Department. It was unprecedented in the army's history, in that the intelligence gathering for the operation involved the army placing a mole within the FARC itself for one year or more before the operation. The plan involved tricking FARC rebels into handing over the hostages by having Colombian soldiers pose as members of a fictitious non-government organisation that supposedly would fly the captives to a camp to meet rebel leader Alfonso Cano. Several aspects of the mission were apparently designed to mimic previous Venezuelan hostage transfers, including the actual composition of the group and the type and markings of the helicopters used. Two Mi-17 helicopters came to the landing area in Guaviare, where one, carrying Colombian agents wearing Che Guevara T-shirts, landed to pick up the hostages. The hostages were handcuffed and loaded aboard, and the local FARC commander César and an additional rebel also boarded the helicopters. They were then subdued by Colombian forces. Betancourt realised she was being rescued only when she saw her captor naked and blindfolded on the floor of the aircraft.[12]

Lancero Course[edit]

One of the more demanding courses run by the Colombian Army is the Lancero School. This course – dedicated to counterinsurgency warfare – is held in Tolemaida, 150 miles (240 km) from Bogotá, where temperatures range between 85 and 100 degrees F. (29.5–38 degrees C.) throughout the year. The course has been called the toughest in the world[by whom?], with U.S. military instructors also playing a role. According to the course lasts 73 days and trains Bolivian, Ecuadorean, and Panamanian troops as well as Colombian soldiers; some French and American soldiers are also trained there.[13] The course, founded in 1955, was based on the methodology of the United States Army Ranger School. Lethal techniques and live ammunition are used.

Overseas military operations[edit]

Korean War[edit]
Batallon Colombia ensign designed for the Korean War.

During the Korean War, some 4,314 troops of the Colombian Army (21% of the total force) served with the Colombia Battalion in the United Nations Command. The initial contingent of troops transported to Korea aboard the USNS Aiken Victory. Once in-country, the Colombia Battalion received training and then joined the American 21st Infantry Regiment on 1 August 1951. It was engaged in battle during Operation Nomadic, for which the battalion received a Presidential Unit Citation. In 1952, as the 21st Infantry Regiment redeployed, the Colombia Battalion was transferred to the 31st Infantry Regiment. The battalion was greatly involved in the Battle of Old Baldy. Colombian soldiers killed in action were sometimes cremated at the United Nations Cemetery in Tanggok and repatriated in 1954.[14] Four different Colombian battalions rotated to Korea. Overall, the Colombian Army lost 141 soldiers by death and suffered 556 battle injuries.[15]

A Colombian MFO soldier hosts a Canadian helicopter pilot 1989. The Colombian is wearing the distinctive terracotta-colored beret that is unique to the MFO.
Sinai[edit]

The Colombian National Army deployed soldiers in the Sinai as part of the United Nations Emergency Force between 1956 and 1967.[16] Since 1980 it has supplied one battalion ('COLBATT') to the Multinational Force and Observers there.

Organization[edit]

Structure of the Colombian National Army

Major units[edit]

Divisions[edit]

Colombian Army Divisions are static Regional Commands

  • 1st Division (Santa Marta) – Its jurisdiction covers the Northern Region of Colombia in which there are the departments of Cesar, La Guajira, Magdalena, Sucre, Bolívar and Atlántico. 2nd Mechanized and 10th Armored brigades.
  • 2nd Division (Bucaramanga) – Its jurisdiction covers the north eastern Colombia in which there are the departments of Norte de Santander, Santander and Arauca. 5th Infantry, 30th Infantry and 23rd Mobile brigades.
  • 3rd Division (Cali) – Its jurisdiction covers the South West of Colombia in which there are the Departments of Nariño, Valle del Cauca, Cauca, Caldas, Quindio, Risaralda and the southern part of the Chocó. 3rd, 8th, 23rd and 29th Infantry brigades.
  • 4th Division (Villavicencio) – Its jurisdiction covers the eastern region of Colombia in which there are the departments of Meta, Guaviare, and part of Vaupés. 7th Infantry, 22nd Infantry and 31st Jungle Infantry brigades.
  • 5th Division (Bogota) – Its jurisdiction covers the Central Region of Colombia in which there are the departments of Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Huila and Tolima. 1st Infantry, 6th Infantry, 8th Mobile, 9th Infantry and 13th Infantry brigades.
  • 6th Division (Florencia) – Its jurisdiction covers the southern region of Colombia in which there are the departments of Amazonas, Caquetá, Putumayo and southern Vaupés. 12th Infantry, 13th Mobile, 26th Jungle and 27th Jungle brigades.
  • 7th Division (Medellin) – Its jurisdiction covers the western region of Colombia in which there are the departments of Cordoba, Antioquia, and part of the Chocó. 4th, 11th, 14th, 15th and 17th Infantry and 11th Mobile Brigades
  • 8th Division (Yopal) – Its jurisdiction covers the northeastern region of Colombia: the Departments of Casanare, Arauca, Vichada, Guainía, and the municipalities of Boyaca of Cubará, Pisba, Paya, Labranzagrande and Pajarito. 16th, 18th, 28th, and the 5th Mobile Brigade.

Other units[edit]

  • Mobile Medical Command with 3 Battalions
  • Military and Institutes Brigade
  • 19th Cadet Brigade with 3 battalions
  • Army Aviation with 135 helicopters and aircraft.
  • Army Commando Battalion

Combat arms[edit]

Logis.ejc.jpg

Special units[edit]

The Colombian Army has created new programs in order to fight terrorist guerrillas that during the last 40 years have fought a war to overthrow the Colombian government. They are highly trained, specially selected Colombian Army soldiers. They do special recon operations to find and expel Colombian terrorists hideouts.

Rapid Deployment Force[edit]

The Rapid Deployment Force or Fuerza de Despliegue Rápido abr. FUDRA, was created in 1999 as a modern quick reaction force to deploy to different regions and to all types of weather. Currently, its function is to solely carry out offensive operations against insurgents or outlaws.[17] It is an elite unit in the army and was one of the key factors that led to FARC losing much of its military power. Its greatest accomplishment was on the 23rd September 2010 when Operation Sodoma was executed and led to the death of the FARC's top military commander Jorge Briceño Suárez aka Mono Jojoy.[18]

Anti-Narcotics Brigade[edit]

Air Assault Aviation Division[edit]

The Colombian National Army Aviation or División de Aviación Asalto Aéreo del Ejército, is an aviation branch that works autonomously from the Colombian Air Force. It is part of the Colombian Army and its main mission is to support the army's ground operations. This Unit was created on September 7 of 1916 and it is managed by the Colombian Army.[19] Over the years the Army Aviation has grown tremendously as it has become and fundamental part of the defense of the nation's borders and sovereignty.[20]

AFEUR unit[edit]

The Urban Counter-Terrorism Special Forces Group, otherwise known as AFEUR (Spanish: Agrupación de Fuerzas Especiales Antiterroristas Urbanas) is an elite special operations unit within the Colombian Army, dedicated to performing counter-terrorism operations, HVT (High-Value Target) acquisition or elimination, and hostage rescues.

The unit is also used for protection of VIP's. For example, they protect the Colombian President when he travels, and provided protection for President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush when they visited Cartagena, in 2000 and 2004, respectively. They also provided the second security ring to President Bush's visit to Bogotá in 2007.

AFEUR answers directly to the "General Command of the Armed Forces" ("Comando General de las Fuerzas Armadas"), and they are allowed to use any military air transportation to guarantee mobility, and to use any weapon or additional equipment as required to accomplish their missions.

AFEUR won the "Fuerzas Comando 2005" (Commando Forces 2005) contest, that took place in Chile in June 2005 lasting two weeks.

This yearly contest sponsored by the US South Command and the US Special Operations Command with similar teams from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, U.S., Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Peru and Uruguay.

AFEUR also won the 2006 and 2007 versions of this contest.

Special Forces Brigade[edit]

GAULA groups[edit]

Members of the GAULA, prepare for a demonstration during a ceremony in Sibate, Colombia on Dec. 6, 2007.

GAULA is an acronym for Grupos de Acción Unificada por la Libertad Personal, i.e. Unified Action Groups for Personal Liberty, specialising in solving hostage-taking. These are elite units established in 1996 exclusively dedicated to the combating of kidnapping and extortion. They are composed of highly qualified personnel who conduct hostage rescues and dismantling of criminal gangs at the root of crimes which compromise the personal freedom of Colombians. There is an inter-institutional element in GAULA guaranteeing self-checking procedures, trained by staff of the Administrative Security Department, the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Criminal Investigation Bureau (Fiscalía) and military forces. Currently, the country has 16 GAULA of the Colombian National Army and 2 of the Navy.

Specialized Battalions and Regiments[edit]

Escudo Batallon Guardia Presidencial-Colombia.svgPresidential Guard[edit]

The Presidential Guard Battalion also known as Infantry Battalion No° 37 Presidential Guard is a unit of the Colombian Army and honor guard to the President of Colombia and the security detail for the President and his family in his official residence the Nariño Palace.The Battalion is made up of 9 companies, 4 of the companies represent the four traditional combat arms of the Colombian Army: Córdoba Company (Infantry) Rondon Company (Cavalry), Ricaurte Company (Artillery) and Caldas Company (Engineers).

The battalion had its origins in Simón Bolívar's Honor Guard, when he returned to Bogotá in 1814 he stayed in the San Carlos palace and was accompanied by his Honor Guard, which was distinguished from the other Units of the Bolívar's Patriot Army by the uniform that they wore, designed by Bolívar himself. On September 25 the commander of Bolívar's honor guard, Colonel Guillermo Fergusson an Irishman, sacrificed his life to save Simón Bolívar from an assassination attempt, in honor of his noble sacrifice the Presidential Guard Band which is its own company was named after him in his honor. The Battalion was re-established in 1927 by President Miguel Abadía Méndez, In 1948 during the infamous el Bogotazo a citywide street riot that almost destroyed all of the city center after infuriated supporters of liberal candidate for the presidency Jorge Eliecer Gaitán heard about his assassination that same day. The Presidential Guard was called up to protect the life of President Mariano Ospina Pérez and the lives of the members who were attending the 9th Pan-American Conference. When the infuriated crowds tried to take the Presidential Palace, the Battalion was able to defend it successfully, on that day Lieutenant Ruiz died on the steps of the palace entrance tying to defend it from the angry mobs.

The Battalion uses 2 uniforms, the honor guard wears a 19th-century uniform that was used by Simón Bolívar's Honor Guard, the color of this uniform is red and the uniform has 33 gold buttons, 11 buttons on each side. The 33 gold buttons represent the 33 battles that Bolívar fought in during his campaigns for South American Independence from Spain and, the 22 cords represent the 22 years that Bolívar had spent for fighting for Independence. The second uniform is based on 20th century Prussian military uniforms, it is black and the Pickelhaube helmet is worn, the Presidential Guard band also uses this uniform.[21]

Schools and courses[edit]

Courses[edit]

  • Arms and Services Capacitation and Specialization Courses
  • Military Professorate
  • Sports and Professional Achievements
  • Combat Specialization Courses:
    • Lancero School
    • Counter-Guerrilla Course
    • Military Airborne School
    • Special Forces Course
    • Meritorious Conduct in Special Units Course
    • Intelligence School
    • Special Land Commandos Course
    • Urban Commando Course
    • Urban Counter-Guerrilla Course
    • Psychological Operations Course
    • Military Police Course

Military educational institutions[edit]

  • Colombian Military Academy "General José María Córdova"
  • Colombian Army NCO School "Sergeant Inocencio Chinca"
  • Army Arms and Services School
  • Army Infantry School
  • Army Cavalry School
  • Army Artillery School
  • Military Engineering School
  • Army Communications School
  • Army Logistics School
  • Colombian Army Military Police School
  • School of Civil-Military Relations
  • Army Equestrian School
  • Army Aviation School
  • Army International Missions Support School
  • Army Human Rights and International Rights School
  • Army School of Languages

Equipment[edit]

Land vehicles[edit]

Colombian Army Vehicle Inventory
Vehicle/System Firm Number in Service Status Origin Photo
Armoured Vehicles
EE-9 Cascavel 180 In Service  Brazil Cascavel EE-009.JPG
Infantry Transport Vehicles
Plasan Sand Cat 14 In service[22]  Israel Oshkosh SandCat side.jpg
Humvee 800 In Service  United States HUMVEECH.jpg
M-1117 67[23] In Service  United States Bulgarian m1117.JPG
M-113 130 In Service  United States M113A1-latrun-1.jpg
EE-11 Urutu 100 In Service  Brazil EE-11 Urutu.JPG
RG-31 Nyala 6 In Service  South Africa Convoy (5375064599).jpg
ISBI 16 In Service  Colombia Tanqueta isbi.jpg
Hunter TR-12 2 In production[24]  Colombia
LAV III 56 In Service[25]  Canada 20110912 WN S1015650 0030.jpg - Flickr - NZ Defence Force.jpg
Transport Vehicles
M35 2-1/2 ton cargo truck In Service  United States M35 REO pic5.JPG
AIL Abir In Service  Israel Militar auto Colombia.JPG
Willys MB In Service  United States Willys MB (Bild 1 2008-06-14), Baujahr 1944.JPG
Kaiser Jeep M715 In Service  United States M715 Jeep.jpg
M151 In Service  United States JeepFrontM151.jpg
Ford Super Duty In Service  United States 2008 Ford F-250.jpg

Pistols[edit]

Rifles[edit]

Submachine guns[edit]

Machine guns[edit]

Grenade launchers[edit]

Artillery[edit]

Anti-armour[edit]

Air defense systems and anti-aircraft artillery[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

Fixed Wing Origin Type Version(s) In service[29] Notes
Gulfstream Turbo Commander  United States Transport Commander 1000 2
Beechcraft King Air  United States Transport 90
200
350
4
Beechcraft Super King Air  United States Electronic warfare 200
350
4
Convair 580  United States Airliner 1
Cessna 208 Caravan  United States Utility 5
Aero Commander 500  United States Utility Rockwell 685 Commander 2
CASA C-212 Aviocar  Spain Transport 2
Antonov An-32  Ukraine Transport 2
Helicopters Origin Type Version(s) In service[29] Notes
UH-1 Iroquois
UH-1N Twin Huey
 United States Utility helicopter UH-1H
UH-1N
64
Mil Mi-17  Russia Transport helicopter Mi-17 MD 21 One lost on 25 February 2013.[30]
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk  United States Transport/ Combat helicopter UH-60L
S-70i
54
7[31]
Including the 15 from Plan Colombia. One UH-60 lost on 22 February 2013.[32] All S-70i helicopters used by the Special Operations Aviation Battalion.[31]
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Origin Type Version(s) In service Notes
RQ-11 Raven  United States Reconnaissance RQ-11B Special Forces[33]

Uniforms[edit]

Colombian military personnel wore a number of different uniforms for both cold and hot weather. Army officer uniforms included a full-dress uniform of blue coat and white trousers for a cold climate; a white full-dress uniform for a hot climate; several different dress uniforms for both hot and cold climates that consisted of some combination of blue and white coat and trousers with piping or fringe on the trousers to indicate branch of service; an olive-drab barracks uniform for a cold climate; a tan gabardine barracks uniform for a hot climate; and tan gabardine service and field uniforms for all climates. Army enlisted uniforms consisted of an olive-drab dress uniform for a cold climate, a tan flannel dress uniform for a hot climate, and tan barracks and field uniforms for all climates.[34]

Since 2006 the National Army of Colombia changed its uniform type forest (woodland) by a modern design featuring a new digital camouflage pattern is called a pixel.

There are 2 types of camouflage, jungle camouflage that is used by most of the army and the desert camouflage that is used by troops in the department of La Guajira and the Colombia Battalion in the Sinai peninsula in the Multinational Force and Observers.

The changes provide greater comfort to the troops, while the material used allows even for the application of mosquito repellent to prevent mosquito bites and a high percentage of the concentration of bacteria and odors.

The design of camouflage texture, color and design is unique to the Colombian army. It is locally made and its distribution is controlled so that only Colombia's military forces can use it.

Personnel[edit]

Rank and insignia[edit]

The rank structure for closely parallels that of the United States military. There are nine officer ranks, ranging from the equivalent of second lieutenant to general. The army has nine enlisted grades, ranging from the equivalent of basic private to command sergeant major

The tables below display the rank structures and rank insignias for the Colombian Army personnel.[35][36]

Ranks and Insignias - Colombian National Army

Officers[edit]

NATO code[n 1] OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
 Colombia No equivalent Insignia of general of colombian army.svg Teniente general.svg Rank insignia of mayor general of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of brigadier general of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of coronel of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of teniente coronel of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of mayor of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of capital of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of teniente of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of subteniente of the Colombian Army.svg
Spanish - General de Ejercito Teniente General Mayor General Brigadier General Coronel Teniente Coronel Mayor Capitán Teniente Subteniente
Abbr. - GR TG MG BG CR TC MY CT TE ST
English - General of the Army Lieutenant General Major General Brigadier General Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second Lieutenant

Enlisted personnel[edit]

NATO code[n 1] OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
 Colombia Rank insignia of sargento mayor de comando conjunto of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of sargento mayor de comando of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of sargento mayor of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of sargento primero of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of sargento viceprimero of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of sargento segundo of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of cabo primero of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of cabo segundo of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of cabo tercero of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of dragoneante of the Colombian Army.svg Rank insignia of soldado profesional of the Colombian Army.svg No Insignia
Spanish Sargento Mayor de Comando Conjunto Sargento Mayor de Comando Sargento Mayor Sargento Primero Sargento Vice Primero Sargento Segundo Cabo Primero Cabo Segundo Cabo Tercero Dragoneante Soldado Profesional recluta
Abbr. SMCC SMC SM SP SV SS CP CS C3 - - -
English Joint Command Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Sergeant Major First Sergeant Sergeant First Class Second Sergeant First Corporal Second Corporal Third Corporal Private First Class Private (Professional) Private Basic

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Colombia is not a member of NATO, so there is not an official equivalence between the Colombian military ranks and those defined by NATO. The displayed parallel is approximate and for illustration purposes only.

References[edit]

  1. ^ LOGROS DE LA POLÍTICA DE CONSOLIDACIÓN DE LA SEGURIDAD DEMOCRÁTICA –PCSD Febrero 2009 page 81
  2. ^ Manager, Micrositios Content. "Independencia, la Gran Colombia y la República (1819 - 1903) -". Ejército Nacional de Colombia. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
  3. ^ Manager, Micrositios Content. "Independencia, la Gran Colombia y la República (1819 - 1903) -". Ejército Nacional de Colombia. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
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  12. ^ Padgett, Tim (2008-07-02). "Colombia's Stunning Hostage Rescue". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
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  14. ^ Coleman, Bradley Lynn (October 2005). "The Colombian Army in Korea, 1950–1954" (PDF). The Journal of Military History. Project Muse (Society for Military History). 69 (4): 1137–1177. doi:10.1353/jmh.2005.0215. ISSN 0899-3718. 
  15. ^ Ruíz Novoa, Alberto (1956). El Batallón Colombia en Corea, 1951–1954. Bogotá: Imprenta Nacional. pp. 149–160. OCLC 1862975. 
  16. ^ http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/co_mission/unef1facts.html
  17. ^ Manager, Micrositios Content. "Fuerza de Despliegue Rápido - FUDRA - Ejercito Nacional de Colombia". Ejército Nacional de Colombia. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
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  19. ^ Manager, Micrositios Content. "Misión - DIVISION DE AVIACION ASALTO AEREO". Ejército Nacional de Colombia. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
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  22. ^ Colombia selects the Oshkosh Sandcat – Armyrecognition.com, December 20, 2012
  23. ^ Colombian Army Acquires 28 Additional ASV Armored Personnel Carriers – Deagel.com, 22 August 2013
  24. ^ El Ejército de Colombia adquiere un nuevo Hunter TR-12 para el Departamento de Huila – Infodefensa.com, 17 July 2013
  25. ^ Colombia; Armored vehicles procurement programs summary – Dmilt.com, 3 January 2014
  26. ^ http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=101686&page=46
  27. ^ http://www.aerospace-index.com/images/denel/denelnewslettersept06.pdf
  28. ^ "Army of Colombia has take delivery of three new Nexter System LG1 Mk III 105mm light guns". July 5, 2014. 
  29. ^ a b World Air Forces 2013 - Flightglobal.com, pg 13, December 11, 2012
  30. ^ Air Forces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. April 2013. p. 31. 
  31. ^ a b Colombian Army receives two new S-70i helicopters - Janes.com, 4 September 2013
  32. ^ Air Forces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. April 2013. p. 30. 
  33. ^ Colombia; US donates ScanEagle UAV's to FAC – Dmilt.com, March 19, 2013
  34. ^ http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field%28DOCID+co0153%29
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