The Salvadoran Army or Ejército Salvadoreño is the land branch and largest of the Armed Forces of El Salvador. In 2006 the government of El Salvador approached the Israeli ambassador to El Salvador seeking assistance in modernizing its army.
The Football War
The Football War (also called The Soccer War or 100-hours War) was a term coined by Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuściński to describe a brief conflict between El Salvador and neighbouring Honduras. He argued that the war began after the rival nations traded wins during the qualifying round for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. But this event was not the cause of the war. Tensions had been mounting between both nations for several years because of immigration and economic problems, resulting on the war in 1969. The soccer matches incidents just one of several events that happened during that time. Longstanding tensions between the countries were heightened by media reports on both sides, each accusing the other of hooliganism and violence toward their own football fans. On June 26, 1969, El Salvador dissolved all ties with Honduras, the events where used as a call for nationalist pride for both governments and the media.
On July 14 Salvadoran forces began moving rapidly into Honduras following a series of border clashes. Their progress halted after the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United States brought heavy diplomatic pressure to bear on both governments in an effort to effect a cease-fire.
A ceasefire was ultimately negotiated and signed by July 18, with Salvadoran forces withdrawing from Honduras by August 2 following guarantees of safety for Salvadoran citizens in Honduras by the Honduran government.
The Salvadoran Civil War
Following the 1979 coup d'état, El Salvador split along extremist right-wing and left-wing political ideologies. Unstable governments and growing civil unrest ultimately led to a long, bitterly fought civil war which was not resolved until 1992.
The Iraq War
Up to 380 Salvadoran troops, mostly paratroopers, were deployed as part of the Coalition Forces in Iraq between August 2003 and January 2009. They operated alongside the elite Spanish Legion in Najaf and were well regarded by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, British Army and their Spanish comrades. The Iraqi insurgents and AQI tended to avoid the Salvadoran force, due to their aggressive patrolling in their area of responsibility. While in Iraq, the Salvadoran contingent suffered 5 dead, and 20 wounded.
El Salvador is divided into 6 military zones, each of which has its own infantry brigade:
- 1st brigade (San Salvador)
- 2nd brigade (Santa Ana)
- 3rd brigade (San Miguel)
- 4th brigade (Chalatenango)
- 5th brigade (San Vicente)
- 6th brigade (Usulután)
Furthermore, the army has the following units:
- 1 Special Military Security Brigade consisting of 2 Military Police and 2 border security battalions,
- 8 infantry detachments with 2 battalions,
- 1 Engineer Command with of 2 battalions,
- 1 artillery brigade with of 2 field artillery and 2 anti-aircraft battalions,
- 1 mechanized cavalry regiment with 2 battalions, and the
- Special Forces Command with 1 Special Operations Group, and 1 Anti-Terrorism Command.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2009)|
|M4||Assault rifle||United States|
|M16||Assault rifle||United States|
|IMI Galil||Assault rifle||Israel|
|Galil ACE||Assault rifle||Colombia|
|FN FNC||Assault rifle||Belgium|
|M14||Battle rifle||United States|
|Heckler & Koch G3||Battle rifle||Germany|
|M24||Sniper rifle||United States|
|M79||Grenade launcher||United States|
|M203||Grenade launcher||United States|
|Hawk MM-1||Semi-automatic grenade launcher||United States|
|M60||General purpose machine gun||United States|
|M2HB||Heavy machine gun||United States|
Note: Sources are circa 1988, while some equipment listed may no longer be in service.
|AIL Storm||Light Utility Vehicle||38||AIL, Israel|
|Jeep CJ||Light Utility Vehicle||Jeep, USA|
|M151 MUTT||Light Utility Vehicle||Various, USA|
|HMMWV||Light Utility Vehicle||20||AM General, USA|
|Dodge M37||Light Utility Vehicle||Dodge, USA||Mostly converted to Cashuats.|
|M35 truck||Medium cargo truck||45||Various, USA|
|M809 truck||Heavy cargo truck||AM General, USA|
|MAN 630 truck||Heavy cargo truck||MAN SE, Germany|
|Armoured Fighting Vehicles|
|AML 90||Armoured Car||3||Panhard, France|
|UR-416||Wheeled APC||4||Thyssen-Henschel, Germany|
|M3 Scout Car||Wheeled APC||5||White Motor Company, USA|
|Cashuat||Wheeled APC||41||El Salvador/USA||Based on a Dodge M37. Armor kits and turrets purchased from the United States and applied in El Salvador|
|M113||Tracked APC||20||FMC, USA|
|M74||120mm||Yugoslavia||Kept in storage.|
|UB M-52||120mm||Yugoslavia||Kept in storage.|
|M56||105mm||18||Yugoslavia||M101 copy produced in Yugoslavia|
|105/14 Model 56||105mm||14||Italy||Pack Howitzer|
|M-55||20mm||31||Yugoslavia||Hispano-Suiza HS.804 copy.|
|M-55 (Self-propelled)||20mm||4||Yugoslavia||Truck or half-track mounted M-55.|
|TCM-20||20mm||4||Israel||Twin Hispano-Suiza HS.404s on towed pedestal mount.|
- "El Salvador". Military Technology World Defence Almanac (Bonn : Wehr & Wissen): 60. 2005. ISSN 0722-3226.
- Itamar Eichner (March 20, 2006). "El Salvador seeks to copy IDF model". ynetnews.com.
- "El Salvador withdraws last soldiers from Iraq". USA Today. February 7, 2009.
- Latin American Light Weapons National Inventories
- World Armies 2008. Jane's Information Group.
- "Jane's Land Based Air Defence – El Salvador".
- "Jane's Military Vehicles and Logistics – El Salvador". Jane's Information Group.
- "Jane's VAL Light Assault Vehicle Cashuat". Jane's Information Group.
- "country-data.com > El Salvador > Appendix".
- "ArmyRecognition.com > Index of El Salvador Military Equipment".
- "105/14 Model 56 105 mm Pack Howitzer". Forecast International. Retrieved July 27, 2009.