Military Wiki
Ejército de Tierra
Spanish Army
Emblem of the Spanish Army
Seal of the Spanish Army
Founded 15th century – present
Country Spain
Branch Army
Role Land force
Size 75,000[1]
Garrison/HQ Buenavista Palace, Madrid
Mascot(s) Two headed Falcon
Commander in Chief and Captain General King Juan Carlos I
Chief of Army Staff General Jaime Domínguez Buj[2]
Aircraft flown
Attack Tiger
Reconnaissance MBB Bo 105
Trainer Colibrí
Transport Chinook Cougar

The Spanish army (Spanish language: Ejército de Tierra

lit, "ground army") is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies - dating back to the 15th century.


The Spanish army has existed continuously since the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (late 15th century). The oldest and largest of the three services, its mission was the defense of peninsular Spain, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Melilla, Ceuta and the Spanish islands and rocks off the northern coast of Africa.

The army is completing a major reorganization. It had previously been organized into nine regional operational commands. These were reduced to six commands in conjunction with a revised deployment of forces: Central Command, Southern Command, Levante Command, Eastern Pyrenees Command, Northwestern Command, and Western Pyrenees Command. In addition there were the two military zones of the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. Ceuta and Melilla fell within the Southern Command. At the head of each regional and zonal command was an officer of three-star rank. Although his authority had been reduced, the regional commander, who held the title of captain general (Spanish: Capitán General), was still among the most senior officers of the army.

Under its earlier organization, the army was grouped into two basic categories: the Immediate Intervention Forces and the Territorial Operational Defence Forces. In theory, the former, consisting of three divisions and ten brigades, had the missions of defending the Pyrenean and the Gibraltar frontiers and of fulfilling Spain's security commitments abroad. The latter force, consisting of two mountain divisions and fourteen brigades, had the missions of maintaining security in the regional commands and of reinforcing the Civil Guard (Spanish: Guardia Civil) and the police against subversion and terrorism. In reality, most of the Immediate Intervention Forces were not positioned to carry out their ostensible mission of protecting the nation's borders. Many units were stationed near major cities—as a matter of convenience for officers who held part-time jobs—from which they also could be called upon to curb disturbances or unrest.

In a gradual process that had not been fully completed, the division of the army into the Immediate Intervention Forces and the Territorial Operational Defence Forces was being abolished. The brigade had become the fundamental tactical unit. The total number of brigades had been reduced from twenty-four to fifteen by the dismantling of nine territorial defence brigades. Eleven of the brigades had been organized within the existing five divisions; three brigades were to be independent, and one was to be in general reserve.

The best equipped of the five was the First Division, the Brunete Armored Division, with its armored brigade in the Madrid area and its mechanized brigade farther to the southwest near Badajoz. The motorized Second Division, Guzman el Bueno Division, which had acquired a third brigade as a result of the reorganization, was the major defensive force in the south, with full capability for rapid maneuver. The mechanized Third Division, the Maestrazgo Division, under the Levante Command, consisted of two brigades considered to have a moderate degree of mobility. The two mountain divisions, the Fourth Division—or Urgel Division and the Fifth Division—or Navarra Division, each consisting of two mountain brigades, remained in the Pyrenees border area of the north. Two of the four independent brigades were armored cavalry, one was an airborne brigade, and one was a paratroop brigade (in general reserve).

Numerous other changes were introduced as well, including the reorganization of artillery forces not included in the major combat units. This involved the creation of a field artillery command that consisted of a restructured and consolidated former artillery brigade, the creation of a single straits coastal artillery command that replaced two former coastal artillery regiments, and the introduction of an antiaircraft artillery command that was expected to benefit from significant modernizing of its weapons inventory.

The personnel strength of the army, which previously had been maintained at about 280,000, including 170,000 conscripts, had been trimmed to 240,000 by 1987. This was achieved through lower intakes of conscripts and volunteers and through cuts in the table of organization for officers and NCOs. The government's goal was a smaller but more capable army of 195,000 effective by 1991. Outside peninsular Spain, about 19,000 troops were stationed in Ceuta and Melilla. These included, in addition to the Spanish Legion and other specialized units, four regular regiments of North Africans. An additional 5,800 troops were assigned to the Balearic Islands, and 10,000 were in the Canary Islands.

The Spanish Legion, founded in Spanish Morocco in 1920, has always been under the direct command of the chief of the army staff. It has had a reputation as the toughest combat unit in the service, although modelled after the French Foreign Legion, reduced in size in 1987, as a result of successive reorganizations, the legion was scheduled to undergo further cuts to an overall strength of 6,500. It had a higher number of career soldiers than other units, but it was manned mostly by conscripts who had volunteered for the legion. Recruitment of non-Spanish personnel, who had never exceeded 10 percent of the group's manpower, ended in 1986. Foreign legionnaires already in the service were not affected.

The Spanish Legion is grouped into four tercios (sing., tercio), a unit intermediate between a regiment and a brigade, each commanded by a colonel. The first and the second tercios constituted the core of the military garrisons at Melilla and Ceuta (North Africa). Each had been reduced by a motorized battalion, leaving it with a single motorized battalion, a mechanized battalion, an antitank company, and a headquarters company. They were equipped with BMR armored personnel carriers. The Third Tercio, stationed in the Canary Islands, consisted of two motorized battalions and a headquarters company. The Fourth Tercio was being converted from a support role to a combat unit at the legion headquarters in Ronda near Malaga. Although, probably not as "glamorous" outside Spain as their French counterparts, the Spanish legion is as professional and fierce as any other elite force in the world.

The Ministry of Defence was planning the creation of a rapid deployment force composed entirely of volunteers. This force, which would include the Spanish Legion, the Paratrooper Brigade, the Airborne Brigade, and Marine units, would be available for use in trouble spots on twelve hours' notice. Lack of adequate air and naval transport would, however, be a limiting factor.

In spite of new procurement programs, introduced in the mid-1980s, weapons and equipment were not in sufficient supply, and they were not up to the standards of other NATO armies. The inventory of medium tanks was made up of nearly 700 American models, as well as about 300 Franco-Spanish AMX-30s manufactured in Spain between 1974 and 1983. Although the military felt that it was essential to adopt a new main battle tank for the 1990s, some considerations led to a postponement of the decision and the upgrading of the AMX-30s with new German-designed diesel engines and transmissions, reactive armor panels, and laser fire-control systems.

Armored troop carriers included about 1,200 M-113s as well as AML-60s and AML-90s and Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles. The Spanish army is in the process of being equipped with more than 1,200 BMRs, a new armored vehicle designed and manufactured in Spain. A variety of towed and self-propelled artillery guns was available, ranging from 105 mm to 203 mm guns and howitzers. The main antitank weapons were recoilless rifles; 88.9 mm rocket launchers; Milan, Cobra, and Dragon missiles; and a small number of TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wireguided) and HOT (high subsonic, optically guided, tube-launched) antitank missile systems. A considerable quantity of additional antitank missiles and rocket launchers was on order. The army aircraft inventory included about 280 helicopters, about 40 of which were armed with 20 mm guns or HOT antitank missiles.

1985: situation and equipment[]

In this year the Spanish army began a reorganization that included a reduction by 45,000 men. It had, at the time, one armoured division (2 active armoured brigades and one reserve), one mechanized division, one motorized division, and five separate brigades (one each: airborne, armored, air-assault, infantry, heavy artillery). These units, together with some separate regiments, were in the active component of the army (Field Army or FII).

In the Territorial Army (reserve forces, known in Spanish as FDOT) there were:

  • 2 Mountain TA divisions
  • 1 Alpine TA brigade
  • 9 infantry brigades of the TA (each based on: three battalions, one artillery group, one scout company, one signal company, one logistics company)
  • 4 TA Tercios of the Spanish Legion
  • 1 TA artillery brigade
  • 1 TA brigade and five TA regiments of coastal artillery
  • 2 TA heavy artillery regiments, and some minor units.

Other forces were: in the Balearics (three infantry regiments and support units), Canary Is. (one Tercio regiment and three infantry regiments), Ceuta and Melilla (2 regiments of African [i.e. ethnic Moroccan] troops and three Tercios (all regular).

Weapons were (SP means Self Propelled):

  • tanks: Leopard 2E(version of Leopard 2A7+, Leopard 2A4 and Centauro.
  • Armoured: AML-60, AML-90, VEC, BMR-600, BLR, M113, infantery transport armored Pizarro.
  • Artillery: M108 SP, Model 56 (105 mm), M109 SP, M44 SP, M114, M59 (155 mm), M107 SP(175 mm), M110 SP (203 mm), MLR Teruel 1 (140 mm), L21 (216 mm), L10(300 mm).
  • Coastal artillery: 88, 152, 203, 305, 381 mm
  • Mortars: Esperanza 60, 81, 120 mm, M125 SP(81 mm), M125A1 SP(120 mm)
  • A.A. Weapons: M55 12,7 mm, GAO-B1 20 mm, GDF 35 mm, L70 40 mm, M117 90 mm. SAM AMX-30 Roland, HAWK, Nike Hercules.

A.T weapons: rocket launchers M65 89 mm, M 40 RLC 106 mm, ATGW Cobra, MILAN, HOT, TOW, M 47 Dragon

  • Infantry weapons: M41/59 7,62 mm, HK G36 automatic rifles 7,62  mm. M4E (machine gun)
  • Aviation: UH-1B/H, Cougar (HT.17), CH-47, NH 90.

1991: situation and reorganization[]

At that time there was a plan called META, in Spanish Modernization of Army, that was discussed between 1982 and 1988. Military regions were reduced from 9 to 6, FII and DOT (Field Army and Territorial Army) were united and the brigades were reduced from 24 to 15. Men were recently reduced from 279,000 to 230,000.

Five divisions, with 11 brigades, were organized as:

  • 1st Armoured Division BRUNETE (XI Mechanized Brigade and XII Armoured Brigade)
  • 2nd Motorized Division GUZMAN EL BUENO (XXI Mechanized Brigade and XXII and XXIII Motorized Brigades)
  • 3rd Mechanized Division MAESTRAZGO (XXXII and XXXIII Mechanized Brigades)
  • 4th Mountain Division URGEL (XLI and XLII Mountain Brigades)
  • 5th Mountain Division NAVARRA (LI Mountain Brigade and LII Motorized Brigade).

Three separate brigades were: the Jarama air-assault Brigade, the Castillejos armoured brigades, and the BRIPAC airborne brigade, this latter within the General Reserve. Minor units comprised 14,000 men on the Canary Is., 9,000 on the Balearic Is. and 7,000 in Ceuta and Melilla. Six groups and three companies were devoted to special operations (GOE and COE). Standard divisional structure was:

12,000-17,000 men, with one HQ, one light armoured cavalry regiment, two or three brigades, artillery regiment of two groups (12 or 18 guns each), one Bofors-armed AAA group, and several support units (signal, NBC, transport).

Brigades were organized with a 3-5000 strength, 3 or 4 battalions, one artillery group and support units.

As for weapons, at that time there was a total of 850 tanks: 299 AMX-30E. 164 M-48 A5E1, 325 M-47 E1 and 46 M-47E2. The CFE agreements reduced it to a 794 maximum, but this has not yet been implemented.

AMX-30E were built under license by Empresa Nacional Santa Barbara between 1974 and 1983. They were the mainstay of the army, and although new, they performed below expectations because of transmission problems. 150 were planned to be upgraded to AMX-30E2 with enhanced protection (with ERA bricks), fire-control systems (based on laser and ballistic computers) and improvements in mobility. Total cost was budgeted at 30 billion (30,000,000,000) pesetas. Over 80% of this bill was allocated to replacement of Hispano-Suiza HA-110 engines and mechanical transmissions, the same as with Leopard 1 (MTU 833, 840 hp) and ZF LSG-3000 automatic transmissions. FCS is Hughes Mk 9, while ERA is the Israeli-made Blazer.

M-47 E1 and E2 had diesel powerplants instead of original gasoline engines, M-47 E2 and M-48 A5E1 had 105 mm guns, with the latter a computerized FCS Hughes Mk 7. Advanced night-vision sistems were also in program. To replace many of these tanks there was a program for 272 M60A1 and 260 M60A3 ex-US Army main battle tanks. This meant that all M-47 and M-48 will been phased out and sent to Pakistan and Bolivia.

Cavalry had at the time 13 regiments (infantry had around 40), 7 light (RCLAC), 4 armoured (RCAC) and one school. They had several units: 1 with M113 and one tank squadron with 30 vehicles (13 tanks and 17 M113 basic or with 120 mm SP mortar). BMR VEC were the mainstay of cavalry squadrons (three for each regiment). These 6x6 armoured were built in Spain, had OTO-Melara turrets and different weapons: 20 had the relatively weak 20 mm Rh-202, while 70 had Cockerill 90 mm gun, far powerful also for anti-tank actions. But the majority had M-242 Bushmaster gun, the same as the M2 Bradley (Without DU ammunition), for a total of 208 out 298. M242 have range and power to threat many tanks and all light AFV with APDS ammunition. Other valuable machines were 1,200 M113, included special versions like 81 and 120 mortar-carriers.

MAAA (Anti-aircraft Command) and MACA (Field artillery command) were also commanded by General Reserve, directly dependent by ET HQ.

The six regiments of MAAA had 12 groups. Six had Bofors guns, 3 had Oerlikon 35 mm, 1 HAWK and NIKE-HERCULES, 1 Roland, and 1 with TOLEDO, a combination of 35/90 mm gun and ASPIDE missiles.

All the units had:

  • SAM: 9 launchers for Hercules, the heavier and older of all the army a.a. weapons. This normally served in Air forces, but in Spain it's used by army. 24 HAWK launchers (recently modernized, with 5 billions pesetas) were a minimal force with around four batteries fielded. Mistral missile was evaluated at the time together with Stinger and RBS-70, and resulted in a first order of 500 missiles and 100 launchers. They were the first for ET, before never equipped with SHORAD systems. As medium-range missiles, there were also Aspide and Roland. Roland was in 71st regiment. There were 19 launchers, 16 of them used for the armoured division. Only nine had all-weather capability with AMX-30 chassis, that allowed high mobility. All the program (19 AMX-30 launchers, and 414 missiles) cost 29 billions pesetas. Aspide missiles were for 73 Regiment, with three batteries: 12 x 35 mm guns and 12 quad-launchers for Aspide missiles. The system was called TOLEDO and had Super-Fledermaus radars. 13 ASPIDE launchers were bough, with 200 missiles and 7 Super-Fledermaus FCS. Total cost, 22 billions (average cost for each Aspide, twice than Roland). Aspide are much less mobile, and used for static target defences, like Cartagena naval base, and 3rd Division.
  • Guns: on the contrary, the successful Bofors L/70 guns were well 243, produced in Spain under license. Their production took place between 1956 and 1962, and the modernization at the time was planned for 1,6 billions pesetas. This program was about 164 artilleries, 82 fire-direction FELIS, PFHE ammunition, LPD-20 radars, and the boosting from 230 to 300 rpm. FELIS was projected by CETME and produced by INISEL. LPD-20 radar was already in service (34 pieces) in 35 mm batteries, with Super-Fledermaus FCS.

MACA was organized with an HQ and several regiments: 61 localization Regiment, 62 MLR Regiment and 63 Artillery Regiment. 62 was organized with one group TERUEL MLR (12 140 mm launchers, 40 tubes each) and two groups with old 122/46 mm guns. 63rd had one group with 122 mm guns and one with 203/25 M115 guns. Programs at the time saw the increasing to 64 TERUEL launchers and 60 new cannons with two different Spanish models, Santa Barbara REMA (155/39 mm) and SITECSA ST-102 with longer range, 40 km with Base-Bleed projectiles(155/45 mm) compared to 30 km of REMA gun. FCS for artillery was AN/TPQ-36 (four) and SORAS (Swedish model).

Totally, at the time ET had: 90 OTO Model 56 howitzers (105/26 mm), 64 122/46 mm, 64 203/25 mm M-115, 12 M110A2, 48 M108 (105/30 mm), 96 M-109, 12 TERUEL for a total of 442 pieces. Cleary, the field artillery of ET was obsolete and modest compared with a.a artillery. Other artillery were in Command coastal defence, serving in 30 batteries. These weapons were obsolete but powerful having 150, 152, 305 and even 381 mm guns. Also for them it was planned a replacement with missiles and modern artillery. Many small weapons were projected or manufactured in Spain, among them 40 mm grenade-launchers and ECIA 81 mm mortars, both self-propelled and ground used. CETMA 7,62 mm automatic rifles were the standard.

FAMET was also a part of General Reserve. This service had as main tasks the air mobility, recognition and attack for the army and was organized with several units, among them five support and six flight units. One attack battalion was BHELA I (mainly with BO-105), One BHELTRA for transport (CH-47 and UH-1H), four BELMHA multi-role. Over 180 helicopters were in charge, making FAMET one of the most modern and effective among the ET forces. 71 BO-105, 17 OH-58, 60 UH-1H, 6 AB-212, 18 CH-47, 18 Super Puma (under license built by CASA). Weapons were HOT missiles (for 28 BO-105), 20 mm guns (for 18 BO-105), 70 mm M-158 and M-9 launchers, 7,62 (also Gatling model) and 12,7 mm weapons, 40 mm Mk 94 automatic grenade-launchers.

Spanish Legion had 7,000 men among SLEG and four Tercios: the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Personnel, ranks[]

BRIPAC in Afghanistan 121569

Spanish soldiers of the Parachute Brigade in Afghanistan.

In 2001, when compulsory military service was still in effect, the army was about 135,000 troops (50,000 officers and 86,000 soldiers). Following the suspension of conscription the Spanish Army became a fully professionalized volunteer force and by 2008 had a personnel strength of 61,300.[3] In case of a wartime emergency, an additional force of 80,000 Civil Guards comes under the Ministry of Defence command. Recent defense reforms will see the number of soldiers in the Spanish Army fall significantly.[4]

The military ranks of the Spanish army are as follows below. For a comparison with other NATO ranks see Ranks and Insignia of NATO. Ranks are wore on the cuff, sleeves and shoulders of all army uniforms, but differ by the type of the uniform being used.

NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student Officer
Flag of Spain Spain
Capitán General
General de Ejército
Teniente General
General de División
General de Brigada
Teniente Coronel
Capitán general1

General de Ejército

Army General
Teniente general

General de división

Divisional General
General de brigada

Brigade General

Teniente coronel





lit. Knight
Caballero Alférez Cadete

lit. Gentleman/Knight Knight Cadet
(Officer Cadet)
Alumno repetidor Alumno 2º Alumno 1º
  • 1 Retained by His Majesty the King of Spain as his constitutional role.
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Spain Spain
14ej 15ej 16ej 17ej 18ej 19ej 20ej 21ej 22ej 23eje
Suboficial mayor Subteniente Brigada Sargento primero Sargento Cabo mayor Cabo primero Cabo Soldado de primera Soldado

Officer ranks[]

Ranks of non-commissioned officers and enlisted[]

Current structure[]

Spain Land Forces

Current Structure of the Spanish army (click to enlarge).

Spanish Army is located in Spain
Orange pog
2nd Armd Cav
Pink pog
10th Mech
Pink pog
11th Mech
DeepPink pog
12th Armored
Blue pog
Army Aviation
Blue 0080ff pog
6th Airborne
Yellow pog
Air Defence
Cyan pog
2nd Legion
Green 008000 pog
7th Inf
Green pog
Mountain Troops
Green 008000 pog
5th Inf
Green 008000 pog
Ceuta Command
Green 008000 pog
Melilla Command
Green 008000 pog
Balearics Command
Lightgreen pog
Special Operations
Yellow pog
Field Artillery
Black pog
Steel pog
Signal Brig.
Green 008000 pog
16th Inf
off map
to SW
Purple pog
Logistic Brig.
Spanish army locations
Key: red - infantry, green - mech, gold - armoured cavalry

Spanish Legion

Emblem of the Artillery Forces of the Spanish Army

Emblem of the Artillery Forces

Emblem of the Cavalry Forces of the Spanish Army

Emblem of the Cavalry Forces

Emblem of the Infantry Forces of the Spanish Army

Emblem of the Infantry Forces

Emblem of the Logistics Forces of the Spanish Army

Emblem of the Logistics Forces

Emblem of the Spanish Military Engineers

Emblem of the Military Engineers

Emblem of the Spanish Army Special Operations Forces

Emblem of the Special Operations Forces

Coat of Arms of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade Castillejos

Coat of arms of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade “Castillejos”

Coat of Arms of the Mountain Troops Command Aragón

Coat of arms of the Mountain Units Command

Coat of Arms of the 10th Armored Cavalry Regiment Alcántara

Coat of arms of the10th Armored Cavalry Regiment “Alcántara”

Coat of Arms of the Spanish Army Field Artillery Command

Coat of arms of the Field Artillery Command

Coat of Arms of the Spanish Army Air Defence Command

Coat of arms of the Air Defence Command

Coat of Arms of the FAMET

Coat of arms of the Aviation Force of the Army “FAMET”

Coat of Arms of the Operational Logistics Force

Coat of arms of the Logistic Operation Forces

Coat of Arms of the Spanish Army Sanitary Brigade

Coat of arms of the Medical Brigate

Spanish Army Chinook

CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

Land Forces Command[]

Heavy Forces[]

  • 12th Reconnaissance Cavalry Regiment “Farnesio” (Santovenia de Pisuerga, Valladolid) with Leopard 2E tanks and VEC-M1 cavalry scout vehicles
  • 2nd Cavalry BrigadeCastillejos” (Zaragoza)
    • HQ Squadron
    • 4th Light Armored Cavalry Regiment “Pavia” with Centauro wheeled tank-destroyers
    • 8th Light Armored Cavalry Regiment “Lusitania” with Centauro wheeled tank-destroyers
    • 11th Light Armored Cavalry Regiment “España” with Centauro wheeled tank-destroyers
    • 20th Field Artillery Regiment with 155/52 APU-SIAC 155mm towed howitzers
    • 22nd Engineer Battalion
    • 22nd Logistic Group
    • 2nd Signal Company
  • 10th Mechanized Infantry BrigadeGuzmán el Bueno” (Cerro Muriano, Córdoba)
    • HQ Battalion
    • I/2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion “Princesa” with Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles
    • II/2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion “Lepanto” with Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles
    • IV/10th Armored Infantry Battalion “Málaga" with Leopard 2E tanks
    • 10th Self-propelled Field Artillery Group with M109A5 self-propelled howitzers
    • 10th Mechanized Engineer Battalion
    • 10th Logistic Group
    • 10th Mechanized Signal Company
  • 11th Mechanized Infantry Brigade “Extremadura” (Botoa, Badajoz).
    • HQ Battalion
    • 6th Mechanized Infantry Regiment “Saboya”
      • I/6th Mechanized Infantry Battalion “Cantabria” with Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles
      • II/6th Mechanized Infantry Battalion “Las Navas” with Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles
    • IV/16th Armored Infantry Battalion “Mérida” with Leopard 2E tanks
    • 11th Self-propelled Field Artillery Group with M109A5 self-propelled howitzers
    • 11th Mechanized Engineer Battalion
    • 11th Logistic Group
    • 11th Mechanized Signal Company
  • 12th Armored Infantry BrigadeGuadarrama” (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid).
    • HQ Battalion
    • I/31st Mechanized Infantry Battalion “Covadonga” with Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles
    • II/61st Armored Infantry Battalion “Wad-Ras” with Leopard 2E tanks
    • III/61st Armored Infantry Battalion “León” with Leopard 2E tanks
    • 12th Self-propelled Field Artillery Group with M109A5 self-propelled howitzers
    • 12th Mechanized Engineer Battalion
    • 12th Logistic Group
    • 12th Mechanized Signal Company

Light Forces[]

Note that Bandera (Flags) are the names of the battalions of the Spanish Legion and the Parachute Infantry Brigade and the old term of Tercio is used to identify Spanish Legion regiments.

  • 2nd Spanish Legion BrigadeHM King Alfonso XIII” (Viator, Almería)
    • Legion HQ
    • HQ Bandera of the Legion Brigade
    • 3rd Spanish Legion Tercio "Don Juan de Austria"
      • VII Spanish Legion Bandera “Valenzuela” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
      • VIII Spanish Legion Bandera “Colón” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • 4th Spanish Legion Tercio "Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma"
      • X (Air-transportable) Spanish Legion Bandera “Millán Astray” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • 2nd Spanish Legion Reconnaissance Group "Catholic Monarchs" with VEC-M1 cavalry scout vehicles
    • 2nd Spanish Legion Field Artillery Group with L-118A1 105mm light field howitzers
    • 2nd Spanish Legion Engineer Bandera
    • 2nd Spanish Legion Logistic Group
    • 2nd Spanish Legion Signals Company
  • 7th Light (Air-transportable) Infantry Brigade “Galicia” (Figueirido, Pontevedra)
    • HQ Battalion
    • I/3rd Light Infantry Battalion “Toledo” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • II/3rd Light Infantry Battalion “San Quintín” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • III/29th Light Infantry Battalion “Zamora” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • 7th Reconnaissance Cavalry Squadron "Santiago" with VEC-M1 cavalry scout vehicles
    • 7th Field Artillery Group with L-118A1 105mm light field howitzers
    • 7th Engineer Battalion
    • 7th Logistic Group
    • 7th Signal Company
  • 6th Parachute Infantry BrigadeAlmogávares” (Paracuellos del Jarama, Madrid) also known as BRIPAC.
    • HQ Bandera
    • 1st Parachute Infantry Bandera “Roger de Flor
    • 2nd Parachute Infantry Bandera “Roger de Lauria
    • 3rd Parachute Infantry Bandera “Ortiz de Zárate” (Murcia)
    • 6th Parachute Artillery Group with L-118A1 105mm light field howitzers
    • 6th Parachute Engineer Battalion
    • 6th Logistic Group
    • 6th Parachute Signal Company
  • Mountain Troops Command (Jaca, Huesca)
    • HQ Battalion
    • I/64th Mountain Infantry Battalion “Pirineos” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • II/66th Mountain Infantry Battalion “Montejurra” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • III/62nd Mountain Infantry Battalion “Badajoz” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • IV/62rd[Clarification needed] Mountain Infantry Battalion “Barcelona" with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
  • 5th Light Infantry BrigadeSan Marcial” (Vitoria, Alava), is the army's training unit for international missions.
    • HQ Battalion
    • I/67th Light Infantry Battalion “Legazpi
    • III/45th Light Infantry Battalion "Guipúzcoa"

Ceuta General Command[]

  • Ceuta General Command
    • HQ Battalion
    • 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment “Montesa” with Leopard 2A4 tanks and Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles
    • 2nd Spanish Legion Tercio "Duke of Alba"
      • IV Spanish Legion Bandera “Cristo de Lepanto” with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • 54th Regulares Light Infantry Regiment “Ceuta”
    • 30th Mixed Artillery Regiment (Field & Air-defense Artillery) with 155/52 APU-SIAC 155mm towed howitzers and Mistral air-defense missiles
    • 7th Engineer Regiment
    • 23rd Logistic Group
    • 17th Signal Company

Melilla General Command[]

  • Melilla General Command
    • HQ Battalion
    • 10th Armored Cavalry Regiment “Alcántara” with Leopard 2A4 tanks and Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles
    • 1st Spanish Legion Tercio "Great Captain Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba"
      • I Spanish Legion Mechanized Bandera* with BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
    • 52nd Regulares Light Infantry Regiment “Melilla”
    • 32nd Mixed Artillery Regiment (Field & Air-defense Artillery) with 155/52 APU-SIAC 155mm towed howitzers and Mistral air-defense missiles
    • 8th Engineer Regiment
    • 24th Logistic Group
    • 18th Signal Company

*I Bandera name "Commander Franco" is not used officially anymore by the Bandera

Balearics General Command[]

Support units of the land forces[]

  • Special Operations Command (Alicante)
    • HQ Group
    • 3rd Special Forces Battalion "Valencia"
    • 4th Special Forces Battalion "Tercio del Ampurdán"
    • 19th Special Forces Battalion "Maderal Oleaga"
    • Signal Company
  • Field Artillery Command (San Andrés del Rabanedo), León)
    • 4th Coastal Artillery Regiment (San Fernando, Cádiz) with 155/52 APU (V07) 155mm towed howitzers
    • 11th Field Artillery Regiment (Castrillo del Val, Burgos) with M109A5 self-propelled howitzers
    • 62nd Rocket Artillery Regiment (Astorga, León) with Teruel MRL multiple rocket launchers
    • 63rd Field Artillery Regiment (San Andrés del Rabanedo) with 155/52 APU-SIAC 155mm towed howitzers
  • Air Defence Command (Madrid)
    • 71st Air Defence Artillery Regiment (Madrid)
    • 72nd Air Defence Artillery Regiment (Zaragoza) with MIM-23 HAWK surface-to-air missile systems
    • 73rd Air Defence Artillery Regiment (Cartagena, Murcia) with Skyguard-Aspide surface-to-air missile systems
    • 74th Air Defence Artillery Regiment (San Roque, Cádiz) with MIM-23 HAWK and MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile systems
    • 81st Air Defence Artillery Regiment (Marines, Valencia) with Roland surface-to-air missile systems
    • Signal Battalion (Madrid)
  • Engineer Command (Salamanca)
    • 1st Engineer Regiment (Caceres)
    • 11th (Road Building) Engineer Regiment (Castrillo del Val)
    • 12th (Bridge) Engineer Regiment (Zaragoza)
  • Army Aviation (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid)
    • 1st Attack Helicopter Battalion (Almagro, Ciudad Real) with Eurocopter Tiger helicopters
    • 2nd Emergency Helicopter Battalion (Bétera, Valencia) with Eurocopter AS 532 helicopters
    • 3rd Maneuver Helicopter Battalion” (Agoncillo, La Rioja)
    • 4th Maneuver Helicopter Battalion (El Copero, Sevilla)
    • 5th Transport Helicopter Battalion (Colmenar Viejo) with Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters
    • Signal Battalion (Colmenar Viejo)
    • Logistic Support Group (Colmenar Viejo)
  • Signal Brigade (Bétera, Valencia)
    • 1st Signal Regiment (Castrillo del Val, Burgos)
    • 2nd Signal Regiment (Alcalá de Henares, Madrid)
    • 21st Signal Regiment (Marines, Valencia)
    • 31st Electronic Warfare Regiment (El Pardo, Madrid)

Other Units of the Land Forces:

Canarias General Command[]

  • Canarias General Command
    • 94th Air-defense Artillery Regiment with NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems
    • 6th Maneuver Helicopter Battalion (San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife) with Bell 212 helicopters
    • 16th Light Infantry Brigade “Canarias” (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas)
      • HQ Battalion
      • 9th Light Infantry Regiment “Soria” (Fuerteventura, Las Palmas)
      • 49th Light Infantry Regiment “Tenerife” (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife)
      • 50th Light Infantry Regiment “Canarias”
      • 93rd Field Artillery Regiment (San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife)
      • 15th Engineer Battalion (San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife)
      • 16th Logistic Group
      • 16th Signal Company

Logistic Forces Command[]

  • Logistic Forces Command (La Coruna)
    • Logistic Brigade (Zaragoza)
      • 11th Logistic Support Group (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid).
      • 21st Logistic Support Group (Sevilla)
      • 41st Logistic Support Group (Zaragoza)
      • 61st Logistic Support Group (Valladolid)
      • 81st Logistic Support Group (San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife)
    • Medical Brigade (Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid)
      • 1st Medical Battalion
      • 2nd Medical Battalion
      • Field Hospital Battalion
      • Medical Logistic Support Battalion



Combat vehicles[]

  • 219 Leopardo 2E (A6) Main Battle Tank
  • 108 Leopard 2 A4 Main Battle Tank ( 54 in reserve )
  • 84 VRC-105B1 Centauro wheeled tank-destroyer
  • 4 VCREC Centauro
  • 356 Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles in five versions
  • 500+ M113 armored personnel carriers in seven versions
  • 648 BMR-M1 medium six-wheeled APC
  • 135 VEC-M1 cavalry scout vehicle
  • 90 TOM Bv206S tracked vehicle
  • 185 IVECO LMV Lince 4WD tactical vehicle (575 total order)
  • 100 RG-31 Mk5E Nyala (MRAP) 4WD tactical vehicle (MRAP)
  • 10 Cardom Recoil Mortar System (RMS)
  • 6 Husky 2G (mine detection system)
  • URO VAMTAC, all terrain 4x4 tactical vehicle (more than 1,500)
  • Santana Anibal, an all terrain 4x4 utility vehicle (more than 1,500)
  • Iveco Eurocargo all terrain utility vehicle
  • Iveco M250W.37
  • VEMPAR Tactic Heavy Lorry 450HP, 20t cargo lorry


  • M109A5 - 155/39 mm self-propelled howitzer, as the M109A5(+96)
  • 155/52 APU SBT - 155/52 mm howitzer (84)
  • L-118A1 - 105/37 mm light field howitzer (59) with Base Bleed (range 21 km) by Expal
  • Teruel MRL - Self Propelled Multi Launch Rocket System (out of service)
  • OERLIKON GDF-005 35/90 35 mm Anti-aircraft artillery piece (92)
  • Raytheon MIM-23 HAWK - Surface-to-Air missile system (36)
  • Raytheon MIM-104 Patriot - Surface-to-Air missile system (8) 1 Battery
  • Roland - Surface-to-Air missile system (18)
  • Skyguard-Aspide - Surface-to-Air missile system (13)
  • NASAMS - Surface-to-Air missile system (8)
  • MBDA SATCP Mistral missile - Anti-aircraft infrared homing missile system (168)


Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[5] Notes
Agusta-Bell 212 Flag of the United States USA Transport helicopter 5 Spanish designation HU.18
Bell UH-1H Iroquois Flag of the United States USA Transport helicopter 31 Spanish designation HU.10
Boeing CH-47D Chinook Flag of the United States USA Heavy transport helicopter 17 Spanish designation HT.17
Bölkov BO-105 Flag of Germany Germany Light attack helicopter 28 Spanish designation HA.15
Eurocopter AS332B1 Super Puma Flag of Europe European Union Transport helicopter 16 Spanish designation HU.21
Eurocopter AS532UL Cougar Flag of Europe European Union Transport helicopter 14 Spanish designation HU.21L
Eurocopter EC-135T-2 Flag of Europe European Union training helicopter 11 Spanish Designation HE.26
Eurocopter Tigre Flag of Europe European Union Heavy attack helicopter 6 18 more on order
NHI NH90 Flag of Europe European Union Transport helicopter 38 on order (TTH version)

Unmanned aerial vehicles[]

See also[]


  • Instruction no. 59/2005, of 4 April 2005, from the chief of the army staff on army organisation and function regulations, published in B.O.D. NO. 80 of 26 April 2005
  • Lehardy, Diego, Spanish Army in a difficult phase of its transformation, RID magazine, July 1991.

External links and further reading[]

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