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May my first words be as Brigadier General, Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Brigade “Tercio de Armada”, to welcome all those who want to learn about this essential unit of the Spanish Navy up close. From this site, we intend to make our Unit known and not only for what it is nowadays, but also for what it historically represents, because, despite being a modern unit, it is the continuation of the glorious traditions of the Tercios de la Mar Océano and, therefore, heir to the glorious history of the first Marine Corps in the world (1537).

The Marine Corps Brigade “Tercio de Armada”, together with the Protection Force and the Special Naval Warfare Force, is part of the Spanish Marine Corps Force, and therefore reports directly to the Commandant of the Spanish Marine Corps.

The BRIMAR-TEAR is the expeditionary component of this Force and as such, within the capacity of projecting the Naval Power ashore, its main task is to carry out military operations ashore from the sea integrated into units of the Spanish Fleet. However, its ground combat capabilities make it possible to use it in purely land operations, beyond the coast, integrated into those task organizations that could be constituted.

By clicking on the different links, you will be able to "land" in each of our units and find out the men and women who are part of them, what their mission is, what they do and how and where they are get ready. In the photo gallery you will find Marines aboard ships, helicopters, assault landing crafts, armoured tanks or amphibious vehicles in different scenarios, both national and international ones. You will see Marines armed with the most modern military equipment, heavily laden and exercising under the gruelling conditions that characterize life for the brave at sea and ashore.

But by the same token, you will be able to contemplate impeccably dressed Marines in a uniform full of symbols, with colours and badges whose right to wear was won by our predecessors in bloody battles.

You will be able to verify, in short, that here only one vocation is learned and developed, the one of a Marine.

A cordial greeting.


Brigadier General Commander of the Marine Corps Brigade “Tercio de Armada”

The Marine Corps Brigade “Tercio de Armada” is located in San Fernando, a city to which the Marine Corps has been linked since 1769, when the Marine Battalions that were previously located in the city of Cádiz moved to it. Since 1794, the Marine Corps units located in San Fernando have been housed in the San Carlos Marine Battalion Barracks, which continues to be our home today. This location stands out for its proximity to the Rota Naval Base where the amphibious ships from which the Brigade carries out its main missions are located, and for its proximity to the Sierra del Retin Training Camp, the main training area for the Brigade.

The Marine Corps Brigade “Tercio de Armada”, whose commanding officer is a Brigadier General (GETEAR), is made up of an organic group of combat, combat support and combat services support units, in charge of carrying out their main mission, constituting the Landing Force of our Amphibious Force. Likewise, it has two other units, the Major Assistantship and the Administrative Economic Service, which provide daily support in the quartering of the former through various elements of logistical support and general service.

The BRIMAR-TEAR is capable of living and fighting with its own elements for a time that is in proportion to its entity and logistical autonomy.

The BRIMAR-TEAR is characterized not only by an exclusive expeditionary and amphibious mentality, but also by integrating elements in its organization that are different from those of an analogous Army unit, since it has the support provided by naval means and platforms from which it operates. This set of characteristics and its specific training make the BRIMAR-TEAR an elite unit suitable for expeditionary action.

The great flexibility of the BRIMAR-TEAR lies in its naval nature, which allows it to form a perfect symbiosis with the amphibious ships of the Fleet Amphibious and Projection Group (GRUPFLOT), endowing the group with the intrinsic characteristics of the Naval Force: expeditionary nature, logistical autonomy, freedom of movement, prepositioning capacity in international waters at any point on the globe and a proportionate and scalable response. To achieve this, the BRIMAR units operate using very diverse means: helicopters, fast boats, assault boats, amphibious vehicles, parachutes, armoured vehicles...

The Brigadier General, Commanding Officer of the BRIMAR-TEAR, has a Colonel as Executive Officer and is assisted by a Brigade Staff in the exercise of his command function.

Its organic structure is made up of seven battalions/groups, each one commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel of the Corps, which are as follows:

  • Headquarters Battalion (BCG)
  • First Landing Battalion (BD-I)
  • Second Landing Battalion (BD-II)
  • Third Mechanized Landing Battalion (BDMZ-III)
  • Amphibious Mobility Group (GRUMA)
  • Landing Artillery Group (GAD)
  • Combat Service Support Group (GASC)

The Marines of the Marine Corps Brigade “Tercio de Armada” are, above all, infanteers who are part of an elite unit. As such, we must try harder than anyone else and demand the most of ourselves. Knowing that we are the repository of a legacy of values and virtues that have distinguished the Corps over five centuries, we never give up. Our training is aimed at developing in us an indomitable fighting spirit and an unbreakable will to win.

A routine day begins in the Brigade at 7:30 in the morning. Inevitably, physical training is the first activity of the day, unless another training activity prevents it. After this, tactical exercises are our main task to what we are devoted. Practices with armoured vehicles, inflatable boats, CBN equipment, Fast-Rope training or long walks under any weather conditions, constitute the daily work of a Marine in our unit. All of this alternates with the shooting exercises that take place in the Shooting Gallery and in the Rifle and Pistol Shooting Simulator (Victrix).

When necessary, these activities are carried out after sunset to provide adequate training in tactics and night shooting.

The Sierra del Retín Training Camp (C.A.S.R.), owned by the Navy, is the "second home" of the Marines of the Marine Brigade “Tercio de Armada”. It is located in the centre of the Barbate cove, next to the mouth of the river with the same name, open to the sea, making it ideal for training Fleet units in amphibious operations.

Its geographical location is very convenient, since it is relatively close to important naval centres for the amphibious capacity of the Fleet as San Fernando and Rota, where our unit, landing crafts and amphibious ships are located.

It has excellent firing ranges for infantry weapons and heavy weapons. Its width provides the necessary maneuvering space for the deployment of a brigade in the execution of amphibious operations. Due to its characteristics, it annually hosts the most important amphibious exercises of the Fleet, as well as international exercises with units from the US, Morocco, NATO and the EU.

But as the expeditionary force that it is, the members of the BRIMAR-TEAR carry out their training in other geographical areas of Spain as well. Among them, Álvarez de Sotomayor Training Camp in Almería, San Gregorio in Zaragoza and Chinchilla in Albacete.

Similarly, units of the BRIMAR-TEAR frequently land at the Italian Armed Forces Training Camp of Capo Teulada, in southern Sardinia, and occasionally in France, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Turkey or even Egypt.

Training in special techniques such as shooting with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles is carried out in the facilities owned by the Army.

The military ceremonies to honour the authorities who visit the unit, pay tribute to the fallen comrades-in-arms or commemorate battles and combats are also part of the job, and have their maximum expression in the celebration of the anniversary of the Corps that is held every February the 27th.

The embryo of the original Tercio de Armada, the current Marine Corps Brigade-Tercio de Armada, was the so-called Special Group, created in 1957 in San Fernando (Cádiz). To do so, marines from the different Regiment-size units of the Spanish Marine Corps at that time: Tercio del Sur in San Fernando, Tercio del Norte in Ferrol, Tercio de Levante in Cartagena and Tercio de Baleares in Mallorca, plus personnel from the Marine Corps School in San Fernando were provided. The Special Group was under the command of a Brigadier General.

The Special Group lasted twelve years during which it carried out an intensive training program to rebuild from zero the amphibious capability of the Spanish Marine Corps, conducting numerous military training and amphibious training exercises. In 1961 the Navy created the Amphibious Command, assigning naval means to carry out amphibious operations. In 1969 Special Group forces landed in Equatorial Guinea to protect the evacuation of Spanish residents.

Months later units of the Special Group and the Spanish Legion participated in the retrocession of Sidi Ifni to the Kingdom of Morocco, lowering the Spanish flag of that region.

The traditional and old name of "Tercio de Armada" is recovered by Decree 1148/1968. This new unit was based on the Special Group, constituting the fundamental nucleus of the Marine Corps forces. The Tercio de Armada adopted the crowned double-headed eagle as its shield and over it the shields of the Tercio de Armada del Mar Océano (1566) and the Tercio Nuevo de la Armada del Mar Océano (1682). The aforementioned decree 1148/1968 establishes:

“The Marine Corps is a corps made up of special troops. It constitutes a force of the Navy whose mission is to carry out military operations ashore from the sea, as the Fleet landing force, in accordance with the plans drawn up by the command. As an operational force of the fleet, the Tercio de Armada will be specially prepared for its immediate intervention in amphibious operations.”

In 1975 the Tercio de Armada, embarking on the ships of the Amphibious Command of the Fleet, went to the Spanish Sahara ready to intervene defending the interests of the Homeland.

Since 1996, various task organizations of the Marine Corps Brigade “Tercio de Armada” have been deployed or are still deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haiti, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Operation Sophia in Libyan waters, EUNAVFOR Atalanta against piracy in HoA and the European Union Training Mission in Mali.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has participated in Operation “Balmis” and Operation “Baluarte”, contributing to the fight against this virus.


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