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Welcome to the website of the 1st Landing Battalion (BD-I). You are invited to learn about its activities, training, participation in operations, etc. It is the oldest landing battalion of the expeditionary Tercio de Armada.

Our battalion is based in the main Tercio de Armada Headquarters of San Carlos, near San Fernando (Cádiz).

The current workforce of the BD-I is 735 Marines under the command of 1 Lieutenant-Colonel. There are 28 officers, 37 NCOs and 669 soldiers.

Battalion Structure:

  • Battalion Command and Staff
  • Service and Staff Company
  • Weapons Company
  • Three Rifle Companies

Battalion Command and Staff. The battalion has an executive officer and a Staff to assist the Commanding Officer in command duties, planning and execution of operations. It includes the necessary personnel to carry out command, control and support tasks.

  • XO and Staff
  • Personnel/Organization (S-1)
  • Intelligence (S-2)
  • Operations (S-3)
  • Logistics (S-4)

Service and Staff Company. It includes the necessary elements to set up the Battalion command post with reconnaissance, intelligence and surveillance elements. It also provides logistic support to subordinate units and the required communications equipment to conduct and sustain operations.

  • Company Command and Staff: It is commanded by a Marine Corps captain under the direct command of the Battalion Lieutenant-Colonel.
  • Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Platoon: It warrants the command action, and provides the necessary communications elements to monitor and support subordinate or assigned units. It has satellite, telephone and radio assets.
  • Reconnaissance Platoon (SERECO): It gathers intelligence with reconnaissance patrols within the battalion area of influence. It also provides snipers for long distance accuracy firing and force protection. It has paratrooper deployment capability, divers and laser designators for air and artillery targets.
  • Service Platoon: It provides the necessary logistic support to ensure self-sufficiency.

Weapons Company. It operates the weapon systems of the BD-I.

  • Command and Staff Company: It is commanded by a Marine Corps captain under the command of the Battalion Lieutenant-Colonel, and acts as gunfire support coordinator.
  • 81 mm Mortar Platoon (M81): It provides indirect fire against enemy troops and targets up to 7 kms. It has six pieces mounted on Hummer vehicles.
  • Medium Anti-tank Missile Platoon: It has six SPIKE-type missile launchers.
  • Heavy Machineguns / Grenade Launchers (AMP/LAG): It provides medium range fire to counter and suppress enemy forces. It has eight light vehicles with 12.7 mm heavy machineguns or 40 mm grenade launchers, depending on the mission assigned.

Rifle Companies. They are organized to fight anywhere. Tactical mobility is achieved by means of amphibious vehicles, boats and helicopters.

  • Command and Staff Company: It is commanded by a Marine Corps captain, directly under the command of the Battalion Commander.
  • Three Rifle Platoons: They are the maneuver element of the company.
  • A Weapons Platoon with three medium machinegun Squads and a mortar Squad.

All Marines use the standard assault rifle HK G-36 (5.56 mm). For defense against armored vehicles, riflemen use C-90 anti-tank launchers.

Landing Battalions are always in permanent readiness, capable of a fast deployments when and wherever necessary.

The Landing Battalion is a key and versatile element of the BRIMAR. It can operate with or without reinforcements, independently or integrated into a larger unit, and in particular, into the Reinforced Landing Battalion (BRD) for amphibious operations.

Main features:

  • Flexibility to operate with helicopters, boats, mechanized vehicles or on foot in difficult environments (urban, rural, mountains, etc).
  • Adaptation to different scenarios.
  • Occupation capability (an intrinsic characteristic of any Infantry unit).
  • Multi-purpose capability to conduct any type of operations.
  • Readiness. Capability to embark at short notice.

With these assignments, and within the Marine Corps context, our battalion trains daily in order to improve its capabilities for amphibious, expeditionary and peace-keeping operations.

Our daily activities are centered in training the best Marine Corps men and women, with demanding physical routines and multiple tactical exercises with armored vehicles, inflatable craft, NBC equipment, fast-rope training, or cross-country marches. All these doings are complemented with all-weather firing drills at the different ranges.

Vehicles:

Mainly Hummer vehicles in different versions:

  • Light armored Hummers with heavy machineguns.
  • Hummer “Shelter” with command and communication systems.
  • Cargo Hummers for personnel and materiel.

Weapons:

Individual weapons:

  • 9 mm LLAMA M-82 and FN P9 pistols.
  • HK G-36 (5.56 mm) assault rifles.
  • AMELI and MINIMI light machineguns
  • MG-35 and 7.62 MINIMI medium machineguns.
  • Shotguns.
  • ACCURACY and BARRET rifles.
  • 40 mm HK grenade launchers.

Group weapons:

  • 12.7 mm heavy machineguns.
  • LAG-40 grenade launchers.
  • 60 and 81 mm mortars

Our main training area is the “Sierra del Retín” range, near Barbate (Cádiz).

The extensive grounds permit exercises with infantry and heavy weapons, and the deployment of the Brigade with all its personnel and equipment.

The BD-I also trains in other national ranges: Álvarez de Sotomayor in Almería, San Gregorio in Zaragoza, Pájara in the Canary Islands and Chinchilla in Albacete.

Given its expeditionary nature, BD-I units carry out landings and amphibious exercises in foreign ranges like the Italian Capo Teulada in the south of Sardinia, Turkey, Egypt or Norway.

The unit has participated in deployments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haiti and the Lebanon and also on board Spanish ships in Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO).

The Marine Corps Special Group was set up in 1957 as an experimental unit intended to test the operational doctrine and tactical employment of the Marines.

The baptism of fire of this Unit, known then as the “1st Light Battalion”, took place soon afterwards when a beachhead was created in El-Aaiun (Western Sahara) in 1958 to repel an attack of rebel and insurgent groups in the former Spanish colony.

Since then, this Battalion has taken part in most Tercio de Armada missions and deployments: Ifni, Western Sahara, Equatorial Guinea, Central America, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Albania, Lebanon and the Balkans.

The BD-I coat of arms is a red rampant lion on a yellow and blue shield. The lion represents the courage and might of the Marines. Its motto in Latin: “Quia Nominor Leo” (Because my name is Lion) mirrors the bravery of this unit.

    

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