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Southern Regiment (TERSUR)
Southern Regiment (TERSUR)
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Southern Regiment (TERSUR)
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Southern Regiment (TERSUR)
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Southern Regiment (TERSUR)
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Southern Regiment (TERSUR)
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Southern Regiment (TERSUR)
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Southern Regiment (TERSUR)
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Southern Regiment (TERSUR)
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Southern Regiment (TERSUR)

Welcome to the "Tercio del Sur" (Southern Regiment) website. The Southern Tercio is entrusted with the protection and security of all naval facilities in the Bay of Cádiz area.

Our headquarters are located in San Fernando, near Rota Naval Base. It is one of the Marine Corps units with more tradition. Its flag is decorated with the sash of the Order of San Fernando, symbol of the "Cruz Laureada de San Fernando", awarded after the heroic campaigns in San Pedro Abanto and Caserío de Murrieta under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Albacete y Fuster.

The Southern Tercio is based, since 1798, at the military town of San Carlos and within the city of San Fernando. The Headquarters are shared with the Marine Corps "Tercio de Armada".

The current Tercio workforce consists of 546 men and women: 1 Colonel, 28 officers, 71 NCOs and 446 soldiers.

he Southern Tercio is made up of the following units:

  • Staff: It provides the necessary logistic support elements to the Tercio, including communications, transport and different services.
  • 3rd Security Company: It provides garrisons, guards and naval detachments wherever necessary. It also provides trained operational units for Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO).
  • Naval Police Company: It provides VIP escorts, security deployments in military events and ceremonies, and transport of ammunition and detainees.
    • Dog Unit
    • Naval Police Platoon
    • Escort Group
  • Rota Naval Base Security Unit: It is in charge of the security of the Naval Base.
  • Staff and Service Company:
    • Dog Unit
    • Communications Platoon
    • Service Platoon
  • Music Unit: For military and civilian celebrations in the zone.

The Southern Tercio is part of the Protection Force and therefore, its mission is to provide security and protection to Spanish Navy personnel and facilities within the Bay of Cádiz area.

Our daily activity is centered on training our men and women for MC action. Other responsibilities (escort duties, naval police, mechanics and drivers) are also taken into account, as well as physical training, firing drills and boarding exercises in order to be ready for MIO operations from Spanish Navy ships.

Weapons: STAR BM and 30M pistols; HK G-36 and KVE rifles; 5.56 and 7.62 MINIMI machineguns; 12.7mm BROWNING machineguns; MOSSBERG shotguns; AWF-308 ACCURACY rifles, and grenade launchers.

Vehicles: Light vehicles: Nissan PATHFINDER and NAVARA; 4.5 ton PEGASO and IVECO Lorries; transport and riot police Lorries; PEUGEOT 206, 307 and 407 and an ambulance.

For most national exercises, the TERSUR deploys forces in several ranges: Sierra del Retín (Cádiz), Rota Naval Base, Álvarez de Sotomayor (Almería) and Los Alijares (Toledo).

The Tercio took part in an operation in Bosnia from December 2009 to February 2010 integrated in FIMEX BH - IX.

Operation CENTINELA ARAGONÉS. Protection of some sections of the High Speed Railway during the Zaragoza International Exhibition in the summer 2008.

Operation ATALANTA against piracy in Somalia.

Maritime surveillance operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR in the Mediterranean.

Maritime surveillance operation LEVRIER along with the French Navy.

Operation LIBRE HIDALGO in the Lebanon with the Dog Unit.

The origins of the Southern Tercio can be found in one of the six Regiments that the liberal government of Spain set up after the French invasion of 1808. In the course of the 19th Century this Unit participated in many operations and missions both, at home and in the few remaining colonies in America and the Philippines.

During the Peninsular War, and under the joint command of Lord Wellington, this regiment took part in a series of important battles, among them: Bailén, Ocaña, Talavera, Fuentes Frías and Tolosa.

Upon the death of king Ferdinand VII in 1833, his daughter Isabella II was appointed Queen of Spain, but his uncle, the Infante Carlos María rebelled against this decision and the 1st Carlist War broke out. Supporters of the Infante Carlos María were defeated by General Espartero. Among the governmental forces, several Southern Tercio units participated in different battles, decidedly contributing to the final victory. For their heroic action, Lieutenant-Colonel Usel de Guimbarda and Captain Tacón were awarded the most important Spanish decoration: the "Cruz Laureada de San Fernando".

Also worth mentioning are the Cádiz and Puerto Real campaigns in 1871 during the reign of king Amadeo I. During the 1st Spanish Republic, Tercio units helped to put out the Cádiz secessionist uprising, and conquered La Carraca, San Carlos, San Fernando and Cádiz.

The 3rd Carlist War broke out with the establishment of king Alfonso XII. The 2nd Battalion of the 1st Regiment was dispatched to Cuenca, Guadalajara and Bilbao to fight the insurgents. In this last city, some of the fiercest battles took place. In San Pedro Abanto and Caserío de Murrieta, the 2nd Battalion under the command of Lt-Col Albacete y Fuster lost a third of its forces in the fight and the unit was awarded the "Cruz Laureada de San Fernando".

The 5th Company of the 1st Battalion was entrusted with the personal escort of king Alfonso XII during the combats.

Abroad, the 1st Regiment deployed in Cuba and the Philippines in the second half of the 19th Century. In Cuba different battalions took part in many skirmishes and rebellions until the Island got the independence, returning to Spain in 1899.

The only remaining Spanish colonies in the 20th Century were Equatorial Guinea and some Moroccan regions. From 1911 to 1925 the first expeditionary battalion deployed in Larache (Morocco) and took part in many battles: T'Zelatza, Measak Ain Messora, Suq Arbaa, Alcazarquivir and El Gaitón.

The expeditionary battalion also joined the other Services in the Landing of Alhucemas. This was the Spanish Government response to the so-called Defeat of Annual, where more than 10,000 men lost their lives at the hands of Abd-el-Krim's forces.

In Guinea, there were on and off deployments until 1922. The Tercio was back in 1969 helping with the evacuation of civilian personnel from the colony after its Independence.

During the Spanish Civil War, many operations stand out; among them the ones in Córdoba, Badajoz, Madrid, Cartagena and the Bay of Cádiz.

In 1958 the Corps established the first beachhead in El-Aaiun (Western Sahara) in accordance with the new amphibious doctrines and techniques.


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