Bolivian Armed Forces. How the country in the Andes defends itself

Bolivian Armed Forces. How the country in the Andes defends itself
Bolivian Armed Forces. How the country in the Andes defends itself
Anonim

Over the past years, Bolivia has become one of the main partners and allies of Russia in Latin America. This happened after Juan Evo Morales, a well-known left-wing politician who became the first Indian as head of state, came to power in the country (despite the fact that Indians make up the majority of the country's population). One of the main areas of cooperation is military. Bolivia purchases Russian weapons and intends in the future to use the services of Russian military specialists in the training of personnel of the Bolivian armed forces.

Image

The history of the Bolivian army, like that of the armed forces of other Latin American states, goes back to the era of the struggle for independence. As you know, back in 1532-1538. the territory of modern Bolivia was conquered by the Spanish conquistadors, after which it was included in the Viceroyalty of Peru, then in the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata. Until the proclamation of independence in 1825, the lands of modern Bolivia were called "Upper Peru". The successful anti-colonial struggle led to a change in the name of the new independent country - it was named in honor of Simon Bolivar, one of the most important commanders of the war of independence. In 1836-1839. Bolivia and Peru formed a single state - the Confederation of Peru and Bolivia. Throughout its history, Bolivia has known many wars and many times more military coups. As in most other Latin American countries, the army has always played a decisive role here. Its creator is officially considered Marshal Antonio Jose Francisco de Sucre and Alcala (1795-1830) - one of the closest associates of Simon Bolivar, who led the liberation of the territories of modern Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia from Spanish domination. On June 19, 1826, Sucre (pictured) became president of Bolivia and held this post until 1828, when, as a result of internal political struggles, he was forced to return to Ecuador. As a military man, Sucre paid much attention to the creation of an army and police in sovereign Bolivia.

Currently, the Bolivian Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas de Bolivia) are composed of the ground forces - the Bolivian Army (Ejercito Boliviano), the Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Boliviana) and the Navy (Armada Boliviana). Although the country's armed forces are officially recruited on a contract basis, when it is not possible to recruit the proper number of contract soldiers, a call is made for 12 months of male citizens of the country who have reached the age of 18. Much attention is paid to the initial military training of high school students and working youths aged 14-17.

The ground forces of modern Bolivia number about 55, 5 thousand soldiers and officers and include combined arms, engineering, auxiliary and aviation units. Subordinate to the general command of the army are: 1st infantry regiment of the presidential guard "Colorados" (as part of 2 infantry battalions), 1st armored cavalry regiment "Kalama", 236th artillery regiment of air defense, 221st mechanized reconnaissance regiment "Tarapaco ", 224th armored cavalry regiment, as well as special forces in the 12th ranger regiment" Manchego ", 16th special purpose infantry regiment" Jordan ", 18th parachute infantry regiment of army special forces" Victoria ", 24th mountain the ranger regiment; and the army aviation, which includes the 291st and 292nd army aviation companies.

Image

On the territory of 6 military districts of the country, 10 army divisions are deployed, including: 8 cavalry regiments, 23 infantry regiments, including 2 airborne and 2 mountain regiments, 6 artillery regiments, 3 military police battalions, 6 engineering battalions, 3 environmental battalions.In addition, the army includes military educational institutions, including: National Military Academy of the Army, School of Military Intelligence, Military Engineering School, School of Military Communications, School of Military Police, Cavalry School, Artillery School, Command and Staff School, Sergeant Military School, Special Forces Training Center, Jungle Action Training Center. The Bolivian commando school "Condor" is famous all over the world.

The Bolivian Air Force has never been particularly powerful. Their armament and organizational structure were determined by the combat missions assigned to the country's air force. First of all, these include the fight against drug trafficking and countering rebel groups operating in the Bolivian jungle. Therefore, the Bolivian Air Force fleet includes aircraft and helicopters used for aerial surveillance, transporting military units and striking rebel groups.

Bolivian Armed Forces. How the country in the Andes defends itself

The formation of the Bolivian air force began in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1938, the Bolivian Air Force numbered about 60 aircraft, including fighters, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. The number of personnel reached 300 people, pilots and engineers were trained in Italy. Currently, the Bolivian Air Force is organized into air brigades, each of which includes up to three air groups. In addition, the Air Force includes the General Command of Control Systems in La Paz. In addition to aviation flight groups, air brigades also include air defense, engineering and radio technical support groups.

The history of the Bolivian Navy is very interesting. As you know, Bolivia is one of the two (the second is Paraguay) countries in South America that have no access to the sea. The country lost its sea coast as a result of the defeat in the Second Pacific War with Chile in 1879-1883. The loss of access to the sea has become one of the reasons for the economic backwardness of Bolivia. However, having lost its access to the sea, Bolivia, nevertheless, in 1963 created the Military River and Lake Forces, which in January 1966 were renamed the Naval Forces of Bolivia. The fleet operates on Lake Titicaca and large rivers, which are tributaries of the Amazon. The main tasks of the Bolivian fleet are to guard the border with Peru, passing, among other things, along Lake Titicaca, patrolling rivers in order to combat smuggling and drug trafficking. In addition, important propaganda functions are assigned to the fleet - as long as the fleet exists, in Bolivia, according to its leaders, naval consciousness and the hope of gaining access to the sea in the future are cultivated. Units of the Navy take part in national military parades and other ceremonies.

Image

The Bolivian Navy is armed with several dozen boats used for river patrols. The officers are educated at the Bolivian Naval Academy. The Bolivian naval forces are consulted by Argentine naval specialists working in the country. Young Bolivian naval officers undergo practical training on the ships of the Argentine Navy.

In addition to patrol boats, the Bolivian Navy includes the Naval Intelligence Service, the Immediate Response Group, the Diving Training Center, and the Amphibious Command Training Center. A special place is occupied by the Bolivian Marine Corps. It was formed after the creation of the Almiranti-Gru Marine Corps Battalion in the early 1980s. it numbered over 600 soldiers and officers and was stationed at a base on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The Bolivian Marine Corps currently has seven Marine battalions. Finally, the Bolivian Navy includes the National Maritime Security Corps, which is the naval police force.In fact, it duplicates the functions of the military police, performing a number of important tasks in the field of ensuring national security and the security of military service. These include: 1) ensuring the physical protection of high-ranking officials, 2) combating crime, smuggling and drug trafficking, 3) ensuring the safety of fuel infrastructure facilities. The National Marine Police Corps includes the 1st Naval Military Police Battalion, the 2nd Naval Military Police Battalion "Quiver", the 3rd Naval Military Police Battalion, the 4th Naval Military Police Battalion " Titicaca ".

The most elite regiment of the Bolivian army is undoubtedly the 1st Colorados Infantry Regiment, which performs the functions of the presidential guard and is stationed in the capital of the country, La Paz. The immediate task of the regiment is to ensure the physical security of the President of Bolivia and the protection of the Government Palace. The Colorados regiment includes two infantry battalions, the 201st and 202nd, stationed in the capital.

Image

The history of the Colorados regiment goes back to the period of the struggle for independence, but the first mention of it as an army unit dates back to 1857, when a battalion called Colorados appeared in the Bolivian army. The most severe discipline was introduced in the battalion, the soldiers were forbidden to leave and were exhausted by constant training and classes.

In the face of constant military coups, the elite unit quickly turned into a kind of "Praetorian Guard" of Bolivia and regularly participated in uprisings and coups. Presidents and military juntas, in turn, did not forget about the financing of the unit, since they hoped in exchange for their generosity to receive the support of its soldiers and officers. At the same time, the battalion (and then the regiment) "Kolorados" was not only a purely palace formation. He participated in all the wars that Bolivia went through during almost two centuries of its history as an independent state - in the wars with Chile, with Brazil, with Paraguay.

In the armed forces of Bolivia, the following hierarchy of military ranks is established (in brackets - the ranks of the Navy): 1) private (sailor), 2) dragoons, 3) corporal, 4) graduate student sergeant, 5) sergeant, 6) sergeant 2nd class, 7) sergeant 1 class, 8) sub-officer, 9) sub-officer of the 2nd class, 10) sub-officer of the 1st class, 11) senior sub-officer, 12) master-sub-officer 13) post-graduate officer, 14) junior lieutenant (alferes), 15) lieutenant (lieutenant of the frigate), 16) captain (ship lieutenant), 17) major (corvette captain), 18) lieutenant colonel (frigate captain), 19) colonel (ship captain), 20) brigadier general (rear admiral), 21) division general (vice -admiral), 22) army general (admiral).

Finally, in addition to the actual armed forces, there are paramilitaries in the Bolivian National Police. The history of the Bolivian police began with the decree of President Antonio José de Sucre, signed in 1826. In accordance with this decree, it was ordered in each department to introduce the position of the chief of police and to transfer to him a company of soldiers led by an officer. In 1832, a reorganization of the Bolivian law enforcement agencies took place, according to which the country's gendarmerie was administratively subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, but was still under the command of army officers.

Image

In 1937, another police reform was carried out in Bolivia, at that time closely cooperating with Mussolini's Italy. As a result of measures to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement, the paramilitary security police were merged with the Bolivian gendarmerie, military police and the army regiment of carabinieri. This is how the Bolivian Carabinieri Corps appeared, named after the Italian model. Military discipline was introduced in the carabinieri corps, and it itself turned into a unique military organization, which is part of both the law enforcement agencies and the country's armed forces.The number of this paramilitary structure is over 5,000 officers, sergeants and carabinieri. Bolivian carabinieri are assigned military ranks: 1) police agent, 2) corporal, 3) second sergeant, 4) first sergeant, 5) second sub-officer, 6) first sub-officer, 7) senior sub-officer, 8) super-sub-officer, 9) junior lieutenant, 10) lieutenant, 11) captain, 12) major, 13) lieutenant colonel, 14) colonel, 15) general director, 16) general-superior, 17) general-leader.

For a long time, the most important military partners of Bolivia were the United States and Argentina. However, after the coming to power of President Evo Morales, who speaks from left-wing and anti-imperialist positions and denounces US policy in Latin America and in the world in general, American-Bolivian relations have seriously deteriorated. Naturally, this was reflected in the cooperation between the two countries in the military sphere. In November 2015, Bolivian Deputy Minister of National Defense Luis Aramayo, opening a meeting of the Bolivian-Russian intergovernmental commission in La Paz, stressed that Bolivia expects to strengthen the potential of its armed forces with the help of the Russian Federation. We are talking about purchases from the Russian Federation of modern high-speed boats for the needs of the country's naval forces, helicopters and aircraft for the air force of Bolivia. In addition, it is expected that Russian military specialists will take part in improving the training of the Bolivian army's officers. In April 2016, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov announced the existing plans for the development and strengthening of military-technical cooperation between Russia and Bolivia. Naturally, this cooperation is beneficial for Russia as well - both from a financial point of view and from considerations of expanding its political, economic and military presence in the countries of Latin America.

Popular by topic