TEAR: Special report Armed Forces' Day 2002
Photos: Javier Sánchez
Last may the 30th, on the occasion of San Fernando Saint's Day, were celebrated as usual, in spite of low importance on mass media, the commemorative events of Armed Forces Day, in the Marine's regiment "Tercio de Armada" (TEAR).
Events started with the hoisted of Spanish National Flag, in the non-comissioned officer's Academy, on last saturday 1st of June, beggining then the "opened doors" day, organized in San Carlos Square, inside the TEAR, headquarter of Marine Corp's Brigade (BRIMAR).
In the exhibition was possible to find different material of Spanish Armed Forces. A tank LEOPARD II, a combat vehicle (VCI) PIZARRO and a 155/52 mm Santa Barbara's howitzer were the most remarkable things shown by the Army.
The Air Force brong a Satellite Terminal, a TACP vehicle and the flight equipment of a F-18 fighter.
Regarding the Navy, the BRIMAR was exhibiting almost all their vehicles, light, medium and heavy armament, different boats, communications systems and individual and collective equipments used by the BRIMAR; command station and communications via satellite, M-60E-3 tank, SCORPION armoured car, AAVP-7A1 assault vehicle for troops transport, ATP-155/39 mm M-109 A2 howitzer including its FAASV M-992 ammunition vehicle with ammunition chain opened, 105/14 mm OTO-Melara towed howitzer with the new IVECO 10 tons trucks.
Big diversity of all terrain vehicles from the Hummer range were also exhibited: TOW antitank missile launcher; armoured car with Browning cal. 12.7/90 mm M2 -HB heavy machine gun and 40/53 mm SB LAG-40 grenade thrower; also were available different types for communication systems Shelter transport and trailer; besides another one configurated as light ambulance.
Under one hangar was shown the most delicate material: one MISTRAL anti-aircraft missile launcher, 81 mm and 60 mm mortars, all kind of individual light armament, HK G-36 E 5.56/45 mm assault guns, M-82 Llama pistols as well as the new HK-MP-5 silencer sub-machine guns assigned to the UOE (special operations group of the Marine's Corp).
It was also possible to see a big range of collective arms; MG-1A3 medium machine gun, light machine guns AMELI with optical system "Susat" and Barret 12.7/99 mm and Accuracy 7.72/51 mm sniper's rifles. Of course was present the C-90-CR rocket launcher too.
Referring to individual equipment, we have to mention the new material of Marine Corp's fusiliers: tactical vests, dry suits, individual tents IGLOO type, new Marte type helmet, etc.
Regarding electronic and communications systems,we have to emphasize the ARINE location radar, IRTV445L big range inframetrics, Racal Classic-2000 infrarred and thermic sensors as well as a big range of digital communications systems of the family PR4-G VHF and Harris Corporation AN/PRC-138B HF. To mention the last generation of night vision glasses AN/PVS-7B and 7D.
Sunday 2nd of June, was celebrated an exhibition by the BRIMAR. Exercise was the rescue of an hostage.
At agreeded time, arrived to the area several units of the UOE, on AB-212 helicopters from the 3rd escadrille, and Hughes-500 from the 6th escadrille. At the same time, 2 pneumatic boats commanded by EIM members, were carrying 1 SERECO platoon. While, 1 helicopter Sikorsky S-76C from the Spanish Air Force, was waiting for CSAR mission.
Operation started simultaneously with the arrival of helicopters and boats to the area. When the SERECO were landing in the marked point, an UOE member was supporting their disembark with his MG gun machine fire from 1 helicopter of the 6th escadrille. Once taken their position, arrived to the area the rest of members of the UOE, on the 3th escadrille helicopter, making a fast deployement trough "Fast Rope" (fast sliding trough a rope in the marked point).
Hostage was liberated quickly and moved away trough an spectacular "Spie-Rig", a fast extraction of all the soldiers from the area, by hooking them with a harness to a rope thrown from the helicopter. Then, all of them abandone their dangerous location, carryed hanging from the aircraft.
Once finalized the rescue, Air Force helicopter realized another rescue of a pilot pretendedly drifted in the exercise, showing also the possibilities of Air Force personal and material.
Exhibition finalized with flight performings of helicopter Hughes-500, from the 6th escadrille of aircrafts of the Navy. On board was the Alférez de Navío (like USN Lieutenant Junior Grade) D. Juan Ruiz, who shown his pilot skills, realizing the best never seen flight exhibition of a Hughes-500 from the Spanish Navy, reaching the highest performances of such aircraft, showing his mastership as well as the excelent work of maintenance made by the mechanicians of the Navy, by keeping the full efficiency of these veteran aircrafts.
We have to add that,with pilots like these ones, we feel not only really safe but also very proud of their belonging to our Navy.
We don't want to finalize without thanking to all the staff of the BRIMAR for their kind attention and hospitality during those 2 days. Thank you very much.
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Text & Photos: Javier Sánchez