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Bolivian Army

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Bolivian Army

The Bolivian Army or Ejército Boliviano is the land forces component of the Military of Bolivia, the Bolivian Army has around 31,500 men.

Military flag of Bolivia
Bolivian Army 2nd Lt. Mauricio Vidangos stands guard at the entry control point of an Observation Point during training, Oct. 21, 2002. The purpose of the training is to prepare for the Field Training Exercise portion of Cabanas 2002 Chile, held in Fuerte Lautaro, Chile. Cabanas 2002 Chile is a multinational combined readiness training exercise centered around peacekeeping operational tasks. This exercise provides an opportunity for over 1,300 military and civilian personnel from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States to increase their state of readiness in combined multinational peacekeeping operations and a forum to encourage human rights.


Combat units directly under the Army general command

  • 1st Infantry Regiment Colorados (Presidential Guard), contains two 2 battalions: BI-201 and BI-202
  • 1st Armored Cavalry Regiment Calama (armored)
  • GRM-221 Tarapaca (mech.),
  • GCM-224 Ingavi (armour cavalry),
  • RAA-236 G.B.B. Rioja (AA regiment),
  • BATCOM-251,
  • Gen. maintenance cen. no. 1
  • Transport batt. no. 1.

Special forces command

The Special Forces command controls the following units:

  • 12th soilder Regt. "MANCHEGO", Montero
  • 16th Infantry Regt. JORDAN, Riberalta (Special Forces)
  • 18th Parachute Infantry Regiment VICTORIA "CITE", Cochabamba
  • 24th Ranger Regiment (Mountain) MÉNDEZ ARCOS, Challapata

Army aviation command

Army aviation company 291 (La Paz), army aviation company 292 (Santa Cruz)


The Bolivian Army has six military regions (regiones militares—RMs) covering the various Departments of Bolivia:

  • RM 1, La Paz, most of La Paz Department: 1st Army Division, 297th MPB C.L.Saavedra (Military Police battalion),BE-296 CNL R.C.Zabalegui(ecological batt.),BE-297 (ecolog. batt.),BATLOG-1 (Logistics btn.),army aviation company 291 C.L.Cordoba, Mili. hospital no. 1, Military Police School, Army Equestrian Center, Military College of Bolivia "COL Gustavo Villaroel Lopez", Army School of Intelligence, Army Engineers School MCAL Antonio Jose de Sucre, Army Signals and Communications School, Army Armor School, Army 1st Engineering Regiment CPN Felipe Ochoa "Army Engineering and Maintenance Center", Bolivian Army Military School of Music "LTCOL Antonio Patino"
  • RM 2, Potosí, covering the departments of Oruro and Potosi: 2nd and 10th ADs, 24th RR M.Arcos (ranger regt.),ADA-202 (a.a. group), Army Mountain School
  • RM 3, Tarija, consisting of Tarija Department and eastern Chuquisaca and southern Santa Cruz:3rd and 4th AD
  • RM 4, Sucre, covering the departments of Cochabamba and northern Chuquisaca: 7th Army Division, 272th MP Btn., BATLOG-2 (long.Batt), no2, Army Arsensals Cochabamba, Army Command and Staff College MSHL Antonio de Santa Cruz, Army NCO School "SGT M. Paredez", Army Artillery School, 18th PIR "Victoria" (Army Special Troops Training Center), Army NCOs and Warrant Officers Advance Studies Institute, Army Arms Applications School, 1LT Edmundo Andrade Military High School
  • RM 5, Cobija, encompassing the Pando Department and parts of La Paz and Beni departments: 6th AD,16th IR Jordan (special forces),Army Jungle Operations School (CIOS I) and (CIOS II).
  • RM 6, Santa Cruz, covering most of Santa Cruz Department: 5th and 8th ADs, BMP-273 R.Amezaga (batt.MP), BE-298 (ecological batt.), 12th RR Manchego (ranger),BATLOG-3 (logist. batt.), 292 army aviation company, Bolivian Condores school (special forces)

Army Divisions

The army is organized into ten territorial divisions, each of which, with the exception of Viacha, occupy a region generally corresponding to the administrative departments, with some overlapping. These and their respective divisional headquarters and constituent units are:

  • 1st AD, Viacha (La Paz Department): 8th IR Ayacucho, RI 23 M.Toledo (mech.), RI 30 Murillo (mountain), RC 5 J.M.Lanza, RA 2 Bolivar, Bat.Ing. 2 G.F.Roman.
  • 2nd AD, Oruro: RI 21 Illimani (Mountain), RI 22 Mejillones, 25th RI (Mountain) Tocopilla, RC 8 Braun, 1st Artillery Regt. Camacho, Bat.Ing. 7 Sajama.
  • 3rd AD, Villamontes (Tarija Department): RI 5 Campero, RI 20 Padilla, RC 3 Aroma, RA 3 Pisagua, Bat.Ing. 1 Chorolque.
  • 4th AD, Camiri (Santa Cruz Department):,RI 6 Campos,RI 11 Boqueron, 1st Cavalry Regt. "E. Avaroa", RA 4 Bullian
  • 5th AD, Roboré (Santa Cruz Department): RI 13 Montes, RI 14 Florida, RI 15 Junin, RC 6 Castrillo,RA 5 Vergara
  • 6th AD, Trinidad: RI 17 Indepedencia, RI 29 Echevarria, RI 31 Rios,RI 32 Murguia, 2nd Cavalry Regt. Ballivan, RA 8 Mendez(reserve), Bat.Ing. 6 Riosinho.
  • 7th Army Division, Cochabamba (the largest):, 2nd Infantry Regiment "Marshal Antonio Jose de Sucre", 18th Parachute Infantry Regiment "Victoria" (Army Special Troops Training Center), RI 26 R.Barrientos (mech.) 29th PIR CTN:V.Ustariz (airborne),RA 7 Tumusia, Bat.Ing.5 T.N.Ovando
  • 8th AD, Santa Cruz: RI 7 Marzana, RI 10 Warnes (mech.), RC 10 G.M.J.M. Mercado,RA 9 Mitre (reserve),Bat.Ing. 3 Pando.
  • 9th AD (Reserve), Rurrenabaque: the Division has been reduced to reserve status and its component units have been divided up between DE-1 and DE-6
  • 10th AD, Tupiz: 3rd Infantry Regiment "Juan Jose Perez", RI 4 Loa, RI 27 Antofagasta, RC 7 Chichas (mech.), RA 12 Ayohuma (reserve)

Regimental abbreviations

RI: infantry regiment

RC: cavalry regiment

RA: artillery regiment

Bat.Ing.: Engineer battalion

The ten divisions control the following units:

Snipers carrying Dragunov SVD rifles.
  • eight cavalry regiments, included two mechanized regiments
  • twenty-three infantry regiments included two airborne and two mountain
  • one recce. mechanized regiments and one armored regiment
  • two ranger regiments and one special forces regiment
  • six artillery regiments and plus three in reserve
  • one artillery and anti-air group
  • one artillery and anti-air Regiment
  • three military police battalions
  • three ecological battalions
  • two army aviation companies
  • six engineer battalions
  • Plus logistical and instructional support commands
  • Presidential Guard (Bolivian Colorados Regiment) infantry regiment under direct control of the army headquarters in La Paz's Miraflores district

The Army maintains a small fleet of utility aircraft, primarily to support headquarters.

Land Forces Equipment

Bolivian SK-105 Kürassier light tank.
7.5 cm FK 18 during a parade in Cochabamba.
Bolivian EE-9 Cascavel AFV.
Bolivian army equipment[1]
Tanks 54 SK-105 Kürassier+ 2 4K4FA-SB20 Greif-Recov+ 2~4 M578 Cherry Picker-Recov..
Reconnaissance vehicles 24 EE-9 Cascavel,


Armoured Personnel Carriers 50 M113 armored personnel carriers with local upgrades,

24 EE-11 Urutu APC,

24 M3 Half-track

15 Cadillac Gage Commando V-150,

24 MOWAG Roland (locally upgraded; used by the military police)

Artillery 18 Type 54 122mm howitzers,

20 10.5 cm leFH 18 105mm howitzers.

6 M101 105mm howitzers,

36 75mm Pack Howitzer M1

6 Bofors L/40 M1935 75mm howitzers .


M120 120mm,

M30 107mm mortars,

250 M29 81mm mortars,

FM 81mm,

W87 81mm,

M-60 60mm,

Type 63-1 60mm,

M224 60mm mortars


16 2x37mm Type 65,

80 2x20mm Oerlikon K20,

50 HN-5 MANPAD Surface-to-air missile


RPG-7 \ Type 69-1,

2,000 66mm M72A3 LAW,

RL-83 Blindicide

90mm M-20 Super-Bazooka,

90mm M67 recoilless,

82mm Type 65/78 recoilless,

105mm M40A1 recoilless,

40 HJ-8B Red Arrow ATGM

Transport Transport vehicles: DongFeng EQ 2081/2100, FEW C A1122J, Stayer 1491, Hyundai HD170, 16 Ford F-750, Unimog 416 Dodge M-37 2½ ton trucks, Engesa EE-15 trucks, 597 Engesa EE-25 trucks, FIAT IVECO 619 }5 ton trucks

Tactical transport vehicles: 30 M988 HMMWV, 40 Koyak (local production)

Utility transport vehicles: Ford M151 MUTT, CJ-5, CJ-7, Chrysler jeep Wrangler, BJ 2020VJ, horses (still used by the Bolivian cavalry units) [1]

Small Arms Handguns: Browning Hi Power, Glock 17, Beretta 92F, S&M mod.10 all 9mm, M1911A1 (.45ACP)

Sub-Machine Guns: FMK-3, UZI, MAT 49

Assault Rifles: 5,56mm; Galil AR, M-16A1, Steyr AUG A1, SA-80. 7,62mm; FN-FAL, SIG 542, SIG 510-4, Type 56-2 (AK-47),

Sniper Rifles: Dragunov SVD, Mauser mod . 86SR, Steyr SSG 69P1

Anti-materiel Rifles: Steyr HS .50

Machine Guns: M60, FN MAG 60-20, SIG MG 710-3, Type 56 LMG

Grenade Launchers: Type 87 35mm, MM-1, M79, M203

Shotguns: Remington 870 and Remington 11-87 .


A Bolivian Army soldier armed with a 7.62mm FN FAL rifle stands guard during Fuerzas Unidas Bolivia, a joint U.S. and Bolivian training exercise.

Army officers, NCOs, and enlisted personnel wear generally gray or, for tropical areas, gray-green service uniforms. Army fatigue uniforms were olive green, and combat uniforms were of US woodland pattern camouflage and Desert pattern camouflage. The standard headgear for enlisted personnel is the beret bearing the national colors of red, yellow and green. Armored troops were distinguished by black berets, and paratroops wore black berets. Special forces wore distinctive camouflage uniforms with green berets.

Aircraft Type Versions In service[2] Notes
Beechcraft King Air Staff transport Model 90
Model 200
Cessna 206 Stationair Utility 4
Cessna 421 Golden Eagle Staff transport Cessna 421B 1
CASA C-212 Aviocar transport 1 Center of instruction of special troops


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.

External links

  • Official site (Spanish)
  • Bolivian Army Adopts Cuba's Revolutionary Slogan by BBC News
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