Mexican Naval Infantry

Mexican Naval Infantry
Infantería de Marina
The Official Emblem Of The Naval Infantry Of The United Mexican States.svg
Naval Infantry emblem
Active 1822 – Present
Country United Mexican States
Branch Mexican Navy
Type Amphibious
Role Naval Infantry
Size 20,000
Motto En la tierra, en el aire y en el mar (On land, air and sea)
Colors Scarlet
Anniversaries June 1, Marine Day[1]
Mariano Francisco Saynez Mendoza
Flag Infanteria bandera.png

The Naval Infantry (Spanish: Infantería de Marina) are the marine corps and amphibious infantry force of the Mexican Navy. The main task of the Infantería de Marina is to guarantee the maritime security of the country's ports and external and internal defense of the country, to accomplish these responsibilities the corps is trained and equipped to take on any type of operations from Sea, Air and Land.[2]

The Naval Infantry Corps was reorganized in 2007-2009 into 30 Naval Infantry Battalions (Batallones de Infantería de Marina - BIM), a paratroop battalion, a battalion attached to the Presidential Guard Brigade, two Fast Reaction Forces with six battalions each, and three Special Forces groups.[3] The Naval Infantry are responsible for port security, protection of the ten-kilometer coastal fringe, and patrolling major waterways.



US Navy 090426-N-2821G-187 A Mexican Navy boarding team searches the German Navy combat support ship Frankfurt am Main (A-1412) for prohibited items during the maritime interdiction operation exercise portion of UNITAS Gold

To accomplish the necessary services and tasks, The Naval Infantry's overall responsibilities are to develop amphibious naval capabilities in the areas of operations of the Navy in order to mobilize naval troops immediately and decisively.

The Naval Infantry execute the following tasks:

  • Command and Control - Planning, preparation and conduct of operations.
  • Amphibious assault - To execute amphibious operations as part of a Naval Force.
  • Air assault - To run infiltration operations in areas of difficult access.
  • Amphibious command - To execute special operations such as: reconnaissance, incursions, urban combat and to support other regular operations.
  • Combat Support - To execute operations in support of artillery in the development of amphibious and other regular forces operations
  • Reconnaissance - Operations to obtain information to support operational units.
  • Immediate Response - To run operations in emergency situations, to help the civilian population.



Mexican Marine on the main dock of Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Mexican Drug War

Since the start of President Felipe Calderón's war on the drug cartels, the Infantería de Marina's role has grown from maritime port security to combating organized crime, drug trafficking, extermination of marijuana fields, drug interdictions at sea, and also participating in arrest of cartel suspects in land based operations.[5]

For the last three years the navy has carried out permanent intense anti-narcotic operations. Such task as the extermination of marijuana fields which mostly takes place in the north-western part of the country is done by first locating the fields by satellite or simply by air reconnaissance, then sending a team of marines to eradicate the cannabis plants.[6] One of its big seizures was in late October 2007, when navy personnel in a joint operation with other agencies seized 23 tons of cocaine in the port city of Manzanillo, Colima.[7][8]

Narco submarine interception

Drug interdiction at sea is also part of the Navy's strategy to combat drug trafficking, this came to light when on July 16, 2008, the Navy intercepted a 10-metre (33 ft) long narco submarine travelling about 200 kilometres (120 mi) off the southwest of the state of Oaxaca; in a raid, Navy Special Forces rappelled from a helicopter on to the deck of the narco submarine and arrested four smugglers before they could scuttle their vessel. The vessel was found to be loaded with 5.8 tons of cocaine and was towed to Huatulco, Oaxaca, by a Navy patrol boat.[9][10][11][12][13]



Mexican Naval Infantry emblem
Marines Standard

The shield anchor, crossed with the carabiner has been part of the Naval Infantry since 1823. The shield of the Naval Infantry, as today, is the essence of their integration into the meaning of heraldry, example is the gold trim, which gives nobility, seriousness and elegance, the Admiralty anchor, symbolizing belonged to the Navy, finally crossed muskets, which were the weapons that had our Marines, and strengthening our country as a nation-state, free and sovereign. Together they represent the dedication to serve Mexico by air, from land and from the sea. The color red has always characterized the Marines around the world.[14]


The Iconography of the Marines of Mexico has developed a description of the standard as follows: the center, the Marine Shield with its original colors, scarlet red cloth with gold-colored robes. In addition to being waved at official ceremonies, the flag of the Marines accompanying the forces in the Operations are entrusted, parades and camps of instruction. Moreover, it is waving in the offices of Command Units IM, General Coordinator of Marine and offices of the Secretary of the Navy.[14]

Organization and Role

A 9K38 Igla (Nato reporting name: SA-18) dual missile launch platform mounted on a Mercedes-Benz Unimog of the Mexican Navy in a Mexican military parade.
Mexican marines displaying three different camouflage patterns used by the Mexican marine corps.
Mexican marines boarding an amphibious dock ship
Mexican Marines on a training mission.

The overall head of the Naval Infantry is President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, in his role as Commander-in-Chief of the Mexican Armed Forces. The development plan of the Ministry of the Navy-Navy Mexico presented by the Executive C. Secretary of the Navy admiral, stated that the Navy of Mexico should be properly organized, equipped and trained to anticipate and neutralize any internal or external threat.

Having defined the Navy in its strategic review the status of Mexico as a coastal state and highlighting the importance of their borders with the United States of America, Belize and Guatemala, identified areas of strategic importance such as the Caribbean and the Yucatán Channel, for their transit of maritime trade is of great importance for the country, without forgetting that it is also an area crowded by tourist cruises that visit Mexican ports and their use as a runner and high rate of drug trafficking activities; The Sonda de Campeche, which is distinguished by its deposits of oil and marine resources and the enormous network of oil and gas pipelines between the production platforms and destinations on the coast, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Gulf area by sea and land considered as a future strategic development of the country, industrial corridor and gateway between the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico; Grijalva Hydroelectric Complex, considered an important center of power generation in the country and the Gulf of California, for their ecological importance and tourist their influence as well as activities of drug trafficking corridor.

To meet the operational requirements of the Navy, it was necessary to create structure of a reaction force with organizational skills: flexibility, multi-tactical use of rapid response, fire power, mobility and economy of forces, in addition to the efforts of support for transport by air, sea and land, to the missions and tasks assigned by the Navy to fulfill its mission.

Therefore, the Amphibious Marine Reaction Force is defined as an organized force, equipped and trained as a component part of a Naval Force to develop operations in the immediate response missions that are assigned. And falls into an operational concept which states that given the need to respond as a projection of naval power, requires that their actions are limited by an autonomous period of time, according to the task units that are integrated to meet mission identified in a variety of operational environments, its capacity to be transported by air, sea and land that are organic to the unit. Therefore, the flexibility of its organizational units can integrate multi-operating in different areas of operations such as Amphibious Combat, urban operations in the jungle night airborne assault vertical river of interdiction raid, in addition to other civic action operations and support to other units when ordered.


After reorganization, the Marine forces were deployed under a new strategic operational concept with specific functions, including in the Navy to the following Marine Corps units:[15]

  • Two Amphibious Reaction Forces - deployed along the country's coastline, comprising Amphibious Infantry Battalions, Artillery Battalions, Amphibious Commando Battalions, Boat and Vehicle Battalions and Amphibious and Services Battalions.
  • Thirty naval infantry battalions, one presidential guard battalion, and one paratrooper battalion.
  • Three Special Forces groups

Special Forces Units

  • Fuerzas Especiales (FES) Special Forces, is a special operations unit of the Navy officially established in late 2001.
Mexican BO-105 Bolkow helicopter fires 2.75 inch high-explosive rockets at the ex-USS Connolly (DD 979)


Naval Infantry Inventory
Vehicle/System Status Origin
Land Vehicles
BTR-60/BTR-70 Has diesel engine and it does not have the turret with the 14.5 mm machine gun. Used with a 40 mm Mk 19 grenade launcher  Russia
Ural-4320 Off-road 6x6 truck  Russia
Carat Wolverine APC Armoured Vehicle based on the Ford F-Series chassis, In Mexico these vehicles are known as Scorpions. [16][17]  Mexico
Renault Sherpa 2 Armoured vehicle  France
UNIMOG U-4000[18][19]  Germany
Freightliner M2[20] 4x2 truck  Mexico
MiniComando Ford[21] 4x4 F-250 series pick up  Mexico
MiniComando Dodge[22] 4x4 Pick up  Mexico
Mercedes-Benz G-Class[23][24] 4x4 cross-country vehicle  Germany
Land Rover 4x4  United Kingdom
Dodge Ram Crew cab pick up installed with handle bars and turret to install M2 Browning MG  Mexico/ United States
F-150 Crew cab pick up installed with handle bars  Mexico/ United States
Assault Rifles
M16 Rifle In service  United States
M4 Carbine In service  United States
Submachine gun
Heckler & Koch MP5 In service  Germany
Heckler & Koch UMP In service  Germany
FN P90 In service  Belgium
Heavy and light machine guns
M2 Browning machine gun In service  United States
M249 Squad Automatic Weapon In service  United States/ Belgium
CETME Ameli In service  Spain
FN Minimi In service  Belgium
GAU-19 In service. Used on board of MD902 Helicopter.  United States
Grenade launcher
CIS 40 AGL 40mm grenade launcher In service  Singapore
Milkor MGL In service  South Africa
M203 grenade launcher In service  United States
Remington 1100 In service  United States
Sniper rifle
Heckler & Koch MSG90 In service  Germany
Barrett M82 In service  United States
Remington 700 In service  United States
Glock pistol In service  Austria
Heckler & Koch USP In service  Germany
FN Five-seveN In service. Special Forces  Belgium
OTO Melara Mod 56 105 mm In service  Italy
Bofors 40 mm  Sweden
51 mm FIROS (Multiple Launch Rocket System)  Italy
60 mm and 81 mm mortars


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Informe 2009 Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Secretaría de Marina - Noticias
  10. ^ Reuters -Mexico captures submarine loaded with drugs
  11. ^ The Narco Submarine
  12. ^ Mexican navy seizes cocaine sub
  13. ^ Drug cartels using submarines to smuggle cocaine
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ 51mm FIROS

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