Country Listing

Spain Table of Contents



Armed Forces (1987): Total personnel on active duty, 320,300, of which about 200,000 conscripts serving for twelve months. Reserves totaled 1,085,000. Component services were army of 240,000 troops, navy of 47,300 (including 11,500 marines), and air force of 33,000.

Major Tactical Military Units: Army had five divisions comprising eleven brigades: one armored division with two brigades, one motorized division with three brigades, one mechanized division with two brigades, and two mountain divisions each consisting of two brigades. Other units included four independent brigades, two armored cavalry brigades, one airborne brigade, and one paratroop brigade--and Spanish Legion of 8,500 troops. All stationed in peninsular Spain except 19,000 troops in North African enclaves, 10,000 in Canary Islands, and 5,800 in Balearic Islands. Navy combat forces included small carrier group, submarines, and missile-armed fast attack craft. Protective forces included destroyers, frigates, corvettes, and minesweepers. Air force had seven squadrons of fighter-bomber- interceptors in Combat Air Command (Mando Aereo de Combate-- MACOM), ten squadrons of ground support aircraft in Tactical Air Command (Mando Aereo Tactico--NATAC), moderate airlift and refueling capacity in Air Transport Command (Mando Aereo de Transporte--MATRA), and mixed capabilities in Canary Islands Air Command (Mando Aereo de Canarias (MACAN).

Military Equipment (1987): Army had about 1,000 tanks, 1,200 armored personnel carriers, 650 other armored vehicles, 1,300 towed and self-propelled artillery pieces, 28 multiple rocket launchers, 1,200 mortars, 1,000 antitank and antiaircraft weapons, and 180 helicopters. Main operational units of navy were one small aircraft carrier, eight submarines, eight frigates, nine destroyers, ten corvettes, and twelve fast attack craft. Air force had more than 200 fighter aircraft, mostly of 1960s vintage, but was in process of acquiring 72 advanced F-18 Hornets from United States.

Military Budget (1988): Defense budget of US$6.93 billion was 2 percent of GDP. Military expenditures among lowest in NATO on per capita basis and as ratio of GDP.

Foreign Military Treaties: Bilateral military agreement with United States, signed in 1953 and periodically renewed, covers United States use of four bases and several communications sites in Spain. Spain joined NATO in 1982 but rejected military integration, storage of nuclear weapons on Spanish territory, and use of Spanish forces abroad.

Internal Security Forces: Principal security agencies were Civil Guard (force of 65,000 plus 9,000 auxiliaries) policing rural areas and National Police Corps (Cuerpo Nacional de Policia) of about 50,000 uniformed and 9,000 plainclothes officers in communities of more than 20,000 inhabitants. Special Civil Guard and National Police Corps units engaged against Basque extremists and other terrorists. These national forces controlled by Ministry of Interior supplemented by locally controlled municipal police and regional police forces of three autonomous communities.

Data as of December 1988