The Spanish Legion
The Spanish Legion
Formed in 1920
Also known as: Tercio de Extranjeros
Headquarters: Almeria. The Legion also has Regiments in Melilla (or Mlilla, looking for accurate spelling), Ceuta, Fuertoventura,and Ronda.
The Spanish Legion (formally Spanish Foreign Legion) is part of Spain's Rapid Recation Force. The Legion formally took in foreigners who could pass selection. The Legion,however, has always been mostly Spaniards. Only about 20% of the early recruits and personnel were from other countries. This however has changed sligthly. Rumors have risen that the Legion still takes some foreigner but the main cadre are Spaniards. At one time signing up for the Legion was simple (like their French cousin). The Legion hopefull could ask any police officer or go to an Embassy, where he would then be turned over to the Legion. The recruit would be shown a film and talked to. He could then decide if this was really what he wanted. Training would thne begin for the recruit. He would then go to Ronda for a selection process. Training was brutal and some recruits were said to have died.
The Legion today is not for the weak. Training is still brutal with punishment usually being a severe beating from NCOs who run training. Training still takes place in Ronda. It is suprisingly short, usually 3-4 months long. Recruits are signed on for a 3 year contract which is as hard to get out of as the French Foreign Legion's.Rectuits now are all volunteers from Spain (maybe). Basic military skills are taught, and forced marches are the norm. Like FFL, hard marches are supposed to make or brake a soldier. The Assault course is one of the most difficult in the world. Rumor has it live ammunition is used to shoot at recruts feet and over their heads while they are trying to complete the course. Recruits which undergo E&E training, usually BOEL soldiers, should expect punishment. E&E is brutal. The men are subjected to brutal beatings and other means of "torture". While no recruit has been killed during this phase, it must be said that it is probably very close to the real thing.
The Spanish Legion consists of some 7,000-8,000 men (yes only men) roughly. The Legion consits of 4 Regiments (called Tercios). Each Regiment has 4 Battalions (or Banderas).
While their are more Regiments in the Legion, the one which has a "Special Operations" role is the 4th Tercio Alejandro Farnesio (or the The 4th Alexander Farnesio Regiment). It is based in Ronda. It has two Banderas, one a Parachute Element, and another the Bandera de Operaciones. The BOEL ,as they are known as, is the Spanish Legion "Special" unit. The Battalion consists of about 500 men. It was once known as the OLEU. They are trained in serveral different area:
- SCUBA/Maratime Warfare
- Arctic and Mountain Warfare
-Sabotage and Demolitions (BOEL Demo experts are very highly regarded)
-Parachute and HALO techniques
-Long Range Reconnaissance
-Counterterrorism and CQB (very small amount of training is focused on this)
-Vehicle insertion (The BOEL still use Land Rovers, BMR600s,Nissan trucks, and other American and British made vehicles)
The basic weapons used by the BOEL are the same as used by the Legion. These include the 5.56 CETME rifle, the 7.62 Ameli machine gun, the Star 9mm sub-machine gun and pistol, and 40mm grenade launchers. The Spanish Legion has the same camoflauge as the rest of the Spanish Army. A red tassle on their hats sets them apart from other units though.