Sunday, December 18, 2011
Army Reorganization Targets Defense of the Andes
combine regiments that specialize in defending the massive mountain range. The 3rd Mountain Division, with headquarters in the southern city of Valdivia, will bring together three reinforced regiments, two infantry regiments (of roughly 400 troops each), one artillery, one armored cavalry, one communications and one logistics regiment. All units are based in central and southern areas of Chile, with the southernmost being Reinforced Regiment No. 9 in Osorno. The three reinforced regiments are comprised primarily of a mountain infantry battalion and a mountain engineer battalion, with one regiment (in the Los Andes community) also equipped with an artillery unit. The crest of the Andes largely marks the border with Argentina and Bolivia, so it's a major piece of Chile's security considerations. The new reorganization is designed to better coordinate defense and disaster-relief operations in mountainous areas, rather than cope with a specific threat. Argentina and Chile are on quite friendly terms, and the Andes form a natural barrier with that country and with Bolivia.