Sunday, May 31, 2020

Where Chile's Artillery Units Are Deployed

Chile's Army has its most powerful artillery units in the north, near the border with Peru and Bolivia. That's the main take-away from an article in an Army publication that details where each artillery unit is deployed and its main armament. (See below.) Three self-propelled units with refurbished M-109 Paladin are in Arica, Antofagasta and Baquedano, and a third is stationed in the far south. The only rocket artillery unit also is stationed in Arica. It is equipped with Israel-made LAR 160 vehicles. Several battalions use Soltam M-71 howitzers, also made in Israel. In other area, primarily less-vulnerable zones, the Army supports its units with 105mm howitzers.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Military Back on the Streets As Chile Goes on Coronavirus Lockdown

Chile has locked itself down to fight the spread of coronavirus, and the president has ordered the armed forces to help enforce the quarantine. Chile closed its borders, imposed a nighttime curfew and placed limits on gatherings and movement. The military also is being tasked with sanitation work and is deploying field hospitals. The armed forces' response is similar to what they've done in natural disasters in the past, when troops responded with mobile hospitals and humanitarian aid. It's the second time in six months that President Sebastian Piñera calls on the military to patrol the country. In October, Piñera sent out the military to help quell violent protests across Chile. Soldiers returned to their barracks after a 10-day deployment, but the government left open the option to again use the military to safeguard critical infrastructure. With a medical crisis being the new mission, the Army, Navy and Air Force (FACH) find themselves in a less-controversial role than in October.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Hercules Investigation Focuses on Dangerous Load, Malfunctions

Nearly three months after an Air Force C-130 Hercules was lost near Antartica, investigators are turning their attention from an accidental cause to a malfunction or even negligence. A report in El Mercurio notes that the plane was carrying a dangerous load. Whatever material was in the plane, it was cleared by FACh maintenance for the flight. Also, investigators are looking into two malfunctions known to have occurred on the flight, which went down Dec. 9, killing all on board.