Ecuadorian Army

The Ecuadorian Army (Spanish: Ejército Ecuatoriano) is the land component of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces. Its 116,450 soldiers are deployed in relation to its military doctrine. The contemporary Ecuadorian Army incorporates many jungle and special forces infantry units into its structure.

Ecuadorian Army
Ejercito Ecuatoriano
Emblem of the Ecuadorian Army
FoundedFebruary 27, 1830 (1830-02-27)
Country Ecuador
Size40,726 active[1]
~220 tanks
~200 IFVs
~60 aircraft
Part ofMilitary of Ecuador
EngagementsIndependence War 1820
Battle of Pichincha 1822
Gran Colombia–Peru War 1829 Ecuadorian-Peruvian war 1858
Battle of Guayaquil 1860
Ecuadorian-Colombian War 1863
Chincha Islands War 1864
Ecuadorian-Peruvian War 1941
Paquisha War 1981
Cenepa War 1995
MG Javier D. Pérez Rodríguez
General of the Army Paco Moncayo. General Carlomagno Andrade. General Miguel Iturralde.

Main objectives

  • To defend the national territory as part of a Joint Task Force.
  • To represent a strong military image as part of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces, national as well as international.
  • Take part in activities and support the development and co-operation in times of crisis.
  • Take part in Peacekeeping and international security operations.
  • To reach and maintain a high operational level within the Ground Forces.
  • To represent, implement an integrated institution, within the operational system.
  • To guarantee the disposition of prepared military personnel in order to accomplish all missions and assignments.
  • To dispose of an investigations and development element, with focus on national defense.
  • To correctly execute administration procedures involving all institutional issues.


To develop territorial-power, in order to accomplish institutional objectives, which guarantee the integrity and sovereignty of the national territory and contribute to the security and development of the nation, as well as to accomplish all objectives indicated by the military strategic planning. ART 26 LEY ORGÁNICA DE LA DEFENSA NACIONAL


To be an institution of the highest level and credibility, systematically integrated, with professional military personnel, orientated on ethics and moral. Capable of adapting itself to new requirements which guarantee peace, security and the nations development.


The Ecuadorian Armed Forces history could start as early as 1531, when civil war ravaged through the Inca Empire. In a key battle near Riobamba, where Huascar's troops were met and defeated by Atahualpa's troops. This did not save Atahualpa and his army from total defeat, only a year later at the Battle of Cajamarca against the Spanish conquerors. It would take almost 300 years when Ecuador's struggle for emancipation from the Spanish colonial rule would reach its peak at the Battle of Pichincha. Following a victory, Ecuadorian troops would become part of the Gran Colombian coalition. These were years in which warfare dominated. First, the country was in the front line of Gran Colombia's efforts to free Peru from Spanish rule between 1822 and 1825; then, in 1828 and 1829, the Ecuadorian troops would be in the middle of an armed struggle between Peru and Gran Colombia for the location of their common border. After the naval victory and the blockade of Guayaquil by the Peruvian army the land campaign became favorable to the great Colombians, the forces of Gran Colombia, under the leadership of Marechal Sucre and the Venezuelan general Juan José Flores, were victorious in the battle of the Portete de Tarqui but this result did not define the final result of the war. Months later, the Gran Colombia dissolves forever. The Treaty of 1829 fixed the border on the line that had divided the Quito Audiencia and the Viceroyalty of Peru before independence. By 1859 the nation was on the brink of anarchy. This led to a civil war and the first Ecuadorian-Peruvian conflict. Backed by Guillermo Franco, an Ecuadorian General, the Peruvian army led by General Ramón Castilla arrived in Guayaquil and forcing Ecuador to sign the Mapasingue Treaty which declares the allocation of Peruvian lands null and forcing the suspension of the Ecuadorian-English business. Accusing Guillermo Franco of treason for signing a treaty with the Peruvians, Gabriel García Moreno, allied with former enemy General Juan José Flores, attacked Franco's forces. After several battles, García Moreno's forces were able to force Franco's troops to retreat back to Guayaquil, the site of the final battle. Ecuadorian troops would face their greatest challenge and defeat, when in 1941, under controversial circumstances, another Ecuadorian–Peruvian War erupted. A much larger and better equipped Peruvian force, quickly overwhelmed the Ecuadorian forces, driving them back from Zarumilla and invading the Ecuadorian province of El Oro. The government of Ecuador, saw itself forced to accept Peru's territorial claims. Subsequently Peruvian troops withdrew from the invaded El Oro province. However, occasional clashes kept occurring and flared into another outbreak of serious fighting in January 1981 called the Paquisha War, for the control of three watchposts set up by Ecuadorian troops inside a disputed border area. The conflict ceased with the control of the Peruvian army of the disputed area evicting the Ecuadorian troops.. In 1995, Ecuadorian troops would become part of the longest-running source of armed international conflict in the Western Hemisphere when both sides encountered again in the Cordillera del Cóndor. Focus of all fighting would become a small outpost called Tiwintza by the Ecuadorians (and Tiwinza or Tihuintsa by the Peruvians) until the signing of a ceasefire. In 1998 the Brasilia Act is signed where Perú is granted the disputed territory (Tiwinza).


Already back in 1989 the Army was with around 40.000 troops nearly four times the combined strength of the Navy and air force.[2] In 2003, it was structured into four independent Army Divisions operating around 25 Infantry Battalions. These battalions were implemented in Brigades which were not numbered consecutively but carried odd numbers in the series 1 to 27. All Brigades had also a Special Forces and engineer, or at least a communications and Logistic Support Company.[3] As of 2008, along with the Air Force and Navy, the Army (also referred to as Land Forces) is undergoing a reform in order to maximize is joint capability. This process involves the creation of U.S. like Operational Commands. There are 4 Operational Joint Commands to be geographically distributed.


The General of the Army is the highest rank of the Ecuadorian Army. Usually the Chief of Staff of the Army is also the General of the Army, and it is common for this general to hold the Chief of the Joint Staff position as well.


Since 2009 a restructurization within the Ecuadorian Armed Forces has been launched under the name of "PATRIA I". It shall be completed by 2011 and improve military structure, equipment and operations within the Ecuadorian territory. The Ecuadorian territory has been also newly divided into five "Joint Task Force Zones" or Fuerzas de Tarea Conjunta, four on mainland Ecuador, the fifth being the maritime territory (including the Galapagos Islands). Changes concerning structure and troop-deployment as of 2010 are not available due to the fact that the Ecuadorian Armed Forces keep such information restricted.[4][5][6][7]

  • 1st "North" or Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta No. 1 "Norte", (HQ Ibarra).
  • 2nd "West" or Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta No. 2 "Guayas", (HQ Guayaquil).
  • 3rd "South" or Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta No. 3 "Cuenca", (HQ Cuenca).
  • 4th "Central" or Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta No. 4 "Central", (HQ Quito).
  • 5th "Maritime" or Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta No. 5 "Mar y Galapagos", (HQ ?).


Speciality badges mirror the US practice.

Special forces

Army aviation

The aviation element of the Army (Ejército) was formed in 1954 originally named Servicio Aéreo del Ejército (SAE). It was renamed Aviación del Ejército Equatorina (AEE) in 1978. From 1981 onward the flying elements were concentrated into an aviation-brigade, effectively transforming the army-aviation into an operational brigade within the army-structure. Honouring the army-aviation's role in the Paquisha conflict in 1981, the unit was renamed Brigada de Aviación del Ejército No.15 "Paquisha" (BAE) on July 1, 1987. Finally, in 1996 the BAE gained the status of a full arm within the army recognising its vital role in the Cenepa conflict of 1995. At present the BAE No.15 consists of:

  • Grupo Aero del Ejercito No. 43 "PORTOVIEJO"
  • Grupo Aero del Ejercito No. 44 "PASTAZA"
  • Gupo Aero del Ejercito No. 45 "PICHINCHA"
  • Escuela de Aviacion del Ejercito "CAPT. FERNANDO VASCONEZ"


As of November 2004, the Ecuadorian Land Forces Order of Battle was as followed: (under construction)

  • I Army Division "Shyris" (HQ Quito)
    • 1st Armored Cavalry Brigade "Galápagos"
      • Presidential Horse Guards Squadron "Tarqui Grenadiers"
      • Grupo de Caballería Blindada No 4
      • Grupo de Caballería Mecanizada No 6
      • Grupo de Caballería Mecanizada No 12
      • Grupo de Caballería Mecanizada No 16
      • Grupo de Caballería Blindada No 18
      • Grupo de Caballería Mecanizada No 36
      • Escuela de Equitación
    • 13th Infantry Brigade "Pichincha"
    • 9th Special Forces Brigade "Patria"
      • 24th Special Forces Group "Rayo"
      • 25th Special Forces Group "Santo Domingo de los Colorados"
      • 26th Special Forces Group "Quevedo"
      • 27th Special Forces Group "Latacunga"
  • II Army Division "Libertad" (HQ Guayaquil)
    • 5th Infantry Brigade "Guayas"
  • III Army Division "Tarqui" (HQ Cuenca)
    • 1st Infantry Brigade "El Oro"
    • 3rd Infantry Brigade
    • 7th Infantry Brigade "Loja"
    • 27th Artillery Brigade "Bolívar"
  • IV Army Division "Amazonas" (HQ El Coca)
    • 17th Jungle Infantry Brigade "Pastaza"
      • 17th Special Forces Company
      • 49th Jungle Infantry Battalion
      • 50th Jungle Infantry Battalion
      • 51st Jungle Infantry Battalion
    • 19th Jungle Infantry Brigade "Napo"
      • 19th Special Forces Company "Aguarico"
      • 55th Jungle Infantry Battalion "Putumayo"
      • 56th Jungle Infantry Battalion "Tungurahua"
      • 57th Jungle Infantry Battalion "Montecristi"
    • 21st Jungle Infantry Brigade "Cóndor" (HQ Patuca)
      • 60th Special Forces Battalion "Capitán Calles"
      • 61st Jungle Infantry Battalion "Santiago"
      • 62nd Jungle Infantry Battalion "Zamora"
      • 63rd Jungle Infantry Battalion "Gualaquiza"
  • Independent Units
    • 1st Foot Guards (Honor Guard) Battalion "Libertadores" (HQ Quito)
    • 23rd Engineers Command "Cenepa" (HQ Quito)
    • 25th Logistics Support Brigade "Reino de Quito" (HQ Quito)


Historically, the Army depended on a wide variety of foreign suppliers for virtually all of its equipment needs. Only in the 1980s did it begin to develop a modest domestic arms industry as the Directorate of Army Industries manufactured rifle ammunition, uniforms, boots, and other consumable items. The Army's present day equipment is mostly of western origins.

See also


  1. "A Comparative Atlas Of Defence In Latin America / 2014 Edition". Archived from the original on 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  2. "Ecuador - Army". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  3. " Fuerzas armadas iberoamericanas". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  4. "Chile wants transparency in arms buying". Archived from the original on 2014-08-10. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  5. "UNASUR pledges Latin arms trade transparency -". Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  6. "UNASUR Agrees to Boost Defense Expenditure Transparency MercoPress". Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  7. Archived June 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. Janq Designs. "Special Operations.Com". Archived from the original on 2000-12-13. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  9. Janq Designs. "Special Operations.Com". Archived from the original on 2000-11-20. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  10. Janq Designs. "Special Operations.Com". Archived from the original on 2000-12-13. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  11. Archived November 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. "26 años de la Escuela de Soldados Iwias - NOV. 02, 2007 - El País - Historicos - EL UNIVERSO". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  13. "Naturaleza sin fronteras: Iwias, los "demonios de la selva"". Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. "Welcome to!". Archived from the original on 2010-03-16. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
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