Bolivian Army

The Bolivian Army (Spanish: Ejército Boliviano) is the land forces component of the Armed Forces of Bolivia. Figures on the size and composition of the Bolivian army vary considerably, with little official data available. It is estimated that the army has between 26,000[1] to 60,000 [2] men.

Bolivian Army
Ejército de Bolivia
The Bolivian Army's seal
Founded1810; 211 years ago (1810)
Country Bolivia
Allegiance Bolivian Armed Forces
Size26,000 to 60,000(2019 est.)
Part ofMinistry of Defense
Motto(s)"Army of Bolivia, Forger of the country."
MarchBolivian Army Song
Anniversaries6 August (Independence Day)
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Luis Arce
Brigadier General
Miguel Angel Del Castillo Quiroga
General de Brigada de Bolivia Brigadier General
Miguel Angel Del Castillo Quiroga
Brigadier General
Augusto Antonio García Lara
General de Brigada de Bolivia Brigadier General
Augusto Antonio García Lara
FlagBandera de Bolivia (Guerra).svg
A Bolivian soldier stands guard at the entry control point during training in October 2002


Combat units directly under the Army general commandEdit

  • 1st Infantry Regiment Colorados (Presidential Guard), contains two 2 battalions: BI-201 and BI-202
  • BATCOM-251,
  • Gen. maintenance cen. no. 1
  • Transport batt. no. 1.
  • 1st National parks Security Regiment

Special forces commandEdit

The Special Forces command controls the following units:

  • 1st Ranger Regt. German Busch, Challapata
  • 12th Ranger Regt. "MANCHEGO", Montero
  • 16th Infantry Regt. JORDAN, Riberalta (Special Forces)
  • 18th Parachute Infantry Regiment VICTORIA "Army Special Troops Training Center", Cochabamba
  • 24th Ranger Regiment (Mountain) MÉNDEZ ARCOS, Challapata

Army aviation commandEdit

Army aviation company 291 (La Paz), army aviation company 292 (Santa Cruz)

  • 291st Cavalry Group (La Paz)


The Bolivian Army has six military regions (regiones militares—RMs) covering the various Departments of Bolivia:

  • RM 1, La Paz, most of La Paz Department: 1st Army Division, 1st Mechanized Division, 297th MPB C.L.Saavedra (Military Police battalion), 296th En Btn CNL R.C.Zabalegui (ecological batt.), BE-297 (ecolog. batt.), BATLOG-1 (Logistics btn.), 291st Air Group, 1st Military Hospital, Military Police School, Army Equestrian Center, Military College of Bolivia "COL Gustavo Villaroel Lopez", Army School of Intelligence, Army Engineers School MCAL Antonio Jose de Sucre, Army Signals and Communications School, Army Armor School, Army 1st Engineering Regiment CPN Felipe Ochoa "Army Engineering and Maintenance Center", Bolivian Army Military School of Music "LTCOL Antonio Patino"
  • RM 2, Potosí, covering the departments of Oruro and Potosí: 2nd and 10th ADs,1st RR, 24th RR M.Arcos (ranger regt.), ADA-202 (a.a. group), Army Mountain School
  • RM 3, Tarija, consisting of Tarija Department and eastern Chuquisaca and southern Santa Cruz:3rd and 4th AD
  • RM 4, Sucre, covering the departments of Cochabamba and northern Chuquisaca: 7th Army Division, 272nd MP Btn., BATLOG-2 (long.Batt), no2, Army Arsensals Cochabamba, Army Command and Staff College MSHL Antonio de Santa Cruz, Army NCO School "SGT M. Paredez", Army Artillery School, 18th PIR "Victoria" (Army Special Troops Training Center), Army NCOs and Warrant Officers Advance Studies Institute, Army Arms Applications School, 1LT Edmundo Andrade Military High School
  • RM 5, Cobija, encompassing the Pando Department and parts of La Paz and Beni departments: 6th AD, 16th IR Jordan (special forces), Army Jungle Operations School
  • RM 6, Santa Cruz, covering most of Santa Cruz Department: 5th and 8th ADs, 273rd MPB R.Amezaga (Military Police), BE-298 (ecological batt.), 12th RR Manchego (ranger), BATLOG-3 (logist. batt.), 292 army aviation company, Bolivian Condores school (special forces), 6th IR

Army DivisionsEdit

The army is organized into ten territorial divisions, titled Army Divisions (AD), plus a mechanized brigade combat team, each of which, with the exception of Viacha, occupy a region generally corresponding to the administrative departments, with some overlapping. These and their respective divisional headquarters and constituent units are:

  • 1st Mechanized Brigade, Viacha (La Paz Department): 1st Field Artillery Regiment "Camacho", 6th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 23rd IR (Mechanized Infantry Training), 4th IR Tarapaca (Mech.) 5th ACR, 2nd ACR (Training), 1st Armor Regiment, 8th IR (Mech) "Ayacucho", 2nd Artillery Regt.
  • 1st AD, Viacha (La Paz Department): 36th IR, 35th IR, 30th IR Murillo (mountain), 2nd CEB G.F.Roman.
  • 2nd AD, Oruro: 21st IR Illimani (Mountain), RI 22 Mejillones, 25th RI (Mountain) Tocopilla, RC 8 Braun, Bat.Ing. 7 Sajama.
  • 3rd AD, Villamontes (Tarija Department): 5th IR Campero, RI 20 Padilla, RC 3 Aroma, RA 3 Pisagua, 1st CEB Chorolque.
  • 4th AD, Camiri (Santa Cruz Department):, 6th Infantry Regiment Campos, RI 11 Boqueron, 1st Cavalry Regt. "E. Avaroa", FAR 4 Bullian
  • 5th AD, Roboré (Santa Cruz Department): RI 13 Montes, RI 14 Florida, RI 15 Junin, RC 6 Castrillo, RA 5 Vergara
  • 6th AD, Trinidad: RI 17 Indepedencia, RI 29 Echevarria, RI 31 Rios, RI 32 Murguia, 2nd Cavalry Regt. Ballivan, 8th AR Mendez(reserve), Bat.Ing. 6 Riosinho.
  • 7th Army Division, Cochabamba (the largest):, 18th Parachute Infantry Regiment "Victoria" (Army Special Troops Training Center), 26th IR R.Barrientos (mech.) 29th PIR "CPT V.Ustariz" (airborne), 7th FA Regt. Tumusia, Bat.Ing.5 T.N.Ovando
  • 8th AD, Santa Cruz: RI 7 Marzana, RI 10 Warnes (mech.), RC 10 G.M.J.M. Mercado, RA 9 Mitre (reserve), Bat.Ing. 3 Pando.
  • 9th AD (Reserve), Rurrenabaque: the Division has been reduced to reserve status and its component units have been divided up between DE-1 and DE-6
  • 10th AD, Tupiz: 2nd Infantry Regiment "Marshal Antonio Jose de Sucre", 3rd IR "Juan Jose Perez", RI 4 Loa, RI 27 Antofagasta, 7th ACR Chichas (Armored Cavalry), RA 12 Ayohuma (reserve)
SK-105 Kürassier 19 ton light tank with 105mm gun in oscillating turret

Regimental abbreviations

RIE/IR/PIR: infantry regiment

RC/ACR: cavalry regiment

RA: artillery regiment

Bat.Ing./CEB: Engineer battalion

The ten divisions control the following units:

Snipers carrying Dragunov SVD rifles.
  • eight cavalry regiments, included two mechanized regiments
  • twenty-three infantry regiments included two airborne and two mountain
  • one recce. mechanized regiments and one armored regiment
  • two ranger regiments and one special forces regiment
  • six artillery regiments and plus three in reserve
  • one artillery and anti-air group
  • one artillery and anti-air Regiment
  • three military police battalions
  • three ecological battalions
  • two army aviation companies
  • six engineer battalions
  • Plus logistical and instructional support commands
  • Presidential Guard (Bolivian Colorados Regiment) infantry regiment under direct control of the army headquarters in La Paz's Miraflores district

The Army maintains a small fleet of utility aircraft, primarily to support headquarters.


Bolivian SK-105 Kürassier light tank.
7.5 cm FK 18 during a parade in Cochabamba.
Bolivian EE-9 Cascavel AFV.


Bolivian army equipment[3]
Tanks 54 SK-105 Kürassier+ 2 4K4FA-SB20 Greif-Recov+ 2~4 M578 Cherry Picker-Reco.
Reconnaissance vehicles 24 EE-9 Cascavel,


Armoured personnel carriers 50 M113 armored personnel carriers with local upgrades,

24 EE-11 Urutu APC,

24 M3 Half-track

15 Cadillac Gage Commando V-150,

24 MOWAG Roland (locally upgraded; used by the military police)

Artillery 18 Type 54 122mm howitzers,

20 10.5 cm leFH 18 105mm howitzers.

6 M101 105mm howitzers,

36 75mm Pack Howitzer M1

6 Bofors L/40 M1935 75mm howitzers .


M120 120mm,

M30 107mm mortars,

250 M29 81mm mortars,

FM 81mm,

W87 81mm,

M-60 60mm,

Type 63-1 60mm,

M224 60mm mortars


16 2x37mm Type 65,

80 2x20mm Oerlikon K20,

50 HN-5 MANPAD Surface-to-air missile


RPG-7, Type 69-1,

2,000 66mm M72A3 LAW,

RL-83 Blindicide

90mm M-20 Super-Bazooka,

90mm M67 recoilless,

82mm Type 65/78 recoilless,

105mm M40A1 recoilless,

40 HJ-8B Red Arrow ATGM

Transport Transport vehicles: DongFeng EQ 2081/2100, FEW C A4140K2E4R7A, Stayer 1491, 16 Ford F-750, ZIL-131, Unimog 416 Dodge M-37 2½ ton trucks, Engesa EE-15 trucks, 597 Engesa EE-25 trucks, FIAT IVECO 619 5 ton trucks

Tactical transport vehicles: 30 M988 HMMWV, 40 Koyak (local production)

Utility transport vehicles: M151, CJ-5, CJ-7, Jeep Wrangler, BJ 2020VJ, horses (still used by the Bolivian cavalry units) [3]

Small arms Handguns: Browning Hi Power, Glock 17, Beretta 92F, S&M mod.10 all 9mm, M1911A1 (.45ACP)

Sub-Machine Guns: FMK-3, UZI, MAT 49

Assault Rifles: 5,56mm; Galil AR, M-16A1, Steyr AUG A1, SA-80. 7,62mm; FN FAL, SIG 542, SIG 510-4, Type 56-2 (AK-47),

Sniper Rifles: Dragunov SVD, Mauser mod . 86SR, Steyr SSG 69P1

Anti-materiel Rifles: Steyr HS .50

Machine Guns: M60, FN MAG 60–20, SIG MG 710-3, Type 56 LMG

Grenade Launchers: Type 87 35mm, MM-1, M79, M203

Shotguns: Remington 870 and Remington 11-87 .


Name Type Versions In service[4] Notes
Fokker F27 transport 1[5]
Beechcraft King Air Staff transport Model 90
Model 200
Cessna 206 Stationair Utility 4
Cessna 421 Golden Eagle Staff transport Cessna 421B 1
CASA C-212 Aviocar Transport 1 Center of instruction of special troops
Harbin Z-9 Utility 6[5]
Robinson R44 training helicopter 1[5]


Army officers, NCOs, and enlisted personnel generally wear gray service uniforms. In tropical areas they wear gray-green service uniforms. Army fatigue uniforms are olive green, and combat uniforms consist of US woodland pattern camouflage and desert pattern camouflage. The standard headgear for enlisted personnel is a beret bearing the national colors of red, yellow, and green. Armored troops and paratroopers are distinguished by black berets. Special forces wear distinctive camouflage uniforms with green berets.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "CIA World Facts" (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Evo y los militares, una relación con altibajos que tuvo un abrupto fin" (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2009-08-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d "World Air Forces 2021". FlightGlobal. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.

External linksEdit