Spanish Navy has been conducting annual “MARFIBEX-21/1” amphibious exercise in the Bay of Cadiz and in the ‘Sierra del Retin’ training area, the Spanish Navy announced with a press release.
The following units are participating in the exercise:
- LHD ‘Juan Carlos I’.
- LPD ‘Galicia’.
- F-80 frigate ‘Santa María’.
- Staff of the Fleet’s Amphibious and Projection Group.
- Beach Naval Group (with 5 LCM1-E craft).
- 3rd Landing Battalion and support units of the MC Infantry Brigade.
- Embarked Air Group of the Aircraft Flotilla.
- Different air assets belonging to the Spanish Navy Aircraft Flotilla including 2 SH-3D helicopters, 2 AB-212 helicopters, 4 to 6 AV-8B ‘Harrier’ aircraft, 1 ‘Cessna Citation’ aircraft, and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ‘Scan Eagle’. In addition, HT-27 ‘Cougar’ helicopters of the Spanish Army’s Airmobile Forces are also participating.
- The I/74 Anti-aircraft Artillery Group of the Spanish Army.
- Coastal Artillery Regiment No. 4 of the Army.
One thousand soldiers (895 from the Navy including personnel from different collaborating units) have been deployed for the conduction of this amphibious exercise in which activities are being carried out mainly aimed at increasing training in amphibious and air operations.
The exercise involves the preparation and execution of a landing and subsequent re-embarkation of the Marine Corps Infantry Battalion in the ‘Sierra del Retín’ range, as well as other serial exercises related to the support of this type of operations.
This will be the first occasion in the Marfibex serie, after having been canceled in 2020 due to health prevention measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this sense, the prevention protocols will be rigorously implemented, having sized the exercise in such a way as to allow the maximum participation of personnel compatible with an adequate separation in the available spaces of ships and exercise areas, prioritizing the safety of the personnel over any other consideration.
MARFIBEX is a basic amphibious training exercise, which is generally scheduled at least once a year, being part of the amphibious training cycle and as a follow-on of the basic training already completed in the ADELFIBEX exercise.
This type of amphibious exercises serves as a starting point for the units of the ‘Fleet’s Amphibious and Projection Group’ (GRUPFLOT in its Spanish initials) and the ‘Marine Corps Brigade’ (BRIMAR) in their recurrent training, with the objective of maintaining the projection capability of a land force from the sea, as well as preparing for humanitarian aid and crisis response operations.