The mission is to provide an operational force of organized Marines, equipped and trained with the intent to contribute to the protection of the navy, coastal defense, and the security of interior institutions.
The Commandant of the Chilean Marines is Rear Admiral Gaston ARRIAGADA Rodriguez since January 2000. Positions held during his career:
He has had typical Marine Corps Command and Staff assignments.
Issues of Primary Concern
Engage in long term amphibious and riverine force development. Political Difficulties which prevent the Chilean Marines from working more closely with the USMC.
Organization and Capabilities
The Chilean Marines have approximately 2900 personnel formed into 4 battalion sized elements (2 x infantry, 1 x artillery, and 1 x training) called "Detachments," each named for a significant figure in the Chilean Marines' history, a special operations group and various support units. The Chilean Marines also utilize the Marine Forces model for operational commands with the Marine Forces North, South, Amphibious, and Special Forces commands.
Weapons and Equipment
Organic fire support is provided by 81mm mortars, 106mm recoilless rifles, and 155mm howitzers. The Chilean Marines operate Scorpion light tanks. Amphibious shipping available to the Chilean Marines include the Valdivia (former USS San Bernadino County), two Elicura Class LSMs, and three Maipo Batral LSTs. Zodiac boats are the primary means of ship to shore movement.