At the end of January, a serious wave of forest fires began that devastated central and southern Chile, leaving 26 dead and more than 2,000 injured.
Spain has a special historical and cultural link with the countries of Latin America, and for this reason a contingent of 50 Spanish soldiers from the Military Emergency Unit (UME) was sent to Chile . The members of this mission were members of the UME Headquarters, the First Emergency Intervention Battalion (BIEM I), the Fifth Emergency Intervention Battalion (BIEM V) and the UME Transmission Battalion (BTUME).
This contingent was mobilized on February 5, two days before the strong earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria. The UME also came to the aid of those affected by the earthquakes, and this mission, as well as the great The number of deaths caused by the earthquakes has caused the important mission of the UME in Chile to go unnoticed in the media. The UME Operation Chile has ended today with the return of the contingent sent to that country, and it is fair to pay attention to the impressive work carried out by these Spanish soldiers in that Hispanic country. The UME published a video yesterday that summarizes in images this mission and the bonds of friendship that they have created for a month:
You can see below a series of photos of this mission.
The boarding of the UME members sent to Chile in a Spanish Air Force Airbus A330 MRTT at the Torrejón Air Base, on February 6.
In addition to personnel, the UME material necessary for the development of this mission was also embarked on the plane.
Members of the UME and Chilean firefighters in the area of operations of the forest fire in the community of Yumbel, in the Biobío region, on February 7.
Members of the UME and Chilean firefighters opening a firebreak in the Omer Huet forest fire, in the Hualqui region, on February 9.
Chilean firefighters and members of the UME in the area of the Omer Huet fire, on February 9.
The perimeter work of the Omer Huet forest fire, on February 12.
UME members fighting the fire at the Omer Huet fire on 12 February.
Another image of the perimeter tasks of the Omer Huet forest fire, already at night, on February 12.
UME members putting out the embers of a burning forest in Omer Huet on 12 February.
In the middle of a forest burned down and covered in smoke in Omer Huet, on February 12.
Health personnel from the UME treating wounds caused by the fight against the fire in Omer Huet, on February 12. The vehicle was provided by the Chileans for use by the UME contingent, since the Spanish military did not have their own vehicles.
Members of the UME with Chilean Marines in the Biobío region, on February 15.
Members of the UME with the Chilean military trucks they used to get around. This photo is from the area of the Los Cortijos forest fire on February 15.
Members of the UME and Chilean personnel at the command post, on February 17.
A member of the UME in the Santa Ana forest fire, in the Coronel commune, Biobío region, on February 18.
A Chilean citizen greets the members of the UME. The Spanish military have received many tokens of gratitude from the Chilean people.
Members of the UME with Mexican soldiers at the Santa Ana fire, in Coronel, on February 19. Mexico sent 180 soldiers to fight forest fires in Chile. Emergency personnel from Argentina, France and Portugal also arrived, joining the 2,400 soldiers deployed by Chile to fight the fire.
Among the material that the UME brought with it was Mavic, Matrice 300 RTK and Elios 2 drones, equipped with thermal cameras, for reconnaissance of affected areas. Here we see a Matrice 300 RTK drone in flight at the Santa Ana fire, in Coronel, on February 19.
The Chief of Defense for the Biobío region expressing his gratitude to the UME at the farewell ceremony held on March 3.
Members of the UME and staff from Chile and Mexico at the farewell ceremony in Biobío, posing with the flags of Spain, Biobío and Chile.
Congratulations to the members of the UME who have participated in this operation. Once again, you make us feel proud of you.
Photos: Unidad Militar de Emergencias / Ministerio de Defensa de España / Jefatura de la Defensa Nacional de la Armada de Chile en la región del Biobío.
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