Within the Atlantic Alliance there are a total of 18 forces of this type

The marine infantry forces of NATO countries, their age and size

Naval infantry forces are today an important component of many navies, also in the case of the Atlantic Alliance.

Spanish Marine Infantry: the units that make it up and their material resources
The items a United States Marine carries in his backpack on a 72-hour operation

It should be noted that not all NATO countries with access to the sea have forces of this type. Among the sea-allied countries that currently lack such forces are Belgium (which is currently developing plans to form one), Denmark, Slovenia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Montenegro and Poland. You can see below the 18 active marine infantry forces in NATO. They are indicated in order of seniority.

AAV-7 amphibious armored vehicles of the Tercio de Armada (Photo: Armada Española).

Spain 🇪🇸 Infantería de Marina

The Spanish Infantería de Marina (Marine Infantry), founded in 1537, is the oldest naval infantry in the world. Today it is divided into four sections: the Marine Infantry Brigade (BRIMAR), also known as Tercio de Armada (TEAR), which is the expeditionary force, is made up of four battalions and three support groups; The Navy Protection Force (FUPRO) is responsible for the protection of ships and naval bases, and is made up of three Tercios, regiment-sized units; The Special Naval Warfare Force (FGNE) is the special operations group of the Spanish Navy; and the Ocean Sea Company of the Royal Guard is made up of members of the Navy who are part of the unit that protects the Royal Family. In total, the Spanish Marine Corps has about 5,700 soldiers. You have more information about its structure and means here.

Fuzileiros of the Portuguese Navy (Photo: Marinha Portuguesa).

Portugal 🇵🇹 Corpo de Fuzileiros

The Corpo de Fuzileiros (Rifle Corps) was founded in 1618, following the model of the Spanish Marine Infantry, with the size of a regiment and the name Terço da Armada da Coroa de Portugal (Third of Navy of the Crown of Portugal). The Corpo de Fuzileiros was the third largest marine infantry in the world, after the Spanish Marine Infantry (1537) and the Venetian Fanti da Mar (1550). Today this body is the second oldest naval infantry in the world. It has about 1,200 soldiers and depends on the Portuguese Navy.

British Royal Marines on an exercise (Photo: Royal Navy).

United Kingdom 🇬🇧 Royal Marines

The Royal Marine Corps was founded in 1664 as the Admiral's Regiment. Today it is made up of almost 6,000 soldiers and includes a special operations unit, the Royal Marine Commandos, founded in 1942.

Soldiers of the Korps Mariniers of the Netherlands (Photo: Werken bij Defensie).

Netherlands 🇳🇱 Korps Mariniers

The Korps Mariniers (Marine Corps) of the Netherlands was founded in 1665 as a Marine Regiment. It depends on the Royal Dutch Navy and is made up of about 2,500 soldiers. It has a special operations unit, the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces (NLMARSOF), founded in 2013.

US Marines at the Morón Air Base, in Spain, in 2021 (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps).

United States 🇺🇸 Marine Corps (USMC)

United States Marine Corps (USMC) was founded in 1798. Today it is made up of more than 177,000 active soldiers and about 32,000 reservists. Its structure is made up of three Marine Expeditionary Forces. It is the only NATO naval infantry force to have its own aircraft, including F-35B and F/A-18C/D fighter jets. Today it is the largest naval infantry force in the world, with a size that exceeds that of many armies.

Soldiers of the Seebataillon of the German Navy (Photo: Bundeswehr).

Germany 🇩🇪 Seebataillon

The Seebataillon (Sea Battalion) was created in 1852 as part of the Prussian Navy, although its current organization was created in 2014 as part of the German Navy. It has about 1,100 soldiers.

Fusiliers Marins of France in a parade (Photo: Marine Nationale).

France 🇫🇷 Fusiliers Marins

The Fusiliers Marins (Marine Riflemen) were founded in 1856. They have about 1,800 soldiers divided into three battalions and function as a protection force for the French National Navy. In addition, the French Army has the 9e Brigade d'Infanterie de Marine (9th Marine Infantry Brigade), made up of about 8,000 soldiers and which functions as an expeditionary naval infantry force.

Soldiers of the "San Marco" Marine Brigade in a parade (Photo: Jollyroger).

Italy 🇮🇹 Brigata Marina "San Marco"

The Brigata Marina "San Marco" (Marine Brigade "San Marco) was founded in 1914 as a Marine Brigade. After the Second World War it was reduced to a battalion, which became a regiment in 1994, being converted into the current brigade in 2013. The brigade is made up of three regiments, with about 3,800 soldiers, and depends on the Italian Military Navy.

Soldiers of the Nyland Brigade of the Finnish Navy (Photo: Arkisto/Marianne Falck).

Finland 🇫🇮 Uudenmaan Prikaati

The Uudenmaan Prikaati (Nyland Brigade) was founded in 1918 as a regiment of the Finnish Army, the 3 Jääkärirykmentti. The Brigade became part of the Finnish Navy in 1998. It includes two battalions, with a total of about 1,500 soldiers. In addition, the Finnish Navy has a Rannikkoprikaati (Coastal Brigade) founded in 2015 and made up of a Marine Regiment, a Military Police company and an intelligence and special operations battalion.

Members of the 32nd Greek Marine Brigade (Photo: United States Marine Corps).

Greece 🇬🇷 32 Taxiarhia Pezonavton Moravas

The 32 Taxiarhia Pezonavton Moravas (32nd Marine Brigade) was founded in 1919as the 32nd Infantry Regiment. It depends on the Greek Army and is made up of five battalions.

Soldiers of the Regimentul 307 Infanterie Marină of Romania (Photo: Forțele Navale Române).

Romania 🇷🇴 Regimentul 307 Infanterie Marină

The Regimentul 307 Infanterie Marină (307th Marine Infantry Regiment) has its origins in 1940, when the first naval infantry unit of the Romanian Navy, the Batalionul de Infanterie Marină (Marine Infantry Battalion), was founded. Marine). The current one was created on November 29, 1971 as Batalionului 307 Infanterie Marină (307th Marine Infantry Battalion), which was converted into a regiment in 2018.

Operators of the Marinejegerkommandoen (MJK) of the Royal Norwegian Navy (Photo: Forsvaret).

Norway 🇳🇴 MJK and KJK

The Royal Norwegian Navy has two marine units founded in 1953 and 2001, respectively: the Marinejegerkommandoen (MJK, Naval Special Operations Command) and the Kystjegerkommandoen (KJK, Coastal Ranger Command). The MJK is a special operations unit and its size is classified. The KJK is a naval commando unit made up of about 140 soldiers.

Turkey 🇹🇷 Amfibi Deniz Piyade Tugayı

The Amfibi Deniz Piyade Tugayı (Marine Amphibious Brigade) was founded in 1966 It is divided into three battalions and despite its name it is more of a regiment-type unit.

Bulgaria 🇧🇬 65-i Morski Spetsialen Razuznavatelen Otryad "Chernomorski Akuli"

The 65-i Morski Spetsialen Razuznavatelen Otryad "Chernomorski Akuli" (65th Naval Special Reconnaissance Unit "Black Sea Sharks") was created in 1970. It is a special operations unit and is quite shrouded in secrecy.

Soldiers of the Swedish Amfibiekåren (Photo: Forsvarsmakten).

Sweden 🇸🇪 Amfibiekåren

The Amfibiekåren (Amphibious Corps) of the Swedish Navy was founded in 2000. It is a brigade made up of two regiments and its main mission is coastal defense.

Members of the Naval Tactical Operations Group of the Royal Canadian Navy (Photo: Government of Canada).

Canada 🇨🇦 NTOG and NST

Canada has two marine units founded in 2014 and 2016, respectively: the Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) and the Naval Security Team (NST). The NTOG is made up of 50 soldiers and is responsible for defending ships and carrying out boarding. The NST has about 60 soldiers and functions as a protection force. Both units depend on the Royal Canadian Navy.

Soldiers of the Croatian Naval Amphibious Infantry Company (Photo: Ministarstvo obrane Republike Hrvatske).

Croatia 🇭🇷 Satnija Mornaričkog-Desantnog Pješaštva

The Satnija Mornaričkog-Desantnog Pješaštva (Naval Amphibious Infantry Company) was created in 2018. It has 158 soldiers and is in charge of protection tasks.

A soldier of the 3rd Infantry Platoon (Rifles) of the Lithuanian Navy (Photo: Lietuvos Kariuomenė).

Lithuania 🇱🇹 Uosto ir Priekrantės Gynybos Tarnyba

The Uosto ir Priekrantės Gynybos Tarnyba (UPGT) was created in 2022 through the merger of the Underwater Action Team and the Security Company of the Logistics Service of the Lithuanian Navy. The UPGT carries out protection tasks for port facilities, the national coast and the Curonian Lagoon. On May 12, 2023, 3-Asis Pėstininkų (Fuzilierių) Būrys (3rd Infantry Platoon (Rifles)) was created as part of the Logistics Service Security Company. It is NATO's youngest and smallest naval infantry force.


Main photo: U.S. Marine Corps.

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