The Mexican Army is the combined land and air branch and largest of the Mexican Military services; it also is known as the National Defense Army. It is famous for having been the first army to adopt and use an automatic rifle, (the Mondragón rifle), in 1899, and the first to issue automatic weapons as standard issue weapons, in 1908. The Mexican Army has an active duty force of 192,000 (2009 est.).Mexico has no foreign nation-state adversaries and little ambition to impose itself upon other nations. It repudiates the use of force to settle disputes and rejects interference by one nation in the affairs of another. Although it has not suffered a major terrorist incident, Mexico considers itself a potential target for international terrorism.
The Army is under authority of the National Defense Secretariat or SEDENA. It has three components: a national headquarters, territorial commands, and independent units. The Minister of Defence commands the Army via a centralized command system and many general officers. The Army uses a modified continental staff system in its headquarters. The Mexican Air Force is a branch of the Mexican Army.The principal units of the Mexican army are nine infantry brigades and a number of independent regiments and infantry battalions. The main maneuver elements of the army are organized in three corps, each consisting of three infantry brigades, all based in and around the Federal District. Distinct from the brigade formations, independent regiments and battalions are assigned to zonal garrisons (45 in total) in each of the country’s 12 military regions. Infantry battalions, composed of approximately 300 troops, generally are deployed in each zone, and certain zones are assigned an additional motorized cavalry regiment or an artillery regiment.
México is divided into twelve Military Regions composed of forty-four sub-ordinate Military Zones [the 2007 ed. of the IISS lists 12 regions, 45 zones], the enumeration is for nominal designation. There is no fixed number of zones in a region, therefore operational needs determine how many or how few, with corresponding increases and decreases in troop strength.
Usually on the secretary of defence’s recommendation. The senior zone commander also is commander of the military region containing the military zone. A military zone commander has jurisdiction over every unit operating in his territory, including the Rurales (Rural Defense Force) that occasionally have been Federal political counterweight to the power of state governors. Zone commanders provide the national defence secretary with socio-political conditions intelligence about rural areas. Moreover, they traditionally have acted in co-ordination with the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) on planning and resources deployment.
The primary units of the Mexican army are six brigades and a number of independent regiments and infantry battalions.The Brigades, all based in and around the Federal District (encompassing the Mexico City area), are the only real maneuver elements in the army. With their support units, they are believed to account for over 40 percent of the country’s ground forces. According to The Military Balance, published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the army has six brigades: one armored, two infantry, one motorized infantry, one airborne, and the Presidential Guard Brigade, the presidencial bodyguard brigade has a reaction group, (grupo de reaccion inmediata y potente, G.R.I.P.), its members are trained in martial arts such as karate, aikijutsu, tae kwon do, kick boxing, kung fu, judo, and silat, furthermore, they’re trained in techniques and tactics in order to protect high ranking officials and civil servants, such as the President. The Third military police brigade was transferred to the Federal Preventive Police in 2008. The armored brigade is one of two new brigades formed since 1990 as part of a reorganization made possible by an increase in overall strength of about 25,000 troops. The brigade consists of three armored and one mechanized infantry regiment.