Ministerio de Defensa de España


After the earthquake that struck Haïti on January 12, 2010, the Spanish government ordered the deployment of 37 UME soldiers to assist in search and rescue in Port-au-Prince, capital of the country. Their work allowed, among others, to rescue more than 30 corpses from the rubble. However, Haiti’s experience revealed the need to specialize these teams with the necessary materials and procedures that allow their rapid integration with other international teams.

In November 2011, after an intense period of specific preparation in accordance with the guidelines of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), UME obtained the United Nations Classification as an International Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR). It allowed UME to become the first military group in the world classified for this and in association with ERICAM, of the Community of Madrid, are the two only Spanish speaking members.

By 2015, USAR teams from the 4th Emergency response Battalion were deployed in Lantag after the earthquake in Nepal in April that year. The 47 soldiers deployed there, already worked as a United Nations-classified team not only in Search and Rescue, but also in the propping up of 14 houses in Chapagaun and the protection of the cultural heritage of a nearby temple.

Also in April 2016, Spain deployed a SP-USAR-UME team in response to the earthquake suffered by Ecuador. Specifically, 45 UME soldiers and 12 ERICAM specialists worked as a single team in Search and Rescue, restoration of critical infrastructures and heritage protection in the west of the country.

Throughout this year, the fight against forest fires have been the main purpose of the two international interventions. 56 UME soldiers were deployed to the Biobío Region in Chile, at the end of January, to collaborate in the extinction of forest fires that devastated the Latin American country. In June, 100 soldiers belonging to the First and Fifth Emergency Response Battalions (BIEM) traveled to Portugal to collaborate in the forests fires of Pedrogrâo Grande.


Mexico Portugal chile 

Ecuador Nepal Haiti


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