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Colombia - Army Units Flags

Last modified: 2014-05-29 by zoltán horváth
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Overview

Yesterday, RCN news channel announced the changes in the military hierarchy of Colombia. Among these new postings, they mentioned the new appointment of a General in the position of Commander of a new Joint Command. The new unit will be named Comando Conjunto No. 2 'Pacífico' (Joint Command No. 2 'Pacific') and the flag will have the same pattern as the Joint Command No. 1 'Caribbean'.
Also the creation of a new Army Division, the Octava División (8th Division). The 8th Division War Flag follows the same pattern as all of the other Army Divisions and the Standard is the plain red flag plus the Coat of Arms which is still unknown.
I found an article on local newspaper El Colombiano where they mention the composition of the Comando Conjunto No. 2
'Pacífico'. The units are: Army's Third Division, the FNP (Fuerza Naval del Pacífico, Navy Pacific Force) and the CACOM
No. 3 (Comando Aéreo de Combate No. 3, Air Combat Command No. 3) of the Air Force.
E.R., 13 November 2009


Joint Command No. 1 'Caribbean'


image by Eugene Ipavec, 5 February 2006

There's a military Task Force in Colombia recently created which is higher than an Army Division (in the Military hierarchy). It is only a temporary task force, but it comprises a lot of military manpower, so it is very important. The official name is Comando Conjunto No. 1 'Caribe' (Joint Command No. 1 'Caribbean'), and it comprises the Army's First Division, and the Navy's First Marine Infantry Brigade, plus some other smaller units.The flag is the Colombian tricolor, plus the Coat of Arms of the General Forces Military Command. The image looks pretty similar to the alternate version of the General Forces Military Command, only that the lettering changes a bit: on the top it reads COMANDO CONJUNTO, and on the bottom reads NUMERO 1 CARIBE.
E.R., 5 February 2006

There's a very thorough article that appeared on Revista Aeronáutica (official Colombian Air Force Magazine), Edition 254, Year 2008, Volume II, with the explanation of the organization and operation,a s well as the chain of command of a Comando Conjunto (Joint Command) o Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta (Joint Task Force). The organizational chart is here.
E.R., 31 August 2009


image by Eugene Ipavec, 05 July 2011


image by Eugene Ipavec, 05 July 2011

There are two additional flags of the The Joint Command No. 1 'Caribbean'. In this image one can see on the left the Standard of the JC1 (Colombian tricolor flag, on top reading REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA in golden capital letters around the CoA and on the bottom reading COMANDO CONJUNTO No1 in golden capital letters as well), and on the right side of the picture is the War Flag (variant) of the already reported image. The variant is the General Command of Military Forces Flag (variant) but instead of reading COMANDO GENERAL on top, it reads COMANDO CONJUNTO No1 in golden capital letters.
Esteban Rivera, 11 September 2010

In addition to  the Joint Command No. 1 'Caribbean', I should mention the full list of Task Forces up to date:
Joint Task Forces (combine Army, Navy and Air Force elements):
- Nudo de Paramillo (not featured on FOTW) based in Nudo de Paramillo, border between Córdoba and Antioquia
- Sur del Tolima
- Quirón based in Arauca
- Apolo based in Cauca
- Omega based in Meta
- Vulcano based in Catatumbo region of Norte de Santander
- Pegaso based in Nariño

Other Tasks Forces (single-Force elements only):
- Ares (Air Force Task Force) based in Vichada
- Poseydon (Navy Task Force) multiple-based in Riverine harbours nationwide
Source: http://www.semana.com/photos/1561/ImgArticulo_T2_108407_2012331_163935.jpg
(Semana magazine article published on April 1, 2012)
Esteban Rivera, 25 April 2012


Joint Command No. 2 'Southwest'


image located by Esteban Rivera, 17 July 2013

Following the same pattern as the Joint Command No. 1 'Caribbean' flag, this time the Comando Conjunto No. 2 "Suroccidente" (Joint Command No. 2 'Southwest') has the same flag colors, and around the Coat of Arms it features on top the letters "CCON No.2" (CCON being the abbreviation Comando Conjunto) in golden letters and on the bottom the letters "SUROCCIDENTE" (Southwest).
Image is a screenshot taken today from RCN news channel broadcast)
Esteban Rivera, 17 July 2013


Omega Joint Task Force


image by Eugene Ipavec, 11 August 2009

I've spotted the flag of the Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta Omega (Omega Joint Task Force). It is displayed today on the General Command of the Military Forces official website.
A Joint Task Force is by definition a military formation composed by elements asigned to it two or more Forces (i.e. Army, Navy, etc,) created by the Minister of Defense, or the Commander of a Unified or Specific Command or by the Commander of an already existing Task Force. It has very specific missions and goals and the unit is disbanded once those objectives are accomplished.
Source: <www.cgfm.mil.co>.
Colombia has had several Comandos Espec?ficos (Specific Commands) specially regarding the expansion of the Air Force (Air Bases were used first as Specific Commands). Also the Army usually prior to the establishment of a Brigade or Division has a Unified Command for this purpose.
E.R., 10 August 2009

The motto (or at least some writing, it looks longer than just the motto) should go in the black border of the shield.
Eugene Ipavec, 11 August 2009

The Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta “OMEGA” (Joint Task Force "OMEGA") has been activated with Command Post in Larandia, which belongs to the Municpality of Florencia in the Department of Caquetá.
This Task Force has some 15,000 troops, combining Army, Navy and Air Force elements as follows:
Field units of the Task Force consist of eight brigades as follows
- Mobile Brigades 1, 2 and 3 which make up the FUDRA (Fuerza de Despliegue Rápido, Rapid Deployment Force), these units are based in La Macarena in the Department of Meta
- Mobile Brigade No. 6 based in Cartagena del Chairá, Department of Caquetá
- Mobile Brigade No. 7 based in Calamar, Department of Guaviare
- Mobile Brigade No. 9 based in San Vicente del Caguán, Department of Caquetá
- Mobile Brigade No. 10 based in Miraflores, Department of Guaviare
- Mobile Brigade No. 22 based in Pe?as Coloradas, Department of Caqueta.
Apart from the land component, the JTF has a river component located in Tres Esquinas, Department of Caqueta, and an aviation component in the bases of Larandia and Apiay.
Sources: <www.armada.mil.co>, Wikipedia.
E.R., 31 August 2009

Some of the Units of the Omega Task Force are seen in this image. (Source: Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares official website, picture taken on April 24, 2012)
In the picture, one can see from left to right the following flags:
- Republic of Colombia
- Comando Específico del Caguán Standard (this is the Unit's HQ Command) (the flag has inside its coat of arms in the middle, composed of the map of the Caquetá Department, with a silver sword in the middle and on top the Greek letter Omega in capitals), with a red circle around it that reads COMANDO ESPECÍFICO DEL CAGUÁN (Caguan's Specific Command) on top, and FE EN LA CAUSA (faith in the cause) on the bottom, both in black. Caguán is a Municipality (full name San Vicente del Caguán) and it was the main location where the failed peace negotiations bewtween the Farc guerrilla and the government took place (1999-2002), during a Demilitarized Zone established by the government for that purpose only , known officially as the Zona de Distensión (Distension zone), but informally known as "El Caguán" (The Caguan) (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Caguan_DMZ ).
- Two flags of undetermined Mobile Brigades
- Brigada Móvile No. 22 (Mobile Brigade No. 22) (the flag is a red horizontal flag, with the coat of arms in the middle, the coat of arms being a green background with two golden fringes around it, and in the middle, a helicopter with one wing on each side and a sword in the middle), like the following images:
http://www.septimadivision.mil.co/tools/microsThumb.php?src=recursos_user/imagenes//div7/escudo_Brim_25.jpg&w=335
(Source: http://www.septimadivision.mil.co/?idcategoria=239517 ) and
http://www.ejercito.mil.co/tools/microsThumb.php?src=recursos_user/imagenes//AENE2010/el_tiempo/BRIGADA_MOVIL_5.jpg&w=321
(Source: http://www.octavadivision.mil.co/index.php?idcategoria=6 )
Esteban Rivera, 01 May 2012


South Tolima Task Force

On April 19, a new Task Force was set up. The Fuerza de Tarea del Sur del Tolima (South Tolima Task Force) was set up, basically with the sole purpose of capturing or neutralizing the Farc's Top Commander.
It is composed of its HQ based in Chaparral ( ), the Brigada Móvil 8 (Mobile Brigade No. 8) , the Brigada Móvil 20 (Mobile Brigade No. 20), the Batallón de Alta Montaña ‘General Santos Gutiérrez Prieto’ (High Mountain Battalion No. 3 ‘General Santos Gutierrez Prieto’), one Company of the Batallón Plan Especial Energético y Vial 6 (PEEV Battalion No. 6), a Detachment of Tiradores de Alta Precisión (High Precision Shooters), and a Company of a Batallón de Apoyo de Servicios Para el Combate(ASPC Battalion).
Its Area of Operations are the follwing Municipalities: Río Blanco, Planadas on the Department of Tolima, Pradera and Florida on the Department of Valle, also on Miranda, Corinto, Toribio, Páez  and Belalcazar on the Department of Cauca.
Sources:
http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=243929
http://www.mindefensa.gov.co/index.php?page=181&id=10528&PHPSESSID=35db37ef9e1815dd6a6771c8f2090f21
http://www.cgfm.mil.co/CGFMPortal/index.jsp?option=noticiaDisplay&idNoti=3318
The Unit's Pennant uses the same template as the General commanding a Unit (reverse is the tricolor Pennant with the General Star rank symbol, and the obverse is the same image as the BRIAV Pennant, the only difference being the initials FTST, that stand for Fuerza de Tarea del Sur del Tolima (South Tolima Task Force) on bold capital golden letters as well).
Esteban Rivera, 21 April 2010


GAULA


Unit Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 16 September 2009


Unit Flag - variant
image by Eugene Ipavec, 25 September 2009


Commander Pennant
image by Eugene Ipavec, 11 August 2009

The GAULA (Grupo de Acción Unificada por la Libertad Personal, Unified Action Group for Personal Liberty) are units set up against kidnapping and extorsion. The GAULA were formerly known as UNASE (Unidad Anti Extorsión y Secuestro, Anti Extorsion and Kidnapping Unit) units.
The GAULA units were created by Law 282 of June 6, 1996 effectively replacing the UNASE units. There are GAULA units in the Police acting autonomously, that is, being independent in all stages of fighting urban crime (intelligence, logistics, combat, etc.). However the Military GAULA units (Army, Navy and Air Force) have to act with an ad hoc attorney, usually a member of the DAS or the Fiscalía, because the Military Forces don't have judicial capacity to legalize captures and other proceedings, so they always have to act with an embedded judicial police. These units depend in administrative terms from the Ministry of Defense ) but operationally speaking work inside the Army and Navy Brigades where they are fisically located according to the organizational chart here.
The Police GAULA units are under the DIASE (Dirección Antisecuestro y Extorsión, Antiextorsion and Antikidnapping Directorate). Official website at <oasportal.policia.gov.co>.
The Army GAULA units are under the DIASE (Dirección Antisecuestro y Extorsión, Antiextorsion and Antikidnapping Directorate). Official website at <www.ejercito.mil.co>.
There are a total of 34 GAULA units, 15 Urban GAULA units under the Police command and 19 Rural GAULA units 17 under the Army and 2 under the Navy. Sources: <www.fondelibertad.gov.co>, <www.specialoperations.com> and wikipedia.
The Pennant of the Commander of the Army GAULA units is seen here (Picture taken on July 20, 2008). It is a black square, with a yellow bordering featuring the GAULA Coat of Arms in the middle. The GAULA Coat of Arms can be found here. The motto reads in latin: DE OPPRESSO LIBER (Freedom to the oppressed, the actual same motto of the U.S. Army Special Forces).
E.R., 10 August 2009

On this <www.mindefensa.gov.co> by the Ministry of Defense one can see on the right side the flag of GAULA (Grupos de Acción Unificada por la Libertad).
GAULA is an acronym for Unificada Grupos de Acción por la Libertad Personal, ie Unified Action Groups for Personal Liberty, specialising in solving hostage-taking. These are elite units established in 1996 exclusively dedicated to the combating of kidnapping and extortion. They are composed of highly qualified personnel who conduct hostage rescues and dismantling of criminal gangs at the root of crimes which compromise the personal freedom of Colombians. There is an inter-institutional element in GAULA guaranteeing self-checking procedures, trained by staff of the Administrative Security Department, the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Criminal Investigation Bureau and military forces. Currently, the country has 16 GAULA of the Colombian National Army and 2 of the Navy.
Sources: wikipedia , <www.ejercito.mil.co>, <www.cgfm.mil.co>.
The GAULA groups are funded directly by the government and the entity that administrates its funds is FONDELIBERTAD, Fondo Nacional para la Defensa de la Libertad Personal (National Fund for the Defense of Personal Freedom). FONDELIBERTAD depends directly on the Ministry of Defense. FONDELIBERTAD was created by Decree No. 1723 of October 6, 1995 and the GAULA were created by Law 282 of 1996. For the full legal background and evolution see <www.antisecuestro.gov.co>. For the full list of GAULA units (military and Police combined) see here.
Prior to the existence of the GAULA, there were the UNASE (Unidad Antisecuestro y Extorsi?n, Anti-Kidnapping and Extortion Unit). UNASE units were created in response to a record number of kidnappings in Bogota in 1991. Not a counterterrorist force in the true sense, the specialty of UNASE is hostage rescue. Nonetheless, as guerrilla groups such as FARC and ELN are frequently the perpetrators of kidnappings-for-ransom, UNASE teams often find themselves involved in firefights with these terrorists. Like many other hostage rescue/CT teams, UNASE volunteers come from the ranks of the police force, not the military.
Each unit is made up of 35 men, five officers and 15 NCOs and 15 special agents. UNASE worked with the British SAS to effect the rescue of Staff Sergeant Timothy Cowley in 1995. has effected dozens of successful rescues. Some members of UNASE were trained in Madrid under the Spanish Civil Guard. These units are now based in most major Colombian cities including Cali, Bogota, Barranquilla and Bucaramangara.
Source: <www.specialoperations.com>.
The flag of the military GAULA units is a camouflage horizontal flag with the logo in the middle.
E.R., 16 September 2009

The text in the bottom of the shield should likely be "Grupos de Acción Unificada por la Libertad" in white caps, not "De Opresso Liber" as in the small graphic images on the web.
Eugene Ipavec, 16 September 2009

There is actually a variant of the GAULA flag. It is a black background with the logo on the middle. There one can see that there's the logo of the GAULA and on the circular border: Grupos de Acci?n Unificada por la Libertad Personal. This is based on photos taken on August 8, 2009 during a Military Parade during the Feria de las Flores (Flowers Fair), the annual festivities in the city of Medell?n, Colombia.
E.R., 25 September 2009

I have never seen two identical Gaula flags, and I had visited at least a dozen of their offices or facilities around the country. Mostly because the seals differ from flag to flag. Another variant is the seal on a red background, as red is the oficial colour of the Ejercito Nacional (National Army).However, most of the time the black background with a seal of different dimensions can be seen indoors within military GAULA's.
Nicolas Velásquez, 25 September 2009


Army Division Flags

The Colombian Military Army is divided into 7 Divisions, each with a flag and a Coat of Arms. Each Army Division flag is based on the Colombian Army Flag Without Arms, but with the Division's Coat of Arms on the middle. Coat of Arms are at <www.ejercito.mil.co>. Pennants are based on <www.mindefensa.gov.co>.
E.R., 12 and 30 October 2005

The pennants are flown on Colombian Independence Day (July 20), and also whenever there are Military Parades. The pennants are not displayed as car flags. They are used usually by a designated Officer or NCO, mostly for mertiorious deeds (usually the highest decorated soldier of a given military unit). The pennant is at the top of a small pole, and the standard bearer goes in front of the unit that his pennant represents. Not only the Army Divisions have Pennants, but also other units. The pennants are part of the military unit. The honor for the bearer is the opportunity to lead his unit carrying the pennant. Thus, the pennant IS NOT an award like the US CommendationRibbons.
E.R., 2 November 2005

There is also an additional flag for each one of the Seven Army Divisions that Colombia currently has. This is the Colombian official flag plus the name of the Division below. So that means that all seven should have the same pattern. This is a general rule for all Colombian Military flags.
Source: Capture from Colombian TV news channel RCN.
E.R., 6 January 2006

See also: Colombia - Military Rank Flags - General Commanding a Unit


1st Division


War Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 January 2006


Standard
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 October 2005

Official website of Primera División (First Division) at <www.primeradivision.mil.co>.
E.R., 8 June 2006


2nd Division


War Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 January 2006


Standard
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 October 2005

Official website of Segunda División (Second Division) at <www.segundadivision.mil.co>.
E.R., 8 June 2006

Fifth Brigade

The Quinta Brigada (Army's Fifth Brigade) is under the command of the Second Division. Its War Flag is seen here (top right flag). The War Flag is the Colombian tricolor with the Coat of Arms of Colombia in the middle, following the same pattern as Army Divisions War Flags.
The Standard is the plain red flag with the Fifth Brigade's Coat of Arms in the middle. The Coat of Arms can be seen here.
E.R., 10 August 2009


3rd Division


War Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 January 2006


Standard
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 October 2005

Official website of Tercera División (Third Division) at <www.terceradivision.mil.co>.
E.R., 8 June 2006


4th Division


War Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 January 2006


Standard
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 October 2005

Official website of Cuarta División (Fourth Division) at <www.cuartadivision.mil.co>.
E.R., 8 June 2006


5th Division


War Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 January 2006


Standard
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 October 2005

Official website of Quinta División (Fifth Division) at <www.quintadivision.mil.co>.
E.R., 8 June 2006


6th Division


War Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 January 2006


Standard
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 October 2005

Official website of Sexta División (Sixth Division) at <www.sextadivision.mil.co>.
E.R., 8 June 2006


7th Division


War Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 January 2006


Standard
image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 June 2006

Official website of Séptima División (Seventh Division- HQ in Medellin, Department of Antioquia) at <www.septimadivision.mil.co>.
E.R., 12 October 2005 and 8 June 2006


8th Division


image by Zoltan Horvath, 12 April 2011

Official website of Octava División (Eight Division- HQ in Yopal, Department of Casanare) at <www.octavadivision.mil.co>.
Flag follows the same pattern as all other Army Division flags, being a red horizontal flag with the coat of arms in the middle.
Esteban Rivera
, 12 April 2011

The War flag is the Colombian tricolor, with the coat of arms in the middle, with the inscription REPÚBLICA DE COLOMBIA on the top, and OCTAVA DIVISIÓN on the bottom. The Standard is the Army's red background horizontal flag with the Division's coat of arms in the middle.
Esteban Rivera, 22 May 2011


image located by Esteban Rivera, 11 April 2011

Image of Army's 8th Division coat of arms taken from its official website
Source: http://www.cemil.mil.co/tools/microsThumb.php?src=recursos_user/imagenes//cemil/CEMIL/div08.jpg&w=470


Reverse of the Standards


image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 March 2006

All the additional official flags have the same plain beckground.
E.R., 2 March 2006


Thirteenth Brigade


obverse
image by Eugene Ipavec, 9 August 2005


reverse
image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 March 2006

The flag of the Decimotercera Brigada (Thirteenth Brigade) based on patch of this Army Brigade at Colombian Army's official website and photo of flag seen during a parade at the Brigade's HQ in Bogotá at CAMBIO magazine.
E.R., 9 August 2005


Seventeenth Brigade


image by Eugene Ipavec, 2 July 2006

The 17th Brigade belongs to the Seventh Division. The official website of the 17th Brigade is at <www.ejercito.mil.co>.
E.R., 2 July 2006


Eighteenth Brigade


image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 March 2009

The 18th Brigade belongs to the Second Division. Image based on photo at "El Tiempo". Another Coat of Arm version can be found at <www.ejercito.mil.co>.
E.R., 6 March 2009


Mechanized Cavalry Group No. 4 'Juan del Corral'


image by Eugene Ipavec,

This flag was spotted on February 24, 2008 during a military fair. It  is the flag of the Grupo de Caballería Mecanizada No. 4 "Juan del Corral" (Mechanized Cavalry Group No. 4 'Juan del Corral'). It is part of the Cuarta Brigada (Fourth Brigade), Séptima División (Seventh Division).
The flag is on yellow background symbolizing Mechanized Cavalry Units and it has the Cavalry Coat of Arms, seen on the website of the ESCAB (Escuela de Caballería, Cavalry School).
It is likely that the colors of the Arms (i.e. Cavalry, Infantry, etc.) of the Army have been taken based upon US Army standards.
E.R., 17 April 2008


BICOL (Infantry Battalion "Colombia")


War Flag - Batallón de Infantería No. 1 "Colombia"
image by Eugene Ipavec, 11 August 2009


War Flag - Batallón de Infantería No. 2 "Colombia"
image by Eugene Ipavec, 11 August 2009


Standard - "Batallón de Infantería Colombia" No. 3
image by Eugene Ipavec, 3 November 2005


Coat of Arms - "Batallón de Infantería Colombia" No. 3
image contributed by E.R., 15 June 2005

The MFO is an indpendent "task force", created after the Camp David Accords (1978). It is an independent international organization (non-UN peacekeeping force) and it is made up of different countries. The Multinational Force & Observers is responsible for supervising implementation of the security provisions of the Treaty of Peace between Egypt and Israel.
The "Batallón de Infantería Colombia" No. 3 (Infantry Battalion No. 3 "Colombia"), abbreviated BICOL, is attached to the MFO. Official website at <bicol3.galeon.com>.
Here is a photo of the pennant of Infantry Battalion No. 3 "Colombia".
E.R., 15 June and 3 November 2005

The flag of the Batallón de Infantería No. 2 "Colombia" is seen here in this picture taken on July 20, 2004. Notice that on the bottom fringe it reads on yellow capital letters: BATALLON INF. COLOMBIA Nº2.
E.R., 10 August 2009

The BICOL , more commonly known as Batallón Colombia (Colombia Battalion) has had several denominatios regarding their deployments as follows:
Batallón Colombia No. 1 was Deployed during the Korean War (1950-1953). After the North Korean invasion of South Korea on June 25th, 1950, the UN Secretary General Trygve Lie appealed to the member nations for support against this aggression. Newly elected (not yet in office) Presidential Candidate Laurean Gómez had already showed his support for the South Koreans in a public speech on June 30 of this same year. The Minister of War of that time, Roberto Urdaneta, had offered military aid by July 28, which became formal on November 14. On December 26, 1950, by Decree No. 3927, the Batallón de Infantería No. 1 "Colombia" was established with 1,060 soldiers including the Frigate A.R.C. Almirante Padilla (FG 11), ex USS Groton (PF-29) of 180 men, which had been sold to Colombia on March 26, 1947. The Frigate served under U.S. Task Force 95. Later on, two other Colombian Frigates replaced the A.R.C. "Almirante Padilla". First was the A.R.C. "Capitán Tono", ex USS Bisbee (PF-46) acquired by Colombia through the Mutual Defense Assistance Act commonly known as the Battle Act. Then the  A.R.C. "Almirante Brión" (FG 14), ex USS Burlington (PF-51), sold to Colombia on June 26, 1953. The Army and Naval Units served until 1955.
The Batallón Colombia which served under the U.S. Army 7th Infantry Division, had several relevos (relays or replacements) so they were called Contingente No. 1, No. 2, etc. (Contingents No. 1, No. 2, etc.). A total of 4.314 men participated in this first Batallón Colombia. Many awards and decorations were awarded to the Battalion as well as to many of its individuals.  
Sources: <www.caballerosandantes.net> , <www.armada.mil.co> and <ascove.org.co>.
The Battalion flag is seen here in the following pictures taken on July 20, 2009: here, here and here. The inscription on the lower fringe of the yellow circle surroundin the Colombian Coat of Arms reads: BATALLON COLOMBIA N°1.
Batallón Colombia No. 2 - The first United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) was established by United Nations General Assembly to secure an end to the 1956 Suez Crisis with resolution 1001 (ES-I) on November 7, 1956. The force was developed in large measure as a result of efforts by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and a proposal from Canadian minister of external affairs Lester Pearson. The General Assembly had approved a plan submitted by the Secretary-General which envisaged the deployment of UNEF on both sides of the armistice line. However, the government of Israel refused to permit UNEF to deploy on their side of the line. After multilateral negotiations with Egypt, eleven countries offered to contribute to a force on the Egyptian side of the armistice line: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, India, Indonesia, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Yugoslavia. Support was also provided by United States, Italy, and Switzerland. The first forces arrived in Cairo on November 15, and UNEF was at its full force of 6,000 by February 1957. The force was fully deployed in designated areas around the canal, in the Sinai and Gaza when Israel withdrew its last forces from Rafah on March 8, 1957.
The Batallón Colombia No. 2 was part of this mission. UNEF ended its mission in May 1967
Sources: wikipedia.
Batallón Colombia No. 3 In accordance with the Camp David Accords, and after a petition from the MFO Commander  Lemon R. Hunt, Colombia issued Disposition No. 00013 of 16 of Octoberm 1981. Then by Decree No. 692 of March 5, 1982 the Batallón Colombia No. 3 is established and it was made up of 40% Infantry , 20% Cavalry, 20% Artillery and 20% Engineers. It was sent to the Sinai Peninsula on October 8, 1982 as part of the MFO
Source: <www.ejercito.mil.co>.
E.R., 11 August 2009


image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 January 2010

Batallón Colombia War Flag - The flag is the Colombian Tricolor, with the Coat of Arms, and on the top fring it reads REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA in bold capital glden letters, and on the bottom it reads BATALLON COLOMBIA.
You can see an actual picture of the flag at Unofficial Colombian Military Forces website.
E.R., 12 January 2010

Unusual in that the ring is a very dark red; normallly on these flags it is plain red.
Eugene Ipavec, 12 January 2010

There was an article published four days ago on the Army's official website showing a ceremony for new replacements into this Battalion. A picture on the article shows a variant of the BICOL Standard Pennant we show above. The difference in this variant is the number 3, which corresponds to the actual Battalion stationed there, as displayed on the War Flag.
E.R., 25 January 2010


image located by Esteban Rivera, 19 July 2011

I found the Pennant for 'Compañía D' (D Company) of the Batallón Colombia while stationed during the Korean War (1950-1953)
Image of pennant.
Source: http://foro.unffmm.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=323
Esteban Rivera, 19 July 2011

It looks pretty unmistakably like a signboard nailed to two wooden posts.
Eugene Ipavec, 20 July 2011

See: Batallón Colombia- Rank Flags

See also: Sinai Multinational Force & Observers Flag


AFEAU (Urban Special Antiterrorist Forces Group)


War Flag
image by Eugene Ipavec, 20 November 2005


Standard
image by Eugene Ipavec, 14 September 2006


Pennant
image by Eugene Ipavec, 20 November 2005


coat of arms
image by Eugene Ipavec, 14 September 2006

The AFEAU (Agrupación de Fuerzas Especiales Antiterroristas Urbanas, Urban Special Antiterrorist Forces Group) are an elite force depending directly from the Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares (General Command of Military Forces).
The Additional official flag should be the official flag of Colombia with the same ratio with Coat of Arms, but the inscription on the upper red fringe of the Coat of Arms reads "REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA" and the bottom inscription hould read AFEAU. The image is based on photo from Colombia's Independence Day, July 20th, 2002. taken from the Ministry of National Defense official website.
The Pennant is based on photo taken from TV channel Canal A. The photo is from Colombia's Independence Day, July 20th, 2003.
Homepages of AFEAU at <www.ejercito.mil.co> and <www.cgfm.mil.co>.
E.R., 20 November 2005

The difference between the Brigada de Fuerzas Especiales (Special Forces Brigade) and the AFEAU (Urban Special Antiterrorist Forces Group), is that the Brigade is made up of Battallions that operate temporarily attached to any given Army Battalion or Army Brigade, with national jurisdiction, while the AFEAU units are platoon-sized elements that are permanently based on the Headquarters of each Army Division, so they only have operational jurisdiction over the area in which their Division operates. Now, there are five AFEAU groups even though there are seven Army Divisions in existence: the Colombian government is getting the funds and its men trained in order to create two more AFEAU groups.
Source: <www.ejercito.mil.co>.
E.R., 25 December 2005

Information on the AFEAU: Fuerzas Especiales Anti-Terroristas Urbanas (AFEAU) <www.specialoperations.com> - Urban Counterterrorist Special Forces. The national hostage rescue/counterterrorist unit is the Fuerzas Especiales Anti-Terroristas Urbanas (AFEAU). It is made up of between 70 and 100 personnel from all branches of the Armed Forces as well as the National Police and is under the overall command of the Comandante de las Fuerzas Armadas (Commander of the Armed Forces). The unit is divided into four 15-man sub-units, one each from the Colombian Army, Navy, Marine Corps and National. Each sub-unit is comprised of two officers and 13 enlisted ranks, all of whom are volunteers. AFEAU is commanded by an Army major who heads a headquarters section comprised of an executive officer, first sergeant, communications operator. It was created as a direct result of the failed assault on the Palace of Justice in Bogota on November 5 and 6, 1985, which resulted in the deaths of not only the M-19 terrorists, but also some 80 soldiers, policemen and hostages as well. In addition to the assault teams, the AFEAU has dedicated sniper teams, a crisis management team, and a hostage negotiation element.
Training is carried out primarily at a facility in Facatativa, north of Bogota. Members are schooled in a wide variety of disciplines, including close-quarters combat, short and longs range marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat, and even air assault operations. Specific hostage rescue skills are developed for the major transportation scenarios including trains, busses, and a wide variety of airplanes.
The ring of the coat of arms contains the inscription "COMANDO FUERZAS ESPECIALES". The acronym spell AFEUR.
Concering AFEAU v. AFEUR - AFEAU stands for Agrupación de Fuerzas Antiterroristas Urbanas... and AFEUR stands for Agrupación de Fuerzas Antiterroristas Urbanas y Rurales. Both are exactly the same thing: that is, there is no difference because those are two ways to refer to them (The emblem and the flag say AFEUR but for example, the pennant reads AFEAU, and the official website on the internet also says AFEAU).
After several months of research on this subject, I have come to the conclusion that they are the same thing: however their uniforms are different when it comes to rural operaions (bascially army jungle camouflage pattern) and urban operations (a kind of snow environment camouflage, in different shades of gray). The gear is the same for all groups and there are AFEAU Police units and AFEAU military units.  
E.R., 14 & 18 September 2006

The'res an article on the organization of the AFEAU at <www.cgfm.mil.co>. It says that the AFEAU is composed of five Destacamentos (Detachments) as follows:
- Alpha (Army)
- Bravo (Navy)
- Charly (Air Force)
- Delta (Police)
- Omega (Expert sharpshooters).
E.R., 18 August 2009


Special Forces Brigade


Standard
image by Eugene Ipavec, 11 August 2009


Square Pennant
image by Eugene Ipavec, 25 December 2005


Triangular Pennant
image by Eugene Ipavec, 25 December 2005

All Colombian Military Units have an official flag and also an official pennant (usually having the initials of the unit). This is the Pennant of this military unit called Brigada de Fuerzas Especiales, or Special Forces Brigade. It's abbreviation is BRFER.
It is directly below the General Command of Military Forces in the structure on the military organization. The difference between the Brigada de Fuerzas Especiales (Special Forces Brigade) and the AFEAU (Urban Special Antiterrorist Forces Group), is that the Brigade is made up of Battallions that operate temporarily attached to any given Army Battalion or Army Brigade, with national jurisdiction, while the AFEAU units are platoon-sized elements that are permanently based on the Headquarters of each Army Division, so they only have operational jurisdiction over the area in which their Division operates. Now, there are five AFEAU groups even though there are seven Army Divisions in existence: the Colombian government is getting the funds and its men trained in order to create two more AFEAU groups.
Source: <www.ejercito.mil.co>.
E.R., 25 December 2005

The BRFER flag is seen displayed here. It is the red color Army flag with the Coat of Arms on the middle on a dark blue background. Below it reads COMANDO. This Coat of Arms is based on the badge of the graduates of the Special Forces School. The flag on the picture actually has the old logo of the Contraguerrilla Commando (Counterguerrilla commando) insignia which is featured on this paramilitary flag. The counterguerrilla insignia representing an eagle catching a snake was taken without permission by the paramilitary group, in fact many paramilitary members wear green T-shirts underneath their cammouflage uniforms, and those T-shirts have the eagle as logo. The new logo is here.
E.R., 10 August 2009


Presidential Guard Battalion (Batallón Guardia Presidencial)

On March 24, 2011 I found some inforation on the Batallón Guardia Presidencial (Presidential Guard Battalion) flag.
The current Battalion is officially called Batallón de Infantería No. 37 'Guardia Presidencial' (Infantry Battalion No. 37 "Presidential Guard"), and it was established on December 7, 1927 by President Miguel Abadí Méndez. Later on, by Decree No. 367 of 1928 is named "Batallón Guardia Presidencial". It has its origins in the Guardia de Honor (Honor Guard) established by General Simón Bolívar in 1814.
The Battalion is under the command of the Army's 13th Brigade, 5th Division and has the following Companies:
- Compañía de Infantería (Infantry Company), known as Córdova Company
- Compañía de Caballería (Cavalry Company), known as Rondón's Company
- Compañía de Artillería (Artillery Company), known as Ricaurte's Company
- Compañía de Ingenieros (Engineers Company), known as Caldas Company
- Pelotón de Soldados de la Casa Militar (MIlitary House Platoon), known as Fergusson's Company.
Source: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_de_Nari%C3%B1o#Defensa

The Batallion's flag is a horizontal flag, green (25%) /white (50%) /green (25%), with the CoA in the middle. The CoA has a roundel in the middle with the inscription "BATALLÓN GUARDIA", on top in bold capital black letters, and "PRESIDENCIAL" on the bottom in bold capital black letters.

Images:
Battalions' flag, first version, with the CoA having a red background.
Source: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5187328501#!/photo.php?fbid=438403995100&set=o.5187328501&theater

Battalions' flag, second version, with the CoA having a white background
Sources: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5187328501#!/photo.php?fbid=10150096361141894&set=o.5187328501&theater,

Image of coat of arms:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5187328501#!/photo.php?fbid=10150096361136894&set=o.5187328501&theater
Source: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5187328501#!/photo.php?fbid=450197609137&set=o.5187328501&theater
(Another version of the coat of arms is found here)

Additional sources:
- http://www.terra.com.co/actualidad/galerias/gal54400.htm  (Picture gallery of the 80th anniversary o the Battalion)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Russ8j8AjY  (video showing the Battalion's flag (from 0:14 until 0:18 and 1:37 until 1:44
- http://wsp.presidencia.gov.co/CasaNarino/Paginas/CasadeNarino3.aspx  (Picture)
- http://wsp.presidencia.gov.co/CasaNarino/Paginas/CasadeNarino6.aspx  (Picture)
- http://wsp.presidencia.gov.co/CasaNarino/Paginas/CasadeNarino7.aspx  (Picture)
Semi official page of the Batallón No. 37 Guardia Presidencial: http://www.ejercito.mil.co/?idcategoria=277533
Esteban Rivera, 22 May 2011


Boyaca Infantry Battalion


image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 August 2009

During the Colombo-Peruvian War of 1932-1933, some Army Battalions as well as Naval and Air Force Units participated in combat actions against the Peruvians.
One of these Units is the Batallón de Infantería Boyacá (Boyaca Infantry Battalion). Its War Flag can be seen here (picture taken on July 20, 2009).
The Batallón Boyacá most likely evolved into refers to Batallón de Infantería No. 9 "Batalla de Boyacá", which is now co^8div.jpg 29th Brigade, which in co^8div.jpgs to the III Division.
E.R., 10 August 2009


Criminal Military Justice


obverse
image by Eugene Ipavec, 3 October 2005


reverse
image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 March 2006

Flag description from the official website (translated from Spanish):
"The flag of the Criminal Military Justice (Justicia Penal Militar) has a white background and four stripes, from top to bottom red, dark blue, light blue and green. On the center a circled Coat of Arms, on dark yellow background, bearing a sword with the tip facing upwards, superimpossed on the balance of justice, both with golden ends, with the Coats of Arms of the Army, Navy, Air Force and National Police [hence the colors mentioned before], and with the motto around reading 'CRIMINAL MILITARY JUSTICE' written in black letters.
Coat of Arms (translated from Spanish):
"White represents transparency, trust, honesty; the colors red, dark blue, light blue and green, as well as their corresponding Coats of Arms, represent each one of the Forces in which the Criminal Military Justice serves which are: National Army, Navy, Air Force, an National Police; the yellow and gold colors stand for commitment and wisdom. The balance featured on the flag is the universal symbol of justice".
E.R., 27 June 2005


Military Aviation


Aviation Brigade old Emblem
image contributed by E.R., 10 July 2005

The Brigada de Aviación (Aviation Brigade) or 25th Brigade is located in Tolemaida, Tolima. This unit was activated on August 23, 1997. It has national jurisdiction as a support brigade and it comprises two Battalions (which several companies each):
1. Batallón de Transporte Aéreo (Air Transport Battalion), fixed wing aircraft
2. Batallón de Helicópteros (Helicopters Battalion), rotary wing aircraft.
Note the blue background plus the Battalion's Coat of Arms.
E.R., 10 July 2005

The Military Aviation branch of the Colombian Army, currently, has three Battalions and one School:
- Batallón de Transporte Aéreo (Air Transport Battalion) was inaugurated on October 24, 1997 on the Air Base Teniente General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (Lt. Gral. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla) in Tolemaida, Cundinamarca.
- Batallón de Helicópteros (Helicopters Battalion, official abbreviation BAHEL). It was inaugurated on May 28, 1997 on the Air Base Teniente General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (Lt. Gral. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla) in Tolemaida, Cundinamarca. It comprises the following companies: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Foxtrot, Gulf and Mike.  Each one with its pennant and the initial of each company's name (i.e. Alpha Company's Pennant has a white A, Bravo Company's Pennant has a white B, and so on).
- Batallón de Aviones (Aircraft Battalion, official abbreviation BATAV):  It was inaugurated on September 25, 1996 on the Air Base Teniente General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (Lt. Gral. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla) in Tolemaida, Cundinamarca. It comprises the following Companies: Alpha, Bravo (Air Intelligence), Charlie (Mobility and Air Assistance) and Delta (MEDEVAC), each one with its pennant and the initial of each company's name (i.e. Alpha Company's Pennant has a white A, Bravo Company's Pennant has a white B, and so on). It's located in Bogota, with several detachments in Tolemaida.