United Mexican States (Mexico)
Mexico is officially the United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos). The nation has not been to war with another country since the Mexican American War (1846-1848), but has dealt with a number of insurrections in the past 200 years. The most recent of these has been the Zapatista Uprising (1994 to present) in the Chiapas State.
The Mexican Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas de Mexico) consist of three major commands: the Mexican Army (Ejercito), Mexican Air Force (Fuerzas Aerea de Mexicana or FAM) and the Mexican Navy (Armada de Mexico), the latter of which includes the Mexican Naval Infantry (Infanteria de Marina). Falling under an external command structure are the Corps of Military Police, Mexican Special Forces (Fuerzas Especiales), the Presidential Guards, and an Airborne Brigade. The Mexican Armed Forces consist of just over 259,000 active duty personnel, whose responsibilities include repelling external aggression, providing for the internal security of the nation, and assisting the civilian population in the event of natural disasters.
Until very recently, the standard operational and work uniform of the Mexican Armed Forces was khaki or olive green. Camouflage uniforms were only issued to special units such as the paratroopers, special forces and marines, or infantry and other units with specialized missions (border protection, counter-narcotics, etc). In 2008, the entire armed forces began the process of being outfitted in a new series of pixelated camouflage designs.
Camouflage Patterns of the Mexican Armed Forces
- The earliest Mexican camouflage pattern was heavily influenced by the US M1942 spot camouflage pattern of the Second World War. Locally produced, the Mexican five-color spot pattern features dark brown, mid-brown, olive green & moss green spots on a light olive or khaki background, although considerable variability exists among the different production runs. Uniforms were locally-produced and issued primarily to infantry, airborne and special forces units.
- Beginning in the very late 1980s or early 1990s, although the standard operational uniform of the Mexican Armed Forces remained drab olive green, some Mexican personnel were issued with a locally-produced uniform made from imported US m81 woodland camouflage pattern fabric. These camouflage uniforms were primarily found among airborne, special forces and naval infantry units.
- Beginning in the 1990s, some special units of the Mexican Army and Corps of Military Police also began wearing locally-produced uniforms made from imported US tricolor desert pattern fabric.
- The Army Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE) and the Presidential Security Unit have been known to wear an "urban" coloration of the m81 woodland camouflage design, having black, dark grey & light grey woodland shapes on a white background.
- In 2008, the Mexico began replacing all of its older drab and camouflage uniforms with a series of new pixelated camouflage designs unique to its armed services. Now issued Army-wide, the temperate digital pattern incorporates black, rust & olive green pixelated shapes on a pale green background.
- A pixelated desert pattern was also introduced at the same time for wear in the arid and desert regions of Mexico. This pattern incorporates small patches of dark olive green and russet among larger swaths of off-white or sand and pink.
- Also introduced in 2008 were a series of pixelated camouflage designs specifically created for the Mexican Naval Infantry. The temperate digital pattern incorporates black, brown and foliage green on a khaki background. All digital patterns of the Mexican Marines have a small anchor & crossed rifles symbol as well as the Mexican Navy crest embedded into the camouflage design.
- The Mexican Naval Infantry desert digital pattern incorporates brown, russet & beige on a sandy background.
- The Mexican Naval Infantry urban digital pattern incorporates black, grey and blue on an off-white background.
- In 2013, it was first announced that the Mexican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Mexicana) would adopt its own pixelated camouflage uniform, with a blue colorway.
- It was announced in September 2015 that the Infanteria de Marina would adopt a new camouflage pattern to replace the pixelated design introduced in 2008. This pattern, known colloquially as Marina Trans Jungle, was developed by Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corporation as US4CES Transitional in 2011. New uniforms in this pattern were officially introduced to the public at the Mexican Independence Day parade on September 16, 2015, with a full transition to the new pattern intended by November 2015.
Camouflage Patterns Worn by the Mexican Federal Police
- The Police SWAT Unit of the Mexicali State and the Unete a los Defensores of the Jalisco State both wear this dark urban pixelated design, probably copied from the commercial version produced by Propper Industries in the USA. This same pattern also seems to be worn by the Federal Ministerial Police reaction unit.
- Elite Police of the Sinaloa State have been documented wearing a locally-produced variation of the Multicam design.
- Special units of the Mexican Policía Federal (Federal Police) wear a locally-produced copy of the USMC MARPAT temperate camouflage design.
- The "Unidad Especializada Antisecuestros (Special Anti-Kidnapping Unit) of the Sinaloa State wear a copy of the "Universal Camouflage Pattern of the US Army.
- The Reacción Organizada Contra Asaltos or ROCA is a Special Police Reaction unit of the Yucatan State. Members of this unit have been documented wearing an "urbanized" variation of the standard woodland camouflage pattern developed in the USA
- A new federal police force, La Gendarmeria Nacional was activated in April 2014 as a civilian protection force with the special aim of protecting key parts of the economy, like mining operations and farms, from drug gangs. Members of this elite unit are both highly trained and in many cases highly educated, and wear a pixelated camouflage design created specifically for them, seen below.