L’ Exèrcit de Catalunya 2300

The Catalan Army in 2300AD



L’ Exercit de Catalunya, the Army of Catalonia, is the national defense force of that small Mediterranean nation.  Previously significantly larger in size and based on an extensive national service system, L’ Exercit has diminished in size during the 23rd century as the issue of independence from Spain was settled diplomatically.  In the modern era, the force has evolved into a small, highly professional force, with much experience in peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and expeditionary low intensity conflict in some of the most strife torn regions found on and of Earth.




Order of Battle


            Task Force 6

            Task Force 205

Notable Units

International and Regional Relations

Personnel and Institutional Culture





The TAR-92 gauss rifle is described in Mark Brown’s Etranger article concerning Azanian military equipment.  The Mle. 2279 medium machinegun and ML-80 8cm mortar are by Bryn Monnery, first mentioned in Dan Hebditch’s article on the Elysian Army.


Thanks should be extended to David Gillon, Dan Hebditch, Randy McDonald, and other members of the Etranger discussion group who provided commentary and feedback concerning the Catalan military.


Order of Battle


Divisió d’ Infanteria

1er Regiment de Paracaigudistas

6è Regiment d’ Infanteria Lleugera

20è Regiment de Muntanyas

29vè Regiment de Forçes Especial

200è Esquadró Independent de Comandos de Marina

9è Regiment de Fuselles

14è Regiment de Fuselles

32on Regiment de Fuselles


Divisió de Cavalleria

3er Regiment de Cavalleria

5uè Regiment de Cavalleria

8è. Regiment de Cavalleria

11è Regiment de Cavalleria


Divisió d’ Artilleria

2on Regiment d’ Artilleria de Camp

4rt Regiment d’ Artilleria de Coet 

30è Regiment d’ Artilleria de Camp


Divisió d’ Enginyeres

7è Regiment d’ Enginyeres

41è Regiment d’ Enginyeres


Divisió de Logística

                        101è Regiment de Logística

                        102è Regiment de Logística

                        103è Regiment de Logística


Note:  Reserve formations shown in italics.




L’ Exercit de Catalunya is administratively organized into five non-tactical divisions, each responsible for certain classes of units (infantry, cavalry, etc.), with the Infantry Division presently being the largest and most influential (itself formed in 2260 by the amalgamation of Infantry, Parachute, Mountain, and Light Divisions).  Subordinate to these divisions are a mix of active and reserve battalion-sized regiments.  Recruiting is a constant problem for the Catalan Army, with most active units at about 80% strength and reserves at less than 50% (though with full equipment sets), and so deploying units often are brought up to strength with a mix of reservists and members of other active units.


Historically, regiments belonged to operational brigade headquarters with specific geographical areas of responsibility.  However, with the diplomatic reduction of Spain as a threat to the nation’s integrity, standing brigades have been eliminated in favor of task organized brigade formations formed as needed for specific missions.  Three active and one reserve brigade headquarters companies are organized, maintaining historic designations of 1er (Nord), 2on (Sud), 3er (Central), and 4rt (Barcelona) Esquadró de Quarter General, but have no permanent forces assigned or actual geographic areas of responsibility.  Instead, these formations serve as the headquarters for Task Forces (Destacament de Forces) organized as needed for operational or training exercises. 


Currently there are two such operational formations established, Destacament de Forces 6 and Destacament de Forces 205 (Task Forces 6 and 205).  Destacament de Forces 6 is presently deployed in Armenia as part of the international peace enforcement effort in that nation, while Destacament de Forces 205 is training up for deployment to the French Arm, where it will serve alongside Azanian forces performing counterinsurgency duties on Kimanjano. 


Though each of these task forces is under the command of a brigadier general, both are small formations for a true brigade, more resembling reinforced battalions, particularly Task Force 6.  L’ Exercit de Catalunya is generally deficient in non-tooth arms, and fielding an actual brigade-sized force for overseas service would require extensive mobilization of reserve elements.  As it is, the formation of two separate reinforced battalion Task Forces has proven to be a significant strain on the army’s logistical capabilities.


Destacament de Forces 6

The Catalan component of the peace enforcement mission in Armenia, Task Force 6 is built around 6è Regiment d’ Infanteria Lleugera, augmented with two platoons of AC-8 hovertanks, a mechanized infantry company, and a platoon of special forces troops.  DF 6’s order of battle is as follows:


            1er (Nord) Esquadró de Quarter General

            6è Regiment d’ Infanteria Lleugera

            1er Esquadró (-), 3er Regiment de Cavalleria (AC-8)

            3er Esquadró, 5uè Regiment de Cavalleria (VCIR)

            8è Escamot, 29vè Regiment de Forçes Especial

            101è Regiment de Logística (-)


Destacament de Forces 205

Presently training up for deployment to the French Arm to support Azanian counterinsurgency and mopping up operations on Kimajano, Task Force 205 is, as the name suggests, built around the 20th Mountain Regiment and 5th Cavalry Regiment.  Presently, active duty combat arms units are supported by the mobilized 102nd Logistics Regiment, though it is expected that this unit will be augmented with elements of the active-duty 101st Regiment when that unit and the remainder of Task Force 6 return from Armenia.  Destacament de Forces 205’s deployment to assist the Azanian government is regarded by most observers as a further slight to Imperial France, as Catalonia is said to have declined contribution of a force to the multinational Division Europa (it is also rumored, however, that Azania is underwriting most of the costs of deployment for Task Force 205). 


Task Force 205 consists of an infantry regiment (the 20th Mountain Regiment, with the reconnaissance company from the 1st Parachute Regiment bringing the under strength 20th Regiment up to approximately full-strength) and an under strength cavalry regiment with one wheeled squadron (with VCIRs and ABR-76s) and one hover mobile squadron (AC-8 and AVCI-3) plus regimental troops.  Augmenting this force is a full company from the 29th Special Forces Regiment, a battery of rocket artillery, and a reinforced logistics regiment (officially listed as the 102nd Logistics Regiment, this unit is actually formed by the merging of both the 102nd and 103rd Regiments).   Order of battle for the Task Force is as follows:


            3er (Central) Esquadró de Quarter General

            20è Regiment de Muntanyas

                        4rt Esquadró de Patrulla, 1er Regiment de Paracaigudistas

            5uè Regiment de Cavalleria (-)

                        2on Esquadró, 3er Regiment de Cavalleria

            1er Esquadró, 29vè Regiment de Forçes Especial

            2on Bateria, 4rt Regiment d’ Artilleria de Coet 

            1er Esquadró, 7è Regiment d’ Enginyeres

            102è Regiment de Logística



Notable Units


1er Regiment de Paracaigudistas

An airmobile formation (only the regiment’s 1st Company is actually jump qualified), 1er Regiment de Paracaigudistas historically was the preferred unit for foreign deployments and expeditionary operations.  With the general drawn down of the Catalan force structure and switch to a volunteer force, it has lost this distinction, though it still maintains a high level of esprit de corps and regards itself as an elite unit.  The unit last saw combat operations during the Central Asian War, where it comported itself extremely well conducting anti-guerilla sweeps in western Kazakhstan.  During the Manchurian breakthrough, however, it was pushed into the front near Chelyabinsk and suffered heavy casualties, narrowly escaping being overrun by Manchurian armored forces and combat walkers.


The 1er Regiment de Paracaigudistas is organized somewhat differently than the other Catalan infantry formations, consisting of three line companies (Esquadró de Fuselles), but no weapons company and instead substituting a reconnaissance company (Esquadró de Patrulla).  The regiment’s three rifle companies are somewhat larger and better supplied with support weapons (including a section of four BH-21 combat walkers), compensating for the lack of heavy mortars and other weapons company support weapons.  The regiment’s single airborne company and reconnaissance company both frequently train with foreign military formations elsewhere in Europe and (more occasionally) elsewhere on Earth or on Tirane (this last curtailed significantly since the termination of the democratic French government).


The regiment was scheduled to replace 6è Regiment d’ Infanteria Lleugera in Armenia in early 2304, but that deployment has been cancelled due to increasing friction between 6è Regiment and the Armenian government.  Instead, one company has been attached over to 20è Regiment de Muntanyas for service in the French Arm while the remainder of the unit has been stood down from pre-deployment training. 


6è Regiment de Infanteria Lleugera

Perpetuating the lineage of the former Light Infantry Division, 6è Regiment d’ Infanteria Lleugera (6th Light Infantry Regiment) is presently the core unit of Task Force 6, part of the international peace enforcement effort in Armenia.  During the deployment it has been involved in a number of skirmishes with paramilitaries, and has been subject to a number of complaints by the Armenian government, claiming bias in favor of Turkish separatists.  These complaints appear groundless, but have prompted the cancellation of 1st Parachute Regiment’s follow up deployment.


The regiment consists of a headquarters and support company, three rifle companies, a weapons company with 10.5cm heavy mortars, BH-21 combat walkers, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, and a reconnaissance platoon with both infantry scout squads and short range UAVs.  Catalan infantry weapons companies are notable for merging anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile systems into a single platoon; accustomed to operating under conditions of air superiority, members of such platoons are primarily tasked with anti-armor and bunker busting duties, with use of the Martel SAMs they also carry being very much a secondary tasking.


The 6è Regiment d’ Infanteria Lleugera does less training with foreign units than the other active duty members of the Divisió d’ Infanteria, as it lacks companies with specialist skills.  Though the other infantry regiments consider this a sign of the regiment’s inferiority, members look upon this status as an indicator that they are “authentically” Catalan in their tactics, techniques, and procedures.


20è Regiment de Muntanyas

Twentieth Mountain Regiment, like 1st Parachute and 6th Light Infantry, perpetuates the lineage of the former Mountain Division of the Catalan Army.  While it is organized identically to 6è Regiment d’ Infanteria Lleugera, the regiment does maintain proficiency as true mountain troops, with the entire unit training for generalist duties in such environments and one line company and the regimental reconnaissance platoon being additionally trained in technical climbing tasks and high mountain operations.  This training historically included frequent exchanges with French, Italian and Bavarian alpine units, though the War of German Reunification and the rise of the French Empire has reduced the French and German training exchanges markedly.  Exchanges with Scandinavian Union and Austrovenia have been developed to compensate.


The regiment is presently undergoing pre-deployment training for service in the French Arm, an unusual tasking for Catalan forces whose service off Earth has, traditionally, been almost entirely limited to training exercises on Tirane.  While selection for this mission was essentially luck of the draw (with 1st Parachute and 6th Light Infantry regiments already tied up supporting operations in Armenia), the regiment has taken this high profile assignment as proof of their superiority vis a vis their fellow infantry regiments.


29vè Regiment de Forçes Especial

A traditionally European, commando/direct action focused, special operations unit, 29th Special Forces Regiment consists of three eighty-man companies (one of made up of reservists) plus a twenty-four man Escamot de Reacció Especial  (ERE) (Special Reaction Platoon).  The unit is more of an elite infantry formation than a true special operations force, with only the ERE maintaining a proficiency level akin to the British SAS, French 1st Circle SOF units, etc.  Recruiting for the line companies is open to anyone enlisting in the Catalan Army or presently serving in its ranks that can pass medical and background checks and then completes a grueling one-month selection course conducted quarterly.  Recruiting for the ERE is usually from within the ranks of the 29th Regiment itself, though in some cases outsiders are invited to try out; in either case, personnel will have been thoroughly investigated and observed by ERE leadership before being offered a chance to undergo the platoon’s own three week selection course.


Circa 2303, the 29vè Regiment de Forçes Especial has a particularly busy schedule, with elements supporting both the Armenian and pending French Arm deployments.  In addition, the regiment trades off responsibility with the 200th Independent Marine Commando Squadron to provide squad to platoon level security detachments for the Catalan embassies in Venezuela and Indochina (responding to general threat levels in those nations for foreign nationals and embassies, rather than any specific threat against Catalan interests) and augments Catalan police tactical teams as needed for domestic law enforcement operations.  This operational tempo is not wildly unusual for the regiment, and personnel often burn out and transition back to the conventional parts of the army after several years in the regiment.


200è Esquadró Independent de Comandos de Marina

This small (100 man) unit constitutes the entirety of the Catalan marines.  While considering itself an elite, it is essentially a conventional infantry force whose responsibilities primarily extend to facilities security (a duty it shares with civilian Federal Police) and boarding party duties.  It is organized into four twenty-one man platoons plus a small headquarters unit.  Members of the unit are easily recognized by their black berets and their use of British L142 gauss rifles.


3er Regiment de Cavalleria

L’ Exercit’s hovermobile formation, and the senior regiment within the cavalry establishment, 3er Regiment de Cavalleria is equipped with older AC-8 and AVCI-3 hover AFVs which have been modestly upgraded through the years to keep them from block obsolescence.  The regiment has three subordinate squadrons, each with six AC-8s and eight AVCI-3s, plus a combat support company with MRL, air defense and anti-tank vehicles (all based on the AVCI-3 chassis).  Conventional, high intensity operations in general, and maneuver warfare in particular, is not a strength of the Catalan Army circa 2300, and it is rare for the regiment to find the time, money, and training space to exercise as an entire battalion-strength organization.  Most of the regiment’s training and operations focus on support of infantry forces or operating as company and platoon level quick reaction forces.  In these capacities, its soldiers are experienced and highly competent.


Due to the limitation on terrestrial maneuver space, the 3er Regiment’s subunits are very proficient in amphibious and littoral operations, by the standards of units not specially trained and equipped for such missions.


5uè Regiment de Cavalleria

The junior remaining cavalry regiment within L’ Exercit, 5uè Regiment de Cavalleria is organized identically to the 3rd Cavalry, except that it substitutes ABR-76 armored cars and VCIR wheeled APCs for hover AFVs.  The regiment is actually somewhat more proficient at large scale operations than the 3er Regiment de Cavalleria, owing in part to the command environment and personality of the regiment’s last two commanders and partly to the fact that a battalion of wheeled armor does not require as much training space as a comparable hover mobile formation.  The regiment (less some subordinate units) is presently training up, along with the 20th Mountain Regiment, for service in the French Arm.



International and Regional Relations



Catalonia has traditionally been aligned with the French Republic as a counterbalance against Spanish irredentist claims, though as the threat of Spanish military action diminished during the last century, the relationship with France became less of a primary issue in Catalan foreign policy.  Relationships remained good, however, until the Junta came to power in France, a turn of events that democratic Catalonia regarded as abhorrent and inconceivable (the souring abetted in no small part by the diplomatic ineptness of the military officers controlling the nation).  The creation of the French Empire remains a matter of consternation for the government of Catalonia, though a return of civilian control to the French diplomatic corps and the Emperor’s personal efforts at mending fences with Catalonia and other traditional French allies in Europe has improved relationships to a degree.  The improvement has not been sufficient, however, to induce Catalonia to provide forces for the ongoing French garrison of Central Asia or to serve under French command against the Kafers.


It should be noted, however, that this relationship is cool only at the diplomatic level, and do not reflect the attitude of most Catalan soldiers to their French counterparts.  When forces from the two nations find themselves operating together, relations are generally cordial regardless of whatever diplomatic tensions exist between their parent nations.



While Germany has emerged as a counterbalance to French influence in Europe, Catalonia has not gone out of its way to curry favor with the newly reunified nation.  In part this is because overly close alignment with Germany is regarded a being too strongly couched a rebuke to the French Empire, which would carry too high a cost to undo should Catalonia find that it needed to mend fences with the French government.  The other issue is that Catalonia’s opposition to the current French government is based on ideological grounds, and most Catalans see little in the details of Germany reunification to suggest an excess of ideological purity compared to the present French government.



There is some commonality of sentiment in the approaches of Catalonia and Italy to post-Twilight War Mediterranean politics, with both seeking to avoid involvement in the regional attempts at power politics and empire building.  Italy’s approach, of course, has been more independent than that of Catalonia, but Italy possesses a superior industrial base, population and economic clout.  In military affairs, the two nations are not allies, but engage in occasional joint training exercises and exchanges and there tends to be a good working relationship between the Italian Army and  L’ Exercit de Catalunya, even if the two organizations have not worked together much during actual operational deployments.



Historically, there has been a degree of friction between Portugal and Catalonia, owing to the former nation’s status as a gateway for Brazilian business (and finished goods) into Europe, producing competition with Catalan industry.  Since the fall of the French Republic, however, relations have warmed as Catalonia has looked for sources of modern military hardware and sought to expand its trade away from dependence on France.



Traditionally Catalonia’s primary security concern from the Twilight War until well into the 22nd century, relations have gradually normalized, prompted in no small part by the economic interdependence of the two nations.  Presently relations are good between the two nations, with Spanish acceptance of Catalan independence being generally beyond question except among some marginal and extremist nationalists.  It is not uncommon for Spain and Catalonia to pool military resources for overseas peacekeeping deployments.


United Kingdom

While relations have always been good with the UK, they have improved since the termination of the French Republic and the Catalan government seeks ties with other Great Powers that would not be considered provocative by the French Empire.  In military terms, this deepening of ties has primarily translated into purchases of some British military equipment and occasional joint training exercises.



Personnel and Institutional Culture

The Catalan Army transitioned from a conscript force to an all-volunteer one in the 2260s, with a concurrent draw down in overall strength.  Following that transition, the force also moved progressively further and further away from a primary mission of defending Catalan territorial integrity, first to a period of relative aimlessness and then to emerging as a perennial member of various international contingents involved in post-conflict border monitoring, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, etc. 


There are very few people still in uniform, outside some very senior officers and NCOs, who recall the days of the conscript force, and a larger, though still small and aging, body of soldiers who recall the pre-internationalist phases of the Catalan Army’s existence.  The majority of the force considers the present organization, mission sets, and the like to be the preferable format and role for L’ Exercit de Catalunya.  Foreign observers often note that Catalan troops are optimistic, even when approaching some of Earth’s ugliest war zones, with a marked faith in themselves, their army, internationalism and the human community’s ability to collectively fix the worst of problems.  This attitude is likely aided in no small part by some distance between France in the present, and other European major powers and their realpolitik.  Regardless, however, the professionalism of Catalan troops, their enthusiasm for missions many militaries consider murky, and the generally neutral stance of the nation politically has resulted in Catalan units being the force of choice for many peacekeeping missions.


Catalan Army Rank System

Enlisted Ranks

Catalan Enlisted Rank

Commissioned Ranks

Catalan Commissioned Rank



Artiller (Gunner)

Franctirador (Sniper)

Junior Lieutenant


Private First Class

Soldat de primera











Staff Sergeant

Sergent superior

Lieutenant Colonel

Tinent Coronel

Senior Sergeant

Sergent de primera



Warrant Officer 1


Brigadier General


Warrant Officer 2

Suboficial de regiment

Major General

General de divisió

Warrant Officer 3

Suboficial de brigada/ divisió

Lieutenant General





Catalonia has traditionally been a French client when it comes to issues of military hardware.  However, the curtailment of diplomatic relationships during the Junta era has meant that Catalan force modernization has seen French military hardware generally superseded by weapons obtained from other sources, most generally the United Kingdom and Brazil (by way of many Brazilian corporations’ Portuguese divisions or subsidiaries).


Force modernization has also been limited by funding issues (French patronage having effectively subsidized the Catalan arsenal for many years) and, to a lesser extent, by some amount of indecision about how best to modernize the force.  As a stopgap measure, L’ Exercit opted to purchase a “float” inventory of some modern weapon systems that can be issued as needed to units deploying outside the country (or used for familiarization training when not deployed).  This is not a long-term solution, however.


Small Arms Systems

The bulk of L’ Exercit is equipped with older French small arms, with the FAA-73 being the standard service weapon, augmented by Mle 74 squad automatic weapons, and the Mle 80 medium machinegun.  A battalion set of L142A1 Enfield gauss rifles and Brazilian MD-7E laser rifles have been procured for familiarization and as a float pool for deployment (these weapons are currently in service in Armenia). 


Currently, those forces deploying to the French Arm are training using their FAA-73s and related weapons, but the current plan is to re-equip Task Force 205 with Azanian TAR-92 series gauss rifles and associated support weapons.  There are some indications that Catalonia plans to field the TAR-92 on a larger scale, to replace their FAA-73s.  Additional Brazilian MD-7E laser rifles and some non-Azanian support weapons (primarly British and Brazilian) will augment the TAR-92 and other weapons issued to Task Force 205.


Support Weapons 

Again, the bulk of Catalan support weapons are older French weapons systems, including ML-80 8cm mortars and some early production PGMP-1s (augmented by some more recently purchased Brazilian copies of that weapon) and CLP-1As.  The ubiquitous DunArmCo Mini-12 is widely used as well.  Anti-armor weapons consist of a mix of Blindicide-3 ATGW and Brazilian MD-8 multipurpose rocket launchers.


Armored Fighting Vehicles

Replacement of major weapons systems like AFVs is not moving forward as rapidly as small arms, due to the expense involved.  Consequently, the Catalan cavalry establishment continues to make due with older French systems like the AC-8, AVCI-3, and the like.  These vehicles tend to serve effectively enough in the sorts of operations Catalan forces usually find themselves conducting, though there are increasing concern about vulnerability to modern light anti-tank weapons, even with the addition of point defense systems to the Catalan AFV fleet and other upgrades.


Presently, the priority for replacement in the eyes of the cavalry community is the AC-8 hovertank.  The primary cause for dissatisfaction is the hull-mounted main armament that has been rendered effectively obsolete alongside more modern vehicles.  The current debate is between the less-expensive, but shorter-term solution of replacing the AC-8s with somewhat newer designs like upgraded American M9 or German Lukis-VIII (readily available from a number of sources), or the more expensive prospect of purchasing a cutting-edge current generation design (Brazil’s licensed version of the AC-12 being considered the most likely).  Either approach would address the shortcomings of the AC-8, but no decision has been made at this time as to a replacement.



Copyright 2006, James Boschma