Troops belonging to the Revolutionary Army (Ejército Revolucionario — ER), which represented slightly over 80 percent of the MINFAR's active-duty personnel, were under the direct command of the MINFAR General Staff. The primary mission of Cuban ground forces included the provision of territorial defense against external threats and the maintenance of internal security. A third component of the ground forces' mission—the provision of military assistance, including combat personnel, abroad—was added during the mid-1970s when Cuban troops were sent to fight in Africa. The majority of the forces under the command of the ER was deployed domestically in three independent armies. The Isle of Youth Military Region, established in 1962, was under independent command even though only a single infantry division was stationed there. In early 1985 the MINFAR's two Expeditionary Forces, in Angola and Ethiopia, were treated as separate armies, as were personnel assigned to the foreign Military Assistance Forces.
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