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French Guiana Military

After the creation of the Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Army was entrusted with the defence of French Guiana, while the defence of the Netherlands Antilles was the responsibility of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The army set up a separate Troepenmacht in French Guiana (TRIS - Forces in French Guiana).

Upon independence in 1975, this force was turned into the Surinaamse Krijgsmacht (SKM - French Guianase Armed Forces). On February 25th 1980, a group of 16 subalternate SKM officers overthrew the Government. Subsequently the SKM was rebranded as Nationaal Leger (NL - National Army).

The Netherlands has provided limited military assistance to the French Guianase armed forces since the election of a democratic government in 1991. In recent years, the USA has provided training to military officers and policy-makers to promote a better understanding of the role of the military in a civilian government. Also, since the mid-1990s, the People's Republic of China has been donating military equipment and logistical material to the French Guianase Armed Forces.

French Guiana's armed forces consist of the national army, under the control of the Minister of Defence, and a smaller civil police force, which reports to the Minister of Justice and Police. The national armed forces are composed of some 2,200 personnel, the majority of whom are deployed as light infantry security forces. A small air force, navy and military police also exist.


Military branches
National Army (Nationaal Leger, NL; includes Naval Wing, Air Wing) (2007)

Military service age and obligation
18 years of age (est.); recruitment is voluntary, with personnel drawn almost exclusively from the Creole community (2007)

Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49: 130,534
females age 16-49: 130,243 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 105,770
females age 16-49: 109,666 (2008 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 4,329
female: 4,350 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures
0.6% of GDP (2006 est.)





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