Royal Cambodian Army

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Royal Cambodian Army
Royal Cambodian Army logo.jpg
Emblem of the Royal Cambodian Army
Founded 1953
Country  Cambodia
Allegiance HM The King
Type Army
Size 85,000[1]
Part of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces
Garrison/HQ Phnom Penh
Motto Defending the Kingdom of Cambodia
Colors Red, Blue
Anniversaries 9 November 1953
Engagements First Indochina War
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
1997 clashes in Cambodia
Cambodian–Thai border dispute
General Meas Sophea
General Meas Sophea
General Tea Banh
General Srey Doek
General Hun Manet
General Hing Bun Hieng

The Royal Cambodian Army (Khmer: កងទ័ពជើងគោក, Kangtorp Cheung Kork) is a part of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. It has ground forces which numbered 85,000 divided into eleven divisions of infantry, with integrated armour and artillery support. The Royal Army is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of National Defence.

Military organization[edit]

Royal Cambodian Army Soldiers

Under the current military plan and divisions, every military region has a full division size. Each division will be supplemented by a mobile reinforcement division in Phnom Penh. The country is divided into six, until recently five, military regions, each comprising three or four provinces. There are garrisons in major cities and major army bases.

General Meas Sophea is the commander of the Royal Cambodian Army. He is also the Deputy Commander in Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

The forces are deployed as required across the country and in operations, with bases as follows:

  • Special Region: Headquarters are in the capital, Phnom Penh and the region covers the provinces of Kampong Chhnang, Kandal and the greater municipality of Phnom Penh.

Every Military Region is under the command of a Major General, assisted by a Chief of staff with a rank of a Brigadier General. In every province, there is a military base called Military Operation Zone under the command of a Colonel.

Cambodian Military Regions.svg

Special Forces Airborne[edit]

Royal Cambodian National Counter-Terrorism Special Forces training exercise.

The Operation Base of the special forces airborne 911 unit (SF-911) is near the takethmey village, Kambol Commune, Angsnoul District, Kandal Province. This Unit is under direct command of the High Command Headquarters of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. The SF-911 have seven branches with 14 battalions under their control.

Following units is distributed in the Battalions:

  • Commando 1 to Commando 4 (Airborne Commando)
  • Commando 5 to Commando 9 (Attack Commando)
  • Commando 10 to Commando 12 (Support Commando)
  • Special Group 13 Close Protection
  • Counter terrorist 14 Group

Total staff 5,000

Counter terrorist 14 Group is Cambodians first specialized anti terrorist unit. And is SF-911 SWAT component. Counter terrorist 14 Group support law enforcement in anti terrorist operations

The SF regularly conduct trainings and joint exercises such as:

  • Special forces 6 course (commando Red Barret)
  • Airborne 11 Course (para)
  • Freefall 3 Course
  • Scuba 3 Course (Chhak Sea)
  • Terrorist Counter 3 Course (T.O)
  • Training has also been conducted in Indonesia under a special program at Batujajar. Batujajar military training center is located 22 kilometers from Bandung (West Java), where SF soldiers have been trained in parachute jumping and Landing zone tactics.

CHHAB PEAKDEY is the Commanding officer for the SF-911.

Army ranks[edit]

RCArmy rank warrant.jpg RCArmy rank officers.jpg RCArmy rank Generals.jpg


As of June 2010, it is assessed that 500 of the Tanks are to be fully operational.

  • 500+ tanks and an unknown number of light tanks.
  • 300+ APC
  • 600 Artillery
  • 19 Helicopters

Main military[edit]

T-55AM2BP variants.
BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher.

Operational art and tactical doctrine is still being defined as the process of reform continues. Ostensibly, the continuing military reorganization will provide integrated armored support for each of the regional infantry divisions. However, much of Cambodia's terrain does not lend itself to armored operations and tanks are rendered unusable during the rainy season. All the OT-64 APCs have apparently gone to the Phnom Penh reserve force.

In the 1990s, in order to make the army more mobile and mechanized, there was a steady influx of new tanks, self-propelled artillery, armored personnel carriers (APCs), and trucks. The ground forces seldom retire old models of weapons and tend to maintain a large equipment stock, keeping old models along with upgraded ones in the active force or in reserve. The army remains largely an infantry force, although a decade-long modernization program has significantly improved the mobility and firepower of its active forces.

Equipment for the main force units was furnished by Vietnam, China, and by the Soviet Union. Armaments consisted of small arms of Soviet origin, including the AKM (updated version of the AK-47) assault rifle, RPD light machine gun, PKM general-purpose machine gun, RPG-2 82mm rocket-propelled grenade, RPG-7 85mm rocket-propelled grenade, Chinese Type 56 assault rifle, and various crew-served weapons, including towed medium howitzers, and air-defense weapons in several calibers. Tanks in the RCAF armored battalions included the T-54/55, an old, but capable, main battle tank of Soviet origin; the obsolete PT-76/Type 63 light amphibious tank; and the Type-59, an older Chinese main battle tank, probably handed down from Vietnamese stocks. Multiple rocket launcher in main force included BM-14 and BM-21. Armored fighting vehicles in the main force inventory consisted of the Soviet BTR series of wheeled vehicles, and some aging American equipment, such as: M106 armored carriers and M113 armored personnel carriers, either bequeathed by Vietnam or left behind from the days of the Khmer Republic.

Special forces[edit]

The special forces' equipment varies from that of the rest of the army. For example, the AK-47 (Type 56) rifle, although reliable and abundant, is not accurate, and is too powerful for safe use by elite units specializing in close quarters combat and hostage situations.

The forces are the first confirmed foreign user of the new Chinese QBZ-95 series of a bullpup assault rifles. Technically this rifle is a QBZ-97, a Type 97A added 3-round burst mode and bolt hold-open device, with a different casing made by Jian She Group for export.

Peacekeeping Operations[edit]

The RCAF has sent RCAF personnel to various hotspots as part of the Kingdom of Cambodia's role as a member of the United Nations. Mostly engineers and logistical units, as well as Military Police and members of the paramilitary Armed Police have been sent to peacekeeping operations such as:


See also[edit]


External links[edit]