Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force
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|Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force
|Founded||1 November 1981|
|Service branches||Antigua and Barbuda Regiment
Antigua and Barbuda Coast Guard
Antigua and Barbuda Cadet Corps
|Commander-in-Chief||Queen Elizabeth II|
|Minister of Defense||Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer|
|Chief of staff||Colonel Trevor Thomas|
|18,952 males, age 15–49,
18,360 females, age 15–49
|14,859 males, age 15–49,
14,947 females, age 15–49
|Active personnel||170 (1998)|
|Reserve personnel||75 (1998)|
|Percent of GDP||0.7%|
The Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force is the armed force of Antigua and Barbuda. The ABDF has responsibility for several different roles: internal security, prevention of drug smuggling, the protection and support of fishing rights, prevention of marine pollution, search and rescue, ceremonial duties, assistance to government programs, provision of relief during natural disasters, assistance in the maintenance of essential services and support of the police in maintaining law and order.
The ABDF is the world's smallest military, consisting of 245 people. It is thus much better equipped for fulfilling its civil roles as opposed to providing a deterrence against would-be aggressors or in defending the nation during a war.
The ABDF consists of four major units:
- Antigua and Barbuda Regiment - comprises four line companies and is the infantry unit and fighting arm of the defence force.
- Service and Support Unit - provides administrative, logistic and engineer support to the rest of the defence force.
- Coast Guard - the maritime element of the defence force, and is divided into four units:
- Commanding Officer's office
- Engineer Unit
- Administration Unit
- Flotilla - the flotilla is the operational part of the Coast Guard, and consists of 3 vessels.
- 1 Dauntless
- 1 Point
- 1 Swift
- Antigua and Barbuda Cadet Corps
- In 1982 14 men of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force were deployed to Grenada during the Operation Urgent Fury.
- In 1990 12 soldiers were sent to Trinidad after a failed coup attempt by radical Black Muslims against the constitutionally elected government headed by Prime Minister A.N.R. Robinson.
- In 1995 members of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force were deployed in Haiti as a part of Operation Uphold Democracy.
- Phillips, Dion E. "Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force: A Preliminary Look". Conference papers, 2004. University of the West Indies. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
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