Venezuelan National Militia
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2009)|
The Venezuelan National Militia is a service branch of the National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the militia service branch mandated towards the goal of contributing to the defense of the Venezuelan nation. Its headquarters is at the National Military Museum, Fort Montana, Caracas.
It is the most ancient defense force of the nation whose origins that can be found in the long hard-fought resistance of Venezuela's indigenous peoples, mainly the Caribbean tribes and those descended from them, during the long years of Spanish domination, and in the militia battalions raised during the long Spanish rule over Venezuela. However, on July 13, 1797, two militiamen, Jose Maria España and Manuel Gual rebelled against Spain, but failed. It was their conspiracy to revolt with the participation of all classes of colonial society that became the first movement with popular roots. Then in the first half of the 19th century, groups of peasants joined the independence cause, becoming auxiliaries trained in the Liberation Army by soldiers and officers moderately or highly trained academically. Already in the second half of the 19th century, the militias appeared once again, usually Moonstone groups that united with local warlords in the provinces and later the states, and surroundings for their protection, that were regulated by militia laws.
Only in the 21st century under the Hugo Chávez administration did the militias return to the spotlight. First becoming the quad-service Armed Reserve Corps of the National Armed Forces on the basis of their respective reserve commands, in 2005 it was transformed into the National Reserve and Mobilization Command and gained its present name in 2009. Today's National Militia acts as the auxiliary and reserve force of the NAF, acting together with the service branches towards defending the national territory.
The General Command of the National Militia is divided in two branches of its own:
1. The National Reserve Service, consisting of all Venezuelan citizens who are not in active military service, or have completed national military service, or who voluntarily join the reserve units
2. The Territorial Guard Component, consisting of all Venezuelan citizens who voluntarily serve to organize local resistance to any external threat to the nation. These are divided into the Special Resistance Corps, aimed at the wartime and peacetime defense of public institutions and state and private enterprises, and the Workers' Territorial Militia Components divided into:
- General Employment Militia Detachments, the mobile quick action component stationed in all the states of Venezuela, metropolitan areas and cities
- Territorial Employment Militia Battalions, stationed strategically in key cities and townships in Venezuela and areas of key importance
- Community Militia Detachments, stationed in all townships and cities in all the states of Venezuela, mandated to keep the public order and defend government institutions and economical assets like factories
- Rural Employment Militia Battalions, stationed in all public farmlands
3. The People's Navy Branch, raised in 2013, which is the naval militia component that is mandated towards the defense of the Venezuelan coastline and all territorial waters of the nation, itself divided into the Naval Reserve Command (part of the NRS) and the Workers' Naval Employment Territorial Militia Battalions, part of the TGC
Today the General Command of the National Militia is organized on the basis of nine (09) Reserve groupings, present throughout the national territory, dozen Special Resistance Corps (grouped around workers contingents of state and private sector enterprises and national institutions at all levels) plus the territorial national service militia commands mentioned. It can be estimated at the present time about 400,000 men and women are on various training levels, but the target of its authorities is to reach 1,100,000 part-time servicemen and women in the coming years. Today more than 150,000 men and women serve actively in the militia, with plans to have a half a million strong active force of reserve national servicemen and women in 2015.
The Commanding General of the National Militia is Major General Jomar Julio Silva, Venezuelan Army.
Equipment of the National Militia
|Belgium||Browning Hi-Power||single-action 9x19mm Parabellum semi-automatic handgun|
|Germany||SIG Sauer P226||9x19mm Parabellum semi-automatic handgun|
|Italy||Beretta 92||9x19mm Parabellum semi-automatic handgun|
|Belgium||FN FAL||7.62x51 mm Battle rifle||60,000 delivered, 300,000+ produced locally (Being phased out by the AK-103 by the rest of the NAF, service battle rifle of the NM)|
|Belgium||FN FNC||5.56x45mm NATO Assault Rifle||50,000+ delivered, service assault rifle of the NM|
|Soviet Union||Mosin-Nagant M91/30||7.62×54mmR Bolt-action rifle||Undeterminded number used, Rural service standard issue rifle|
|Italy||OTO Melara M-56 105mm howitzer||OTO Melara M-56 105mm howitzer||40 units, used by the TGC-SRC|
|France||Thomson Brandt MO-120||120mm mortar||Unknown number|
- (Spanish) Official webpage of the National Militia
- (Spanish) Sitio oficial del Ministerio del Poder Popular para Defensa de Venezuela
- (Spanish) Sitio no oficial de la Fuerza Armada de Venezuela