Cape Verdean Armed Forces
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|Cabo Verdean Armed Forces|
|Forças Armadas Cabo Verdeanas|
|Service branches||National Guard and Coast Guard (includes air wing)|
|Commander-in-Chief||Jorge Carlos Fonseca (President of Cape Verde)|
|Chief of Defense||Felipe Tavares|
|Percent of GDP||0.7% (2005)|
|Foreign suppliers|| United States
Before 1975, Cape Verde was an overseas province of Portugal, having a small Portuguese military garrison that included both Cabo Verdean and European Portuguese soldiers.
At the same time, some Cabo Verdeans were serving in the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces (Forças Armadas Revolucionarias do Povo, FARP), the military wing of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde that was fighting for the joint independence of Guinea and Cape Verde in the Guinea-Bissau War of Independence. The FARP became the national armed forces of Guinea-Bissau, when its independence was recognized by Portugal in 1974.
The Armed Forces of Cape Verde were created when the country became independent in 1975, being also officially designated the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces (Forças Armadas Revolucionarias do Povo, FARP). The Cabo Verdean FARP consisted of two independent branches, the Army (Exército) and the Coast Guard (Guarda Costeira).
In the early 1990s, the designation "FARP" was dropped and the military of Cape Verde started to be designated the Cabo Verdean Armed Forces (Forças Armadas Cabo Verdeanas, FACV).
In 2007, the FACV started a major reorganization that included the transformation of the Army into the National Guard (Guarda Nacional).
Together with the Cabo Verdean Police, the FACV carried out Operation Flying Launch (Operacão Lancha Voadora), a successful operation to put an end to a drug trafficking group which smuggled cocaine from Colombia to the Netherlands and Germany using Cape Verde as a reorder point. The operation took more than three years, being a secret operation during the first two years, and ended in 2010.
Although located in Africa, Cape Verde had always close relations with Europe. Because of this, several opinions defend that Cape Verde may enter the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and NATO.
The Cabo Verdean Armed Forces are part of the Ministry of National Defense of Cape Verde and include:
- the Military bodies of command:
- Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMFA),
- Office of the CEMFA,
- Staff of the Armed Forces (EMFA),
- Personnel Command,
- Logistics Command;
- the National Guard;
- the Coast Guard.
The CEMFA is Colonel, being the highest rank officer of the Armed Forces.
The National Guard (Guarda National) is the main branch of the Cabo Verdean Armed Forces for the military defense of the country, being responsible for the execution of land and maritime environment operations and the support to internal security. It includes:
- Territorial commands:
- 1st Military Region Command,
- 2nd Military Region Command,
- 3rd Military Region Command;
- Military Police Corps,
- Marine Corps,
- Artillery Corps.
There is not a general command of the National Guard. Each military region command is headed by a Lieutenant-Colonel directly subordinate to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and includes units of the three corps.
The Coast Guard (Guarda Costeira) is the branch of the Cabo Verdean Armed Forces responsible for the defense and protection of the country's economical interests at the sea under national jurisdiction and for providing air and naval support to land and amphibious operations. It includes:
- Coast Guard Command
- Maritime Security Operations Center (COSMAR)
- Naval Squadron
- Air Squadron
The Coast Guard is headed by an officer with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. The Naval and Air Squadrons incorporate, respectively, all the vessels and aircraft of the Cabo Verdean Armed Forces.
The Cabo Verdean Army used to have its own air arm; after personnel training received from the USSR in 1982, three Antonov An-26 aircraft were delivered to Cape Verde – these were believed to be the only military aircraft possessed by the nation. However these three aircraft were supplemented in 1991 by a Dornier Do 228 light aircraft equipped for use by the Coast Guard, and, in the late 1990s by an EMB-110 aircraft from Brazil, similarly equipped for maritime operations. The government has been in negotiations with China to acquire multirole helicopters for both military and civilian use.
|Antonov||Antonov An-26||USSR||Tactical Transport||1982||3|
|EADS CASA||Casa C-212 MPA||SPA||Maritime Patrol Aircraft||2008||1|
|Dornier Flugzeugwerke||Dornier Do 228||GER||Maritime usage||1991||1||2 delivered|
||LET L-410 Turbolet UVP||Czech Republic||transport aircraft
- 1 Kondor I patrol craft – 360 tons full load – commissioned 1970
- 1 Peterson MK 4 patrol craft – 22 tons – commissioned 1993
- 1 other patrol craft – 55 tons
- "Eleven shot dead in Cape Verde, including two Spanish citizens". Reuters. 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- Military Balance 2010, page 299
- * World Aircraft Information Files. Brightstar Publishing, London. File 337 Sheet 02
- "infodefensa.com (in Spanish)".
- Further reading: Defense Intelligence Agency, Military Intelligence Summary - Africa South of the Sahara, DDB 2680-104-85, ICOD 15 October 1984, declassified by letter dated April 29, 2014.
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