Barbados Military - 2023


Military and security forces

Barbados Defense Force: The Barbados Regiment, The Barbados Coast Guard (2023)

note: authority over the BDF is shared between the president and prime minister, with the president overseeing strategic direction and the prime minister responsible for operational leadership

Military expenditures

0.8% of GDP (2022 est.)

0.9% of GDP (2021 est.)

0.9% of GDP (2020 est.)

0.8% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $35 million)

0.8% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $40 million)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 600 active personnel (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Netherlands provide the BDF's major equipment inventory (maritime patrol boats) (2023)

Military service age and obligation

voluntary service only (men and women); 17 years, 9 months to 17 years, 11 months with letter of consent from a parent or guardian, or be in the age range of 18-25 years at the start of recruit training; citizens of Barbados by descent or naturalization (2022)

Military - note

formed in 1979, the Barbados Defense Force is responsible for protecting national security, but it may also be called up to maintain public order in times of crisis, emergency, or other specific needs, such as special joint patrols with the police; the Barbados Regiment traces its roots back to 1640 when the first units of the Barbados Militia were raised for defense purposes

Barbados has been a member of the Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS) since its creation in 1982; RSS signatories (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) agreed to prepare contingency plans and assist one another, on request, in national emergencies, prevention of smuggling, search and rescue, immigration control, fishery protection, customs and excise control, maritime policing duties, protection of off-shore installations, pollution control, national and other disasters, and threats to national security; the RSS is headquartered in Barbados (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Barbados on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Barbados 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Barbados 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 10 Nov 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.