Gabon Military - 2023


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Military and security forces

Gabonese Armed Forces (Force Armées Gabonaise or FAG; aka Gabonese Defense and Security Forces): Land Forces (Army), National Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie (includes Coast Guard), Corps of Firemen; Republican Guard (2023)

note: the National Police Forces, under the Ministry of Interior, and the National Gendarmerie, under the Ministry of Defense, are responsible for law enforcement and public security; elements of the armed forces and the Republican Guard, an elite unit that protects the president under his direct authority, sometimes perform internal security functions

Military expenditures

1.3% of GDP (2022 est.)

1.7% of GDP (2021 est.)

1.8% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.6% of GDP (2019 est.)

1.6% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 6,500 active duty troops including the Republican Guard and Gendarmerie (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Gabonese military is lightly armed with a mix of equipment from a variety of suppliers including Brazil, China, France, Germany, and South Africa (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-26 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2023)

Military - note

the Gabonese military is a small and lightly-armed force that is responsible for both external and internal security; some members of the military attempted a failed coup in 2019; the French military has maintained a long-term presence in Gabon; the Army’s core forces are the Republican Guard and an airborne infantry battalion, which are supported by several small regionally-based infantry units; the Gendarmerie has regionally-based “legions,” as well as mobile forces, a national parks security unit, and a special intervention group; the Air Force has a small number of older French-made fighter aircraft and some combat helicopters, also mostly of French origin; the Navy has a small force of patrol boats (2023)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reported no incidents in 2022 in the waters off Gabon; the territorial and offshore waters in the Niger Delta and Gulf of Guinea remain a very high risk for piracy and armed robbery of ships; past incidents have been reported where vessels were attacked and crews kidnapped; these incidents showed that the pirates / robbers in the area are well armed and violent; pirates have robbed vessels and kidnapped crews for ransom; in the past, product tankers were hijacked and cargo stolen; the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation has issued a Maritime Advisory (2023-001 - Gulf of Guinea-Piracy/Armed Robbery/Kidnapping for Ransom) effective 3 January 2023, which states in part, "Piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping for ransom continue to serve as significant threats to US-flagged vessels transiting or operating in the Gulf of Guinea"

NOTE: The information regarding Gabon 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 Gabon 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Gabon 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.