Permanent duty stations

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Updated: 25/08/2010

The armed forces of the West Indies, which include various services under the Ministry of Defence covers the two departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe and placed under the orders of a superior commander Admiral (COMSUP).

point de situation avant l\'embarquement

The command of the armed forces of the West Indies

The cons-admiral Loic Raffaelli took office COMSUP of August 1, 2010. The senior commander is the commander of the defense area West Indies. It is under the authority of the Chief of Staff (ECS), which is the local representative. His authority is exercised on all three services and training directions and common services that are affected.

He exercises operational command of all forces stationed or sent as reinforcements in its area of ​​responsibility Permanent (ZRP).

Perform the responsibilities of territorial order with the following functions:

  • Military commander of defense

  • Commander Maritime jurisdiction

  • Region Commander Air.

He is the senior adviser to the area (prefect of the zone defense) regarding the responsibilities of defense thereof, including the preparation of general plans for protection and participation of the three armed forces to maintain order.

The COMSUP has three assistants (Earth, Air, Sea) and consultants in carrying out its responsibilities which are also the commanders organic formations Army (COMTERRE), Navy (COMAR), and the 'Air Force (COMAIR).

The COMSUP also directors, department heads and detachment commanders or joint with a joint purpose (health, police, infrastructure, trees ...).

The COMSUP Antilles in Guadeloupe has a representative to the prefect, the military commander (COMIL).

The missions of the armed forces in the West Indies

The Permanent Missions of sovereignty:

  • protect the national territory, strategic installations and contribute to maintaining security

  • the prevention and the preservation of France's interests in the area of ​​responsibility against any form of external aggression

  • support the action of the State in the Caribbean and participate in the fight against narco-trafficking

The missions of crisis in the territory or outside:

  • lead or participate in a military operation

  • conduct emergency operations (humanitarian assistance, natural disaster)

The characteristics of the armed forces in the West Indies

Forces of sovereignty and intervention, which are characterized by their adaptability in crisis, versatility, scalability and strategic mobility.

The overall number of FAA is 1700 military and 400 civilian personnel as follows:

  • 1000 of the Army,

  • 500 of the Navy,

  • 200 of the Air Force,

  • 400 civilian personnel.

Moreover, there are 1,500 policemen and 1,150 soldiers from military service adapted.

France, recognized regional player in the area of ​​ongoing responsibility to intervene

This area includes the Greater and Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean basin, and consists of 13 island states, possessions French, American, British and Dutch but also 10 continental states (or a fraction of their territory) that border the Caribbean Sea and Gulf Mexico.

France, is a recognized regional player, especially because of the presence of its armed forces. Training missions (such as the annual Caribbean that takes place in March), education, building stops and exchanges are regularly conducted with the countries of the region to improve the capacity of states in the area to work together.

Regional cooperation strengthens mutual understanding and interoperability of our forces. It helps in case of crisis or natural disaster to pool military resources necessary to be responsive.

In Guadeloupe, the senior military commander of the West Indies has a delegated representative, the military commander.


The Army in the West Indies consists of the 33 th  Infantry Regiment based in Marine Fort de France, the 41 ° Infantry Battalion Marine Guadeloupe.

The West Indies Army conducts operational tasks in the context of protecting the interests of France and its nationals in countries in the Caribbean, on a national or multinational, military defense to protect our sovereign land in Caribbean departments, to ensure assistance to populations in natural disasters or serious humanitarian situation in the area. To cope with this range of tasks, the battalions have combat units, works and reserve, and a logistical support capacity.

Ground forces have considerable autonomy in case of projection and are able to accommodate reaction forces from city. Two staffs tactics can be implemented by military air or amphibious assets.


The Air Force assumed operational missions: national sovereignty with air defense and aviation security, reception and Air Force support national and foreign mission or stop in the Caribbean zone, armed forces support the West Indies and Guiana for air mobility forces, transport logistics, command liaison, participation in the fight against narco-trafficking, international cooperation in Caribbean zone.

The Air Force also conducts public service missions: search and rescues marine and terrestrial, medical evacuations, humanitarian missions, support to diplomatic actions, contests administrations.

The Air Force has in Martinique a military airbase in Lamentin, the area's military Raizet Guadeloupe, the transport squadron overseas "Caribbean" with 3 transport aircraft CN 235 "Casa" , 2 heavy helicopters "Puma", 2 light helicopters "Fennec".


The missions of the Navy in the Caribbean represent a potential "activity" around 8000 hours at sea per year, focusing on prevention, including maritime surveillance, public service missions with police at sea (the fight against pollution and narco-trafficking, policing of navigation and fishing, rescues), training and exercises. The Navy thus provides an important contribution to the State action at sea in a sea basin closed and an economic zone of 150,000 sq km at the confluence of narco-trafficking to Europe and the USA.

It has four buildings with the frigate and its helicopter surveillance Ventôse Panther, Building light transport Francis Garnier, Patrolman The Spirited, the gendarmerie patrol La Violette, and reinforcing several months a year, a maritime surveillance aircraft (Falcon 50) or Maritime Patrol (Atlantic) is able to undertake missions of defense (safety of maritime approaches, intelligence gathering, bonds) and public service (search and rescue, medical transportation). The warships are supported by the naval base located in Fort de France.

Sources: EMA 

Photograph: Ministry of Defence 



Updated: 14/02/2011

French forces stationed in Djibouti

France is present in Djibouti under the 1977 Protocol establishing the conditions for stationing of French forces, combined defense arrangement.French forces stationed in Djibouti (FFDJ) are numerically the French contingent the largest in Africa. 

patrouille de mirage

The device

The general commanding the French Forces in Djibouti has a joint staff. He commanded 2,900 troops. These are primarily:

  • for units of the Army of the 5th RIAOM, the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion and a detachment of light aviation in the Army (5 Puma  and 2 Gazelle )

  • for the Air Force Air Base 188, of 10Mirage 2000 , with a C160 , with a helicopter Fennec  helicopters and 2Puma ,

  • for the Navy, a landing ship, infantry and tank (DTIS Dagger ) and 2 barges carrying equipment.


Action interior presence intended to help defend the territorial integrity of the Republic of Djibouti as part of the 1977 defense agreement between the Republic of Djibouti and France.Protection of French and European nationals (over 5000).

Military cooperation, which translates to:

  • operational military cooperation with the Djiboutian armed forces,

  • Bilateral military cooperation with countries of the Horn of Africa

  • multilateral military cooperation with regional bodies of the African standby force of African Union, the EASF,

  • Civil-military actions to benefit the population,

  • assistance in addition to the Djibouti authorities in rescue operations on land and at sea

Intervening at the behest of the CEMA with a reservoir of forces seasoned, acclimatized, trained in daily joint.

Examples of missions 

Support for the European operation to fight against piracy Atalanta

The FFDJ welcome secondments Spanish, German and FHQSA (Staff Logistics) incurred in connection with Atalanta. They provide support for French buildings but also foreign stopover in Djibouti.


Since June 2010, FFDJ participate in the EU mission training Somali forces taking place in Uganda.

Joint operational training detachments (DIO)

The project regularly FFDJ DIO who are training African militaries are engaged in operations to peacekeeping in Africa. Thus, since 2006, UGABAG: since 2006, FFDJ send a detachment of operational training for the training of Ugandan battalion in missions of peacekeeping and to be deployed in Somalia during Operation AMISOM.


For 15 years, FFDJ were engaged in the following:

  • Alfonsinos following the tsunami in late December 2004 in Southeast Asia in 2005

  • Artemis in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2003,

  • Licorne in Cote d'Ivoire in 2002,

  • Participation in relief efforts following the attack on the USS Cole in 2000,

  • Khor Angar in the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1999-2000,

  • Turquoise in Rwanda in 1994,

  • Oryx in Somalia in 1992-1993,

  • Iskoutir Republic of Djibouti from 1992 to 1999,

  • Godoria in Djibouti in 1991.

Sources: EMA - FFDJ 
Photograph: Ministry of Defence 



Updated: 14/02/2011

The admiral commanding the maritime zone Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN) is based, since October 21, 2010 in the UAE. It reports to the Chief of Defence Staff.


vue de l\'océan

Missions and device in the Indian Ocean    

Missions ALINDIEN are several aspects:

  •  contribute to the stabilization and peacekeeping in the area,

  •  contribute to the security of maritime space,

  •  conduct military operations predominantly maritime

  •  participate in the protection of French nationals

  •  promote the policy of defense of France and facilitating bilateral military relations with countries in its area.

To perform all its missions, it provides:

  •  a command ship and refueling.

In addition, it may have:

  •  two surveillance frigates based in La Réunion

  •  a Navy commando and a maritime patrol aircraft based in Djibouti,

  •  French ships transiting its area of ​​responsibility which he exercises operational control, to conduct presence operations, surveillance or the fight against piracy (in a national context)

  •  means of FFEAU (French forces in the UAE).

ALINDIEN completes the French military deployed around the Indian Ocean, from Africa to the Gulf, based on:

  •  French armed forces in the southern zone of the Indian Ocean (FAZSOI) based in Reunion and Mayotte,

  •  French forces stationed in Djibouti (FFDJ)

  •  French forces in the UAE (FFEAU).


alindien - situation géographique


Change device    

Since September 1973, ALINDIEN was the only permanent command exercised at sea since October 21, 2010, this specificity has disappeared with the installation of ALINDIEN ashore on the French base in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

This development is part of the rise of IMFEAU, which was inaugurated by President Chirac in May 2009 and is now operational. ALINDIEN already assured, so far, the operational control of the IMFEAU and stayed regularly at the naval base and support, which regularly since May 2009, the command ship of ALINDIEN.

Today, the development of bilateral cooperation with Emiratis, facilitation of cooperation with all countries in the region, as well as driving increased activity of the implementation require the preparation of its on-site command .

ALINDIEN continue to exercise command of the maritime area from land. Its functions have been supplemented by those of COMFOR French forces in the UAE (FFEAU). It will retain the ability to pick up at any time on a building that can accommodate all or part of his staff following their tasks. The means of communication FFEAU be strengthened to enable the conduct of missions of command of the maritime area.

As COMFOR FFEAU, ALINDIEN will also command of forces and units stationed in the UAE, temporary assignments, and transit. It will develop and lead bilateral operational cooperation with the UAE, in coordination with the Defense Attache and coordinate regional cooperation.

In 37 years of presence in the sea, command of the maritime zone of the Indian Ocean will be seen particularly in his area of ​​responsibility, the reopening of the Suez Canal, the latest accessions to the independence of former European colonies, the from the main French naval base in the Indian Ocean in Diego Suarez in Madagascar, the Iran-Iraq Gulf War, and Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Restore Hope in Somalia under UN mandate The tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia in 2004, and the rise of piracy in the Straits of Malacca and off Somalia. So many events that will need action by ALINDIEN for operational control means for the Navy deployed in the Indian Ocean, the development of bilateral cooperation with neighboring countries, the protection of French nationals, securing sea routes or delivery of humanitarian aid.



Updated: 14/02/2011

French forces in Gabon

France is deploying the armed forces in Gabon since independence from that country in 1960, according to defense agreements in August 1960. France has in Gabon one of four permanent military bases prepositioned in Africa (Dakar, Djibouti and Reunion). On 1 September 2007, French forces in Gabon (FFG) have replaced the French troops in Gabon (TFG).

The device

With a thousand soldiers, the FFG is a reservoir of pre-positioned forces in Africa. As such, they keep on the alert for ways to support operations in West Africa and Central Africa.

French forces in Gabon (FFG) are controlled by a general officer, the COMFOR, reporting directly to the Chief of Defence Staff. He has to carry out the tasks entrusted to it, a staff and ground and air forces. The main materials are helicopters Fennec  and Puma , the aircraft type Transall  and light armored spear .

The COMFOR exercises operational control of forces and joint services positioned permanently or temporarily under his command in his area of ​​responsibility encompassing 10 countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States Economic Community of Central Africa (ECCAS). This radiation allows many actions to support the use of military units engaged in the ECCAS Mission for the Consolidation of Peace in CAR (MICOPAX) and multiple measures of cooperation for the benefit of the armies of the subregion.

The general commanding the FFG also has operational control of the operation Boali stationed in Bangui acting in support of the detachment of the Multinational Force of Central Africa (FOMAC). A mission logistics in place in Douala, under the operational control of COMFOR complements this.


  • The implementation of the operational military cooperation with all countries of ECCAS, particularly by supporting the rise of regional structures of the African Standby Force. This cooperation takes the form of operational training detachments (DIO) and Technical Training (DIT).

  • The presence of host countries in favor and French interests in the region.

  • The establishment of an airborne capability in air-land forces and amphibious capability to any of the utmost urgency in the region.

  • Participation in Operation Boali  Central African Republic  with a permanent detachment based in Bangui.

  • Support to forces engaged in operations in the region, including the operations of peacekeeping. As such, the support including FFG, through Operation Boali , MICOPAX , the mission conducted by the Economic Community of Central African States to strengthen the climate of peace and stability help develop the political process and respect for human rights in Central African Republic.

  • The logistical support of the mission of Douala.



Updated: 19/07/2010

Armed Forces in French Guiana are distributed mainly in Cayenne, Saint-Jean du Maroni and Kourou. They have 1,980 military and 200 civilian personnel of Defence. Since July 21, 2009, the senior commander of FAG was General Jean-Pierre Hester

9ème rima en exercice

Composition of forces

To carry out its duties, the COMSUP has a joint staff (200 personnel) and three assistants Army (Land-Air-Mer).

. Ground forces (1550 men):

- 9th RIMa located mainly in Cayenne and Saint-Jean du Maroni.

- The 3rd REI operates mainly in Kourou, St. George and Regina (training center in the equatorial forest: CEFE).

.  Air Force (240 men):

- 367 Air Base located in Cayenne Rochambeau with the squadron of helicopters overseas 00 068 (4 Puma and Fennec 3)

- Control Centre 06,967 military presence in the perimeter of the Guiana Space Center in Kourou.

. Navy (155 men):

Naval Base is located to Degrad des Cannes, with two patrol P400, 2 Stars coastal maritime surveillance of the Maritime Police.

. The divisions and departments under the Ministry of Defence for joint support.

Moreover, military service adapted (ADM - 600 men) includes the third IAHS (Cayenne) and the GSMA (Saint Jean du Maroni).

Finally, the Force had 800 men, with 5 squadrons of riot police, 2 for the fight against illegal gold mining. The Gendarmerie also has a Squirrel helicopter and a patrol boat.

Missions FAG

The operational contract of FAG is available through the following missions:

- Ensure the protection of national territory and help maintain security in the area of ​​ongoing responsibility (ZRP), particularly the implementation of the Protocol Toucan;

- Participate in the security of the Guiana Space Center;

- Contribute to the preservation of France's interests throughout the ZRP in developing security cooperation activities with zonal Brazil, Surinam and Guyana;

- Participate in support of state action, especially at sea, for the implementation of military capabilities;

- Lead or participate in a military operation;

- Contribution to an emergency (humanitarian, natural disaster, ...).

The balance sheet, FAG provide a diverse range of missions that seek a balanced capacity of 3 armies in particular in the following areas. Missions sovereignty

Protection of the Guiana Space Center (CSG) requires, in connection with transfers and Ariane, and according to the determined threat levels, the strengthening of the protection by air, land and sea (in particular with the deployment of a maritime patrol aircraft).

The fight against illegal immigration: the FAG involved in border control on the Maroni and Oyapock.

The fight against illegal fishing in exclusive economic zone (EEZ) Guyana. In 2007, FAG has réalisés183 missions, 7,168 hours at sea, 182 hours of aerial presence identifications and 1760.

Support missions to public services

The fight against illegal mining

The fight against illegal gold panning is involved in the fight against illegal immigration for 80% to provide labor on illegal sites. Although the responsibility of other authorities, police, gendarmerie and customs, these phenomena undermine national sovereignty, generate unrest and insecurity in the department and can provide logistical support for actions to the CSG. The FAG is therefore perfectly in their mission.

The armies involved in this mission through actions intelligence support (reconnaissance and control area) in favor of the gendarmerie and the various state services, and support (accommodation, food, transportation by helicopter and tactical transport aircraft).

In 2007, 23 operations were performed for over 200 flying hours. During these operations: 373 illegal aliens were handed over to the Border Police, 384 carbets destroyed, 65.49 m³ fuel seized 48 guns destroyed and seized 1.69 kilograms of gold.

Other tasks: it is essential for the provision of air assets for medical evacuation, rescue operations at sea ...

Sources: EMA 
Photograph: Ministry of Defence 



Updated: 04/07/2010

The units of the French forces in the southern zone of the Indian Ocean (1460 soldiers) are mainly deployed in Reunion and Mayotte.


Composition of forces (from 1 January 2008)

- Ground forces (750 soldiers): Reunion: 2nd RPIMa; in Mayotte: The DLEM

- Air Force (280 members): Reunion: 2 and 2 Transall Fennec

- Navy (430 soldiers):

  • the meeting: a naval base, 2 P400 patrol, a patrol Australia, a maritime patrol matters, a LSM, a patrol of the Maritime Police and a detachment of marines. Forces under operational control of ALINDIEN (2 surveillance frigates (Floreal and Nivôse), 2 helicopters Panther) can reinforce the device for specific missions

  • Mayotte: Marine detachment with a star of servitude, a CTM and a star coastal maritime surveillance of the Maritime Police.

Moreover, there are units of Adapted Military Service (1000 men) in Reunion and Mayotte.Finally, 1150 military police are deployed between Reunion and Mayotte (including 2 squadrons of riot police) and implement an Alouette III and a star.


The operational contract FAZSOI comes through the following missions:

- Ensure the protection of national territory and strategic installations and contribute to the security environment;

- Contribute to the preservation of the interests of France over the entire area of ​​responsibility Permanent (ZRP) maintaining response capacity of the armed forces of ZSOI and participating in regional dialogue;

- Support the action of the State ZSOI and contribute to conditions of stability and development of local authorities by the implementation of military means;

- Assert sovereignty in the French ZSOI;

- Lead or participate in a military operation;

- Contribution to an emergency (humanitarian, natural disaster ...).

Review of participation in public service missions

Land Area

As part of the fight against illegal immigration in Mayotte, the armies involved, at the request of the Ministry of Overseas, the monitoring device of the landing zone at night illegal immigrants, both at sea using celebrities occasionally enhanced maritime surveillance by means from the meeting, and on land from two surveillance radars civilians, who are served by the navy.

End of 2005, Reunion knew the beginnings of an epidemic of Chikungunya, which would culminate in the first months of next year (47,000 cases recorded in the first week of February). On January 23, 2006, meeting at the request of the prefecture of Saint Denis, EMA decided an assistance mission on the island, named after the mosquito Aedes albopictus, responsible for the spread of the virus. On April 19, 2007, the end of this epidemic lightning was confirmed, allowing the lifting of the military system of emergency assistance.

The FAZSOI led missions to assist the population of the island of Reunion and Madagascar after Cyclone Gamede in March 2007.

Aviation sector

In addition to strictly military operations, air assets of FAZSOI can be made available to civilian authorities through requests for assistance (research, hurricane, volcano) or requisitions (disturbing the public order and transport costs).

From 26 February to 9 March 2007, the support of the civilian population of Reunion after the cyclone Gamède was heavily involved armies.

Since early 2007, FAZSOI, with a C160, participated in the transport of humanitarian cargo (7.4 tons) of the platform for regional intervention in the Indian Ocean (PIROI) in benefit from Madagascar (Mananjary area) following the cyclone Clovis.

Relief operations are also conducted upon request from Cross Reunion, implementing air assets for tracking and / or medical evacuation of injured persons on board vessels.


In the sea area south of the Indian Ocean, particularly large, the Navy is dedicated mainly to the following missions:

- Control of illegal fishing in the deep south of the exclusive economic zone;

- Participation in the fight against illegal immigration;

- Participation in rescue at sea

Regional cooperation

Regional military cooperation led by the FAZSOI, particularly dynamic, acts along two axes: the bilateral and multinational.

Bilateral cooperation is conducted mainly for the benefit of countries in the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), with priority given to Madagascar, and the countries bordering the Mozambique Channel. A special effort is made in regard to South Africa.

Multinational cooperation is carried on two areas, IOC, only French-speaking area in the region, and SADC (Southern Africa Development Community - community development in Southern Africa). IOC multinational cooperation, aims to bring together countries that are in projects the size of this regional organization. Multinational cooperation SADC to help the rise of the security apparatus of the organization: staff and brigade African Standby Force (ASF


Updated: 09/02/2011

The Armed Forces in New Caledonia

Since 1 January 2011, the Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) are part of the Base Defense of New Caledonia and is supported by the Support Group DB, created on the same date.

The device

plongeurs démineurs en action sur une mine marine

The FANC units (about 2000 soldiers) are mainly deployed in Koumac, Nandi, Tontouta, Plum and Noumea is also based some of the forces of Alpaca (1 surveillance frigate, the Vendemiaire  and 1 Alouette III ). 

  • The ground forces are armed by a company in the Regiment of Marines in the Pacific (RIMaP) in Nandi and four companies of the same RIMaP Plum.

  • Naval forces are comprised of two patrolP400 , a LSM  and a star of the Maritime Police. Added to 25F aircraft fleet (two patrol aircraft Guardian ) and elements of protection (marines in rotating unit) in Tontouta and Noumea.

  • Air Force: three aircraft Casa , four helicopters Puma  helicopter and a Fennec  in Tontouta.

In addition, 760 police were deployed (four squadrons of riot police) and implement a patrol boat and two helicopters squirrel .

Adapted military service (WFS) has established two companies in Koumac and Koné.


The operational contract of FANC comes through the following missions:

  • ensure the protection of national territory and contribute to maintaining security,

  • help preserve the interests of France over the entire area of ​​responsibility Permanent (ZRP) maintaining a response capacity in the ZRP, and in coordination with the senior commander of the armed forces in French Polynesia, conducting missions presence in the Pacific and participate in regional dialogue,

  • be able to drive and / or participate in a military operation in a national or multinational in the area,

  • contribution to an emergency (humanitarian, natural disaster ...)

  • support the action of the State in New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna and contribute to conditions of stability and territorial development in area of ​​responsibility,

  • lead or participate in a military operation in a national or multinational in the area,

  • contribution to an emergency (humanitarian, natural disaster ...).

Examples of missions

Sovereignty missions 

The FANC conduct regular monitoring mission, to focus the action of the means of air-sea FANC are regularly introduced in the EEZ to monitor maritime activities taking place there and fight against illicit acts.

Missions to assist island states

Maritime surveillance patrols in favor of island states in the ZRP in the fight against illegal fishing, are conducted annually up to a hundred hours spread between Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga.

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