Armed Forces of Gabon

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Armed Forces of Gabon
Gabonese Coat of arms.svg
Coat of arms of Gabon
Founded 1960
Service branches Land Forces[1]
Air Force
President Ali Bongo Ondimba
Minister of National Defence Etienne Massard Kabinda Makaga
Chief of Staff Jean Claude Ella-Ekogha
Military age 20 years of age[1]
Active personnel 5,000 (2017)
Budget $81.52 million (FY17)
Percent of GDP 0.55% (FY17)
Foreign suppliers  France
 United States
Related articles
History 1964 Gabon coup d'etat
2012–2013 Central African Republic conflict
Ranks Military ranks of Gabon

Gabon has a small, professional military of about 5,000 personnel, divided into army, navy, air force, gendarmerie, and national police. Gabonese forces are oriented to the defense of the country and have not been trained for an offensive role. A well-trained, well-equipped 1,800-member guard provides security for the president.

Armed Forces


A row of uniformed men stand in formation, with guns at shoulders
Military members from the Gabonese Armed Forces stand in formation during the opening day ceremony for the June 2016 Central Accord Exercise in Libreville, Gabon

Order of battle

  • 1 Republican Guard Battalion group – Libreville[citation needed] with:
    • 1 Light Armored Recon. Squad;
    • 3 Infantry Coys;
    • 1 Artillery Battery;
    • 1 Air Defense Battery.
  • 1 Airborne Regiment with:
    • 3 Airborne Coys;
    • 1 Recon and Support Coy;
    • 1 Command Coy.
  • 1 Light Armored Recon Battalion with:
    • 1 Logistic and Command Coy;
    • 2 Armored Sqds.
  • 1 Support Command Regiment with:
    • 1 Artillery Battery;
    • 1 Mortar Battery;
    • 1 MRLS Battery (8 Teruel MRL);
    • 1 Engineer Coy;
    • Logistic Units.
  • 7 × Military Regions with:
    • 1 Motorized Infantry Battalion or Coy-each.


Small Arms

A FAMAS similar to this one is used by Gabon
Name Origin Type Variant Notes
M16 rifle [2] United States Assault rifle
FN FAL[2] Belgium Assault rifle
FN CAL[2] Belgium Assault rifle
FN MAG[2] Belgium Assault rifle
AK-47[2] Russia Assault rifle
AKM[2] Russia Assault rifle
RPD[2] Soviet Union Assault rifle
FAMAS[2] France Assault rifle Bullpup design


Name Origin Type In service Notes
Armored fighting vehicles
Matador South Africa APC 24[3]
Panhard M3 France APC 7[3]
Berliet VXB-170 France APC 15[3]
Cadillac Gage Commando United States APC 15[3]
Panhard AML-90 France Armored Car 16[3]
Panhard AML 60 France Armored Car 8[3]
Eland 90 South Africa Armored Car 4[4]
Eland 60 South Africa Armored Car 4[4]
EE-9 Cascavel Brazil Armored Car 14[3]
ERC-90 Sagaie France Armored Car 9[3]
ERC-20 Kriss France Armored Car 4[3] armed with 20mm anti-aircraft cannon.
EE-3 Jararaca Brazil Scout vehicle 12[3]


Véhicule Blindé Léger France Scout vehicle 14[3]

Air Force

Order of battle

  • Fighter Squadron 1-02 Leyou at BA02 Franceville with:
    • Mirage F-1AZ
    • MB-326M Impala I
  • Heavy Transport Squadron at BA01 Libreville with:
    • C-130 Hercules
    • CN-235
  • Ministerial Air Liaison Group (Groupe de Liaison Aérien Ministériel or GLAM) at BA01 Libreville with:
    • 1 Falcon-900EX
    • 1 Gulfstream-III


Current inventory

A Gabonese ATR-42 on approach
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service[5] Notes
Combat aircraft
Mirage 5 France attack Mirage 5G 3[6]
Mirage F1 France fighter 6[6]
ATR 42 France VIP 1[7]
C-130 Hercules United States transport C-130H 1[6]
CASA CN-235 Spain / Indonesia transport 1[6]
Alouette III France light utility SA 319 2[6]
Eurocopter AS332 France transport 1[6]
Eurocopter EC135 France utility 2[6]
Eurocopter AS350 France liaison 1[6]
Eurocopter EC120 France light utility 2[6]
Aérospatiale SA330 France transport/utility 5[6]
Aérospatiale Gazelle France scout/attack SA 342 3[6]
Trainer Aircraft
T-34 Mentor United States trainer 4[6]
Mirage 5 France conversion trainer Mirage 5DG 2[6]

Retired aircraft

Previous aircraft operated by the Air Force consisted of the CM.170 Magister, C-130H Hercules, Embraer EMB 110, Fokker F28, Aérospatiale N 262, Reims C.337, and the Alouette II helicopter.[8][9]


The Gabonese Navy uses a P400-class patrol vessel similar to this one


Vessel Origin Type In service Notes
Kership France offshore patrol 1 on order[10]
P400 France coastal patrol 3[11]
BATRAL France landing craft 1[11] 2 ordered only one received


  1. ^ a b "CIA World Fact 2015". 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l
  4. ^ a b Steenkamp, Willem; Helmoed-Römer, Heitman (September 2016). Mobility Conquers: The Story Of 61 Mechanised Battalion Group 1978-2005. Solihull: Helion & Company. p. 142. ISBN 978-1-911096-52-8.
  5. ^ World Air Forces 2016 (PDF). Flightglobal International. December 2015. p. 19. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "World Air Forces 2015 pg. 16". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  7. ^ "ATR42 Gabon TR-KJD". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  8. ^ "World Air Forces 1987 pg. 56". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  9. ^ "World Military Helicopter Markey 1971 pg. 577". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Trade Registers. Retrieved on 29 May 2015
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