Military of Equatorial Guinea

Military of Equatorial Guinea
Military of Equatorial Guinea
Fuerzas Armadas de Guinea Ecuatorial
Service branches Army, Navy, Air Wing
Conscription 18 years of age, 2 years selective compulsory service
Available for
military service
136,725 males, age 16–49,
138,018 females, age 16–49
Fit for
military service
105,468 males, age 16–49,
107,919 females, age 16–49
Reaching military
age annually
6,983 males,
6,726 females
Active personnel 1,540
Percent of GDP 0.1% (2006 est.)

The military of Equatorial Guinea (in Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas de Guinea Ecuatorial) [1] was reorganized in 1979. It consists of approximately 2,500 service members. The army has almost 1,400 soldiers, the police 400 paramilitary men, the navy 200 service members, and the air force about 120 members. There is also a Gendarmerie, but the number of members is unknown. The Gendarmerie is a new branch of the service in which training and education is being supported by the French Military Cooperation in Equatorial Guinea. Overall the military is poorly trained and equipped. It has mostly small arms, RPGs, and mortars. Almost none of its Soviet-style light-armored vehicles or trucks are operational.

In 1988, the United States donated a 68-foot patrol boat to the Equatoguinean navy to patrol its exclusive economic zone. The U.S. patrol boat Isla de Bioko is no longer operational. U.S. military-to-military engagement has been dormant since 1997 (the year of the last Joint Combined Exchange Training exercise). Between 1984 and 1992, service members went regularly to the United States on the International Military Education Training program, after which funding for this program for Equatorial Guinea ceased. The government spent 6.5% of its annual budget on defense in 2000 and 4.5% of its budget on defense in 2001. It recently acquired some Chinese artillery pieces, some Ukrainian patrol boats, and some Ukrainian helicopter gunships. The number of paved airports in Equatorial Guinea can be counted on one hand, and as such the number of airplanes operated by the air force is small. The Equatoguineans rely on foreigners to operate and maintain this equipment as they are not sufficiently trained to do so.

Military appointments are all reviewed by President Obiang, and few of the native militiamen come from outside of Obiang's Mongomo-based Esangui clan. Obiang was a general when he overthrew his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema.

In 2002, a report said "The oil companies do not view Equatorial Guinea's military – a product of decades of brutal dictatorial rule – with much confidence. The army is believed to have only about 1,320 men under arms, the navy 120, and the air force 100. Seven of the army's nine generals are relatives of the president; the other two are from his tribe. There is no clear command structure, the level of discipline is low, and professionalism and training are almost non-existent, according to locals and foreign oil workers. Even the presidential guard – an indication of the lack of trust in the country's forces – is composed of 350 Moroccan troops."[2]

In July 2010, after the visit of Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the sale of a Barroso-class corvette to be constructed in Brazil was announced.[3]


Theft of Military Hardware

It has been reported that in January 2006 a Saint Kitts & Nevis flagged cargo ship loaded with vehicles and parts meant for the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo was seized while in port within Equatorial Guinea. It is believed that the seized vehicles (which included 15 Belgian Army Pandur APCs leased to Beninise army troops) and parts have been used to equip the Military of Equatorial Guinea, and such seizure are considered by some as an act of piracy.[4]


Aircraft inventory

The Air Force operates 13 aircraft plus the presidential flight.

Aircraft Origin Type In service[5] Notes
Aero L-39 Albatros  Czech Republic light attack 2
Antonov An-72 Coler C  Ukraine tactical transport 2
Antonov An-32 Cline  Ukraine\ Russia transport 1
Casa C-212-200 Aviocar  Spain transport 3
Enstrom 480B  United States training helicopter 2
Mil Mi-24 HindV (Hind E)  Russia attack 6
Sukhoi Su-25K  Russia attack 4 (Including 2 SU-25UBK)

Retired aircraft

  • 2 Mikoyan MiG-17F Fresco  Soviet Union
  • 2 SA-316B Alouette III helicopters  France-in store

Presidential Flight


Malabo has laid out USD 100 million for two Saar 4 -class corvettes built by Israel Shipyards, a private yard in Haifa.



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