The Armed Forces of
Senegal (French: Forces armées du Sénégal)
consists of about 17,000 personnel in the army, air force, navy, and
Senegal military force receives most of its training,
equipment, and support from
France and the United States. Germany also
provides support but on a smaller scale.
Military noninterference in political affairs has contributed to
Senegal's stability since independence.
Senegal has participated in
many international and regional peacekeeping missions. Most recently,
Senegal sent a battalion to the Democratic Republic of Congo
to participate in MONUC, the
United Nations peacekeeping mission.
Senegal also agreed to deploy a United States-trained battalion to
Sierra Leone to participate in UNAMSIL, another UN peacekeeping
mission. The training operation was designated Operation Focus Relief
U.S. Army Special Forces
U.S. Army Special Forces from 3rd
Special Forces Group
training a number of West African battalions, including Nigerian ones.
1 Summary of past military actions
3 National Gendarmerie
5 Air Force
6 Military zones
7.1 Armored Cars
7.2 Armoured personnel carriers
9 External links
Summary of past military actions
Paratroopers commando of Thiès.
In August 1981, the
Senegalese military was invited into the Gambia by
Dawda Kairaba Jawara
Dawda Kairaba Jawara to put down a coup attempt.
In August 1989, Senegalese-Gambian military cooperation ceased with
the dissolution of the Senegambian Confederation.
In 1990, 500
Senegalese troops were deployed to Saudi Arabia to take
part in the Gulf War. 92 of them were killed after the end of the
conflict in a plane crash on 21 March 1991.
In 1992 1,500 men were sent to the
ECOMOG peacekeeping group in
In 1994, a battalion-sized force was sent to
Rwanda to participate in
the UN peacekeeping mission there.
Senegal intervened in the
Guinea-Bissau civil war in 1998 at the
request of former
Senegalese contingent deployed on a peacekeeping mission to the
Central African Republic
Central African Republic in 1997.
Senegal deployed troops into the Gambia to support newly
President Adama Barrow, an action legally justified by UN
The Army (Armée de Terre) is the leading force within the Senegalese
armed forces and provides the chief of staff and the Inspecteur
général des forces armées. Only the army and gendarmerie are
important enough to have general officers, although the navy has been
commanded by a flag officer in the past.
Senegalese soldiers enter a building during a training exercise.
Since independence the army has gone through a large number of
reorganisations. The army's heritage includes the prestigious
Tirailleurs sénégalais. In 1978,
Senegal dispatched a battalion to
the Inter-African Force in Zaire, in the aftermath of the Shaba II
Senegalese contingent was under the command of Colonel
Osmane Ndoye. The
Senegalese force comprised a parachute battalion
The Army currently consists of two divisions, the Operations Division
and the Logistic Division. The IISS estimated in 2012 that the Army
had a strength of 11,900 soldiers, three armoured battalions the 22nd,
24th, and 25th (at Bignona) and the 26th Bataillon de reconnaissance
et d'Appui at Kolda; there are six infantry battalions 1st to 6th.
3rd Battalion may have been at
Kaolack with 4th at
Tambacounda at one
Also reported is the 12th Battalion of the 2nd Military Zone at Saint
Louis (Dakhar Bango), along with the Prytanée militaire de
Saint-Louis, a military secondary school.
Senegalese air force is geared towards supporting it, the
army may have previously maintained its own very small aviation
branch, called the "Aviation Légère de l'Armée de Terre" (like the
French army's equivalent), which may have counted up to five light
helicopters and two
SA330 Puma transport helicopters. The IISS
Military Balance 2012 does not list any helicopters in army service.
Red Guard of Senegal.
The Gendarmerie is a military force which provides policing and
security. It includes a Territorial Gendarmerie with general policing
duties, and a Mobile Gendarmerie for special tasks and serious public
Senegalese gendarmerie evolved out of a French colonial Spahi
detachment sent to
Senegal in 1845. This detachment (which became
today's Red Guard of Senegal) was the cadre around which the "Colonial
Gendarmerie" was formed. On independence this became the National
The commander is General Abdoulaye Fall (a different person from the
current Armed Forces Chief of Staff of the same name), whose rank is
Divisional General, and whose full job title is "High Commander of the
Gendarmerie and Director of Military Justice".
Patrol boat Fouladou (OPV 190).
The navy (marine), also known as the Armée de mer, is of small size
and is commanded by a Ship-of-the-Line Captain. It is responsible for
securing Senegal's Atlantic coastline which is strategically located
on the extreme west of the African continent. The navy was created in
The Navy is divided into three branches known as "groupings":
1.) The Operational Naval Grouping (Groupement Naval Opérationnel),
which is divided into three flotillas and one group:
The High Seas Patrol Boats (Patrouilleurs de Haute Mer),
The Coastal Surveillance Vessels (Bâtiments de Surveillance
The Fast Coastal Boats (Vedettes Côtières Rapides) and
The Transport Group (groupe de transport).
2.) The Naval Support Grouping (Groupement de Soutien de la Marine)
responsible for ports, repairs, training, and logistics.
3.) The Fluvial-Maritime Surveillance Grouping.
Air Force Roundel.
Senegalese Air Force
The air force (Armée de l'Air) is orientated towards providing
support for ground forces and resembles an army aviation corps. It has
no air-to-air combat aircraft, but possesses
Mil Mi-24 gunship
helicopters, transport helicopters and aeroplanes, and reconnaissance
helicopters and aeroplanes. This small force is commanded by a
Senegal's Military zones.
At the present time, there are seven military zones:
Zone n°1 - Dakar
Zone n°2 - Saint-Louis
Zone n°3 - Kaolack
Zone n°4 - Ziguinchor
Zone n°5 - Tambacounda
Zone n°6 - Kolda
Zone n°7 - Thiès
Each zone comprises a garrison office which caters to military issues
and a social service office. The IISS Military Balance listed four
zones in 2007.
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Armored Cars: (127)
30 Panhard AML-60mm 4x4
74 Panhard AML-90mm 4x4
13 WMA301/PTL02 105 mm tank hunter
RAM MK3 light armoured vehicles
M8 Greyhound 37mm 6x6
4 M20 Greyhound 6x6
Armoured personnel carriers
Armoured personnel carriers: (89)
Panhard M3 4x4
12 M3 Half-track
39 Puma M26
Other 'soft-skin' military vehicles not listed by the IISS:
Ford M-151 Jeep 4x4
Reo M-35 6x6 trucks
Reo M-44 6x6 trucks
M-809 6x6 trucks
Senegalese marines (training mission in 2011).
6 M-50 155mm Howitzer
6 M-101 105mm howitzers
6 KrAZ-6322PA Bastion-01 122 mm multiple rocket launcher
Mortars: 16. 8 Brandt 81mm medium mortar, 8 Brandt 120mm heavy mortar.
Anti-tank weapons: 4 MBDA
MILAN ATGM Launchers, 31 Larc-89
Light ATRLs RL. Air defence weapons: towed guns: 33. 21 53-T-2/M-693
20mm AAGs, 12 Bofors L-60 40mm AAGs Source: IISS Military Balance
Senegalese Air Force
^ Le Potential
^ IISS Military Balance 2012, 449.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-29. Retrieved
^ Bryden & N'Diaye (eds), 'Security Sector Governance in
Francophone West Africa, DCAF, 2011, 207.
^ État Major des Armees, Zones militaires Archived July 26, 2009, at
the Wayback Machine., accessed August 2009
Part of this article is derived from the equivalent article at French
Website of the Armed Forces of Senegal.
Arab slave trade
French West Africa
African slave trade
Bissau-Guinean Civil War
Bissau-Guinean Civil War involvement
Environmental issues in Senegal
World Heritage Sites
Court of Cassation (judiciary)
Water supply and sanitation
Coat of arms
Militaries of Africa
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Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire)
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Sudan People's Liberation Army
Sudan People's Liberation Army · South Sudan Defence
States with limited recognition
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Dependencies and other territories
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