Armed Forces of Equatorial Guinea

Summary

The Armed Forces of Equatorial Guinea (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas de Guinea Ecuatorial; French: Forces armées de la Guinée équatoriale; Portuguese: Forças Armadas da Guiné Equatorial) 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.[2] Military appointments are all reviewed by President Teodoro 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.

Armed Forces of Equatorial Guinea
  • Fuerzas Armadas de Guinea Ecuatorial  (Spanish)
  • Forces armées de la Guinée équatoriale  (French)
  • Forças Armadas da Guiné Equatorial  (Portuguese)
Coat of arms of Equatorial Guinea.svg
Coat of arms of Equatorial Guinea
Service branchesArmy of Equatorial Guinea
Navy of Equatorial Guinea
Air Force of Equatorial Guinea
Leadership
Commander-in-ChiefTeodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Minister of DefenceGeneral Antonio Mba Nguema
Personnel
Conscription18 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 personnel2,400
Expenditures
Percent of GDP0.1% (2006 est.)
Industry
Foreign suppliersUnited States United States
Russia Russia
Belgium Belgium
North Korea North Korea
Israel Israel[1]
Related articles
RanksMilitary ranks of 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.[citation needed]

HistoryEdit

 
Map of Equatorial Guinea elaborated by CIA in 1992.

The Armed Forces were reorganized in 1979. 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.[3] 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. Cooper and Weinert 2010 says that all aircraft are based on the military side of Malabo International Airport.[4]

In 2002, a International Consortium of Investigative Journalists 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."[5]

EquipmentEdit

ArmourEdit

Name Origin Type In service Notes
Armored fighting vehicle
T-55 Soviet Union Main battle tank 3[6]
BRDM-2 Soviet Union Reconnaissance vehicle 6[6]
BMP-1 Soviet Union Infantry fighting vehicle 20[6] Acquired from Czech Republic in 2007.[7]
BTR-152 Soviet Union Armoured personnel carrier 10[6]
Reva South Africa Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected 25[6]
 
An RPG-7 Rocket-propelled grenade launcher

Small armsEdit

Name Origin Type Notes
AKM Soviet Union Assault rifle
FN FAL Belgium Battle rifle
RPD Soviet Union Machine gun
RPG-7 Soviet Union Rocket-propelled grenade

AircraftEdit

The Equatorial Guinea Air Corps was founded in 1979 with mainly French and Spanish air frames. In 2005, 4 Su 25s including 2 Su-25UB combat trainers were delivered to the Equatorial Guinea Air Corps. The current status of the aircraft is unknown.[8] In 2015 two CASA C-295 (one transport and one surveillance) aircraft were ordered for delivery from September 2016.[9]

 
An Antonov An-72P on lift off

Current inventoryEdit

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-25 Russia attack 4[10]
Transport
Antonov 72 Soviet Union heavy transport 1[10]
Let L-410 Turbolet Czech Republic transport 2[10]
Helicopters
Kamov Ka-27 Russia utility Ka-29 1[10]
Mil Mi-26 Russia utility / transport 1[10]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack Mi-35 7[10]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 Czech Republic jet trainer 2[10]

NavyEdit

 
Joint U.S.-Equatorial Guinea naval exercises off the coast of Equatorial Guinea on February 2, 2008. Behind the American landing craft 1655 sail three Guinean patrol boats, the first being the patrol boat Daphne and the other two being Isla de Corisco and Isla de Annobon.

The Equatorial Guinean main task is to counter piracy and robbery at sea. In July 2010, after the visit of Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, an order for a Barroso-class corvette was announced.[11][12] However, as of 2014 no further news has been announced.[13] On 3 June 2014, the frigate Wele Nzas was commissioned and became the navy's flagship.[14]

Vessel Origin Type In service Notes
Wele Nzas (F073) Bulgaria Frigate 1[15][14] Ukrainian designed - modified locally[16]
Bata Bulgaria Corvette 1[17] Ukrainian design[14][18]
PV-50 Ukraine Patrol vessel 2[15]
Isla de Corisco Israel Patrol boat 1[15] Shaldag-class
Isla de Annobon Israel Patrol boat 1[15] Shaldag-class
Saar-4-class Israel Patrol boat 2[19]
Osa China Landing ship 1[19] Salamandra Class
Daphne Denmark Patrol boat 1[19]

Higher education and trainingEdit

On 6 November 2016, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces deployed a training contingent to the Equatorial Guinea to train the country's military officers on operational and logistic matters following an urgent request by the West African country. The security personnel contingent is composed of members of the Zimbabwe National Army and Air Force of Zimbabwe.[20] In 2018, 28 graduates from the military received diplomas from the Nakhimov Naval Academy in Sevastopol.[21]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Israel selling military wares to Mideast countries, Britain says". Haaretz.com.
  2. ^ "Equatorial Guinea". Flightglobal Insight. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  3. ^ U.S. Department of State, Equatorial Guinea Background Note 01/02
  4. ^ Cooper and Weinert 2010, p142
  5. ^ Sunday Dare, The Curious Bonds of Oil Diplomacy Archived 13 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Center for Public Integrity, 6 November 2002
  6. ^ a b c d e International Institute for Strategic Studies (2021). The Military Balance. p. 463. ISBN 9781032012278.
  7. ^ "Trade Registers". armstrade.sipri.org.
  8. ^ "Equatorial Guinea National Guard". Scramble.nl. Retrieved: 3 January 2009. Archived 21 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Stevenson, Beth (2 February 2016). "Equatorial Guinea orders two C295 transports". Flightglobal. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "World Air Forces 2022". Flightglobal. 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  11. ^ Felipe Salles. "Lula anuncia venda de navio da classe Barroso para Guiné Equatorial". Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Equato Guinea inks corvette deal with Brazil: report". defenceWeb. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  13. ^ Pryce, Paul. "Africa's Newest Navy". NAOC. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  14. ^ a b c "Equatorial Guinea inducts new frigate". IHS Jane's 360. 6 July 2014. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  15. ^ a b c d "Equatorial Guinea commissions new frigate". Flightglobal Insight. 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Equatorial Guinea commissions new frigate". defenceWeb. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  17. ^ "Africa 2017: Patrol Boat Requirements Shaping an Emergent Market" (PDF). AMI International. 2017. p. 41. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Armed Forces of Equatorial Guinea (Fuerzas Armadas de Guinea Ecuatorial)". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  19. ^ a b c "Peace Research Institute". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Ministry of Defence – Home". www.defence.gov.zw. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  21. ^ МЕЛЬНИКОВА, Анна (17 June 2018). "Севастополь: выпускники из Африки получают дипломы Нахимовского военно-морского училища". crimea.kp.ru.

ReferencesEdit

  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "CIA – The World Factbook – Equatorial Guinea". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (2009). The Military Balance. Routledge. ISBN 978-1857435160.

Further readingEdit

  • Cooper, Tom & Weinert, Peter (2010). African MiGs: Volume I: Angola to Ivory Coast. Harpia Publishing LLC. ISBN 978-0-9825539-5-4.
  • Jeremy Binnie, 'Boom Time – Equatorial Guinea,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 30 May 2012.
  • Рост военно-морской мощи Экваториальной Гвинеи и украинские корни этого роста (The growth of Equatorial Guinea's naval power and the Ukrainian roots of this growth)