Armed Forces of Paraguay


Armed Forces of Paraguay
Fuerzas Armadas de Paraguay
Coat of arms of Paraguay (1957-2013).svg
Paraguayan Coat of Arms
Service branchesParaguayan Army
Paraguayan Air Force
Paraguayan Navy
Commander-in-chiefMario Abdo Benítez
Minister of DefenseDiogenes Martínez
Commander of the Armed ForcesGeneral of the Army Luis Gonzaga Garcete Espinola
Military age18
Available for
military service
1,678,335[1], age 16–49 (2010 est.)
Fit for
military service
1,409,859, age 16–49 (2010 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
73,367 (2010 est.)
Active personnel15,650 active military (2016)[2]
14,800 paramilitary (2012)[2]
Reserve personnel168,500 (2012)[2]
Budget$US 248 million (2011)[2]
Percent of GDP1% (2020)[3]
Foreign suppliersBrazil
United States
Republic of China
Related articles
RanksMilitary ranks of Paraguay

The Armed forces of Paraguay (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas de Paraguay) consist of the Paraguayan army, navy (including naval aviation and marine corps) and air force.

The constitution of Paraguay establishes the president of Paraguay as the commander-in-chief.

Paraguay has compulsory military service, and all 18-year-old males and 17-year-olds in the year of their 18th birthday are liable for one year of active duty. Although the 1992 constitution allows for conscientious objection, no enabling legislation has yet been approved.

In July 2005, military aid in the form of U.S. Special Forces began arriving at Paraguay's Mariscal Estigarribia air base, a sprawling complex built in 1982.[4][5]


In land forces the Paraguayan Army is composed of a Presidential Guards Regiment, composed two battalions (infantry and military police), an armored squadron, and a battery of field artillery, plus the operationally attached Mounted Ceremonial Squadron "Aca Caraya" (which serves independently but as the mounted escort in state events, and serves as part of the 4th Cavalry Regiment). Their equipment includes three Argentinean modified M-4 tanks, four EE-9 armored cars, four EE-11 armored personnel carriers (APCs), three M-9 half-tracks mounting 20mm guns, and four M-101 105 mm howitzers. Arguably, this "flagship" of military rule is structurally and physically the strongest of the EP. The REP is an independent unit from other commands. The EP features two artillery groups (GAC 1–12 88 mm QF-25 and GAC 2–12 105mm M-101) and one antiaircraft artillery group (GAA 13 40 mm L 40/60, Oerlikon 20 mm cannons, and six M-55 4x12, 7.0 mm).

Six battalions of combat engineers, one communications battalion, one Special Forces battalion, seven regiments of infantry, six regiments of cavalry (R.C.-2 equipped with 12 M3A1, five operational, 20 M9 half-tracks modernized and R.C.-3: 24 EE-9 Cascavels, eight EE-11 Urutu APCs plus utility trucks for motorized infantry). This has little organic aviation available to it.

Each corps has a weapons school run by its command. The logistical command manages 10 addresses materials, mobilization, health care, etc. The command of the Army Institute of Education administers three schools, commissioned and noncommissioned officers, a military academy, and the CIMEFOR (a center for pre-military study that trains Reserve officers).

Each of the nine divisions that make up the three corps has one or two regiments of infantry or cavalry, its platoon of engineers, its communications section, military police units, etc.


Naval Jack of Paraguay

Although Paraguay is a landlocked country, it has a strong naval tradition by virtue of the fact that it has access to the Atlantic Ocean through the ParaguayParaná rivers. The Paraguayan Navy has twelve bases. The main base is the Puerto Sajonia in Asuncion, followed by Bahia Negra, Ciudad del Este, Encarnacion, Salto del Guaira. It also has facilities in Puerto Sajonia for helicopters and airplanes in SGAS. Naval personnel including Marine Corps aviation personnel, and the naval inward waters prefecture equal about 8,950. The Marine Corps have 800 marines, of which 400 are assigned to one commando unit with the rest being organized into a single battalion consisting of three companies.

Flagship, River gunboat ARP C-1 Paraguay

In terms of vessels, the Navy has 34 surface ships, some of which have reached centenarian age. (This is due in part to limited use and floating in fresh water.) The main vessels and the flagship of the Paraguay Navy is still Humaita, which was commissioned prior to Paraguay's involvement in the Chaco War. It has a further four patrol vessels, of which the oldest was commissioned in 1908 and the newest in 1985. The Navy has 17 patrol boats of various drafts, four of which were donated by Taiwan and the United States, while the other 13 were built locally. The rest of the fleet is composed of tugboats, barges, landing craft, transports, and a presidential yacht. The new additions are four Croc-class riverine vessels from Australia, plus 43 locally built riverline patrol vessels constructed from 2006–2009. For air support, one Helibras HB350 helicopter is used to provide SAR, MEDEVAC and utility work[6]

Order of battle

COMANFLOT: Comando de la Flota de Guerra.(Fleet Forces Command)

COMIM: Comando de Infantería de Marina.(Fleet Marine Command)

  • Marine Forces Regiment
    • BIM 1 - Rosario
    • BIM 2 - Vallemi
    • BIM 3 - Carapegua
    • Marine Commando Battalion
  • COMAVAN(Naval Aviation Command)

Grupo Aeronaval de Helicópteros (GAHE), Sajonia

Escuadrilla de Helicópteros de Ataque (EHA)

Escuadrilla de Propósitos Generales (EPG)

Grupo Aeronaval de Propósitos Generales (GAPROGEN)

Grupo Aeronaval de Entrenamiento (GAEN)

  • COAPCOM: Comando de Apoyo al Combate.(Combat Support Command)
  • CINAE: Comando de Institutos Navales y Enseñanza. (Naval Education and Training Command)
  • PGN: Prefectura General Naval.(General Naval Prefecture)

Cuartel General (Command)

Estado Mayor (HQ)

Prefectura Zona Pilar (Pilar Naval Prefecture)

Prefectura Zona Alberdi (Alberdi Naval Prefecture)

Prefectura Zona Central (Central Naval Prefecture)

Prefectura Zona Concepcion (Cencepcion Naval Prefecture)

Prefectura Zona Olimpo (Olimpo Naval Prefecture)

  • DIRMAT: Dirección del Material (Material Directorate)
  • DIAPSER: Dirección de Apoyo al Servicio (Service Support Directorate)

Air Force

Air Force roundel

The air force, the newest and smallest of the services, has about 1,100 personnel as of 2012.[7] The Paraguayan Air Forces is organised in an Air Brigade of seven air groups and a brigade of paratroopers on battalion level. Almost all operating units are based in premises at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (SGAS) in Asunción.

The units comprising the force are: the Aerotactico group (TAG) with three fighter squadrons (numbered 1 to 3), respectively equipped with the MB-326, T-33 and EMB-312. The first two are in storage or operating either by withdrawal of this aircraft. The squadron "Moros", equipped with Tucanos, has only one squadron (3 airplanes active). The Air Transport Group (GTA) operates aircraft of the CASA, DHC-6, and Beechcraft types. The Helicopter air group (HLG) has a SAR squadron, a utility squadron, and a squadron of attack craft, and is equipped with ex-Taiwanese UH-1H and Brazilian HB-350B aircraft. The Air Group Instruction (AFI) has materials and T-25 and T-35 aircraft. Photogrammetric called air group (GAF) and group aviation maintenance section (SEMAER) do not have aircraft assigned. The Parachute Brigade operates CASA aircraft. Paraguayan Helicopters constantly flew the skies of Asuncion during the visit of Pope Francis in July 2015

Besides these groups is a command of Institutes of Education and one of regions air, this latter has nominal jurisdiction over 12 tracks and airports as six of these are considered Air Bases.[8]

Order of battle

  • 1º Brigada Aérea (Air Brigade; Asunción/Base Aérea Ñu Guazú)
    • Grupo Aerotáctico (Air Tactical Group; Asunción/Base Aérea Pettirossi)
    • 1º Escuadrón de Caza 'Guaraní' (Escuadrilla 'Orion' y 'Centauro'), no longer active
    • 2º Escuadrón de Caza 'Indios' (Escuadrilla 'Taurus' y 'Scorpio'), no longer active
    • 3º Escuadrón de Reconocimiento y Ataque 'Moros' (Reconnaissance and Attack Squadron; Escuadrilla 'Gamma' y 'Omega'): EMB-312
    • Grupo Aéreo de Instrucción (Instrucción Air Group) 'Escuadrón Fenix': T-25A
    • Escuadrilla 'Antares' / 'Pantera' / 'Halcón': T-35A/B


Current inventory

A Paraguayan Air Force CASA 212
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat aircraft
EMB 312 Tucano Brazil light attack / trainer 6[9]
Transport aircraft
Cessna 208 United States transport 2[9]
Cessna 402 United States transport 1[9]
CASA C-212 Spain transport / MEDEVAC 2[9]
Beechcraft Baron United States transport 1[9]
Helibras HB350 Brazil utility 1[9]
Bell UH-1 United States utility UH-1H 13[9]
Trainer aircraft
ENAER T-35 Chile basic trainer 9[9]


Previous aircraft operated by the Air Force consisted of the Aermacchi MB-326, Aerotec T-23, AgustaWestland AW109, Airco DH.9, Ansaldo SVA, Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8, AT-6 Harvard, Aviatik B.I, Avro Anson, Beechcraft Super King Air, Bell H-13 Sioux, Bell UH-1B Iroquois, Boeing 707, Boeing-Stearman Model 75, Breda Ba.15, Breda Ba.25, Breda Ba.44, Breda Ba.65, Bréguet 14, CANT 26, CAP-4 Paulistinha, Caproni A.P.1, Caproni Ca.309, Cessna 185, Cessna 210, Cessna T-41 Mescalero, Consolidated PBY Catalina, Consolidated PT-11, Convair C-131 Samaritan, Convair CV-240 family, Curtiss Falcon, Curtiss Robin, de Havilland DH.60 Moth, de Havilland Dove, Deperdussin TT, Dewoitine D.21, DHC-2 Beaver, DHC-3 Otter, DHC-6 Twin Otter, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, Douglas DC-6, Fairchild PT-19, Fiat CR.20, Fiat CR.30, Fiat CR.32, Fleet Model 1, Fokker S-11, Hanriot HD.1, Hanriot HD.32, Hiller UH-12, Junkers A50, Lockheed T-33, Macchi M.3, Macchi M.7, Morane-Saulnier AR, Morane-Saulnier MS.138, Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris, Muniz M-9, Piper J-3 Cub, Piper PA-23, Potez 25, PZL-104 Wilga, SIAI S.52, SPAD S.XX, Travel Air 6000, Vultee BT-13 Valiant and the Wibault 7. [10][11]

Military ranks


No. Portrait Name
Term of office Defence branch Ref.
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Vicealmirante
Eduardo Dionicio A. Gonzalez Petit
14 April 1993 3 February 1995 1 year, 295 days  Paraguay Navy [12]
2 General de ejército
Silvio Rafael Noguera Ramirez
3 February 1995 5 August 1998 3 years, 183 days  Paraguayan Army [12]
3 General de ejército
Eligio Ramon Torres Heyn
5 August 1998 1 November 1999 1 year, 88 days  Paraguayan Army [12][13]
4 Almirante
Jose Ramon Ocampos Alfaro
1 November 1999 21 August 2000 294 days  Paraguay Navy [12]
5 Almirante
Miguel Angel Candia Fleitas
21 August 2000 14 March 2001 205 days  Paraguay Navy [12]
6 General de ejército
Expedito Adriano Garrigoza Vera
14 March 2001 29 August 2003 2 years, 168 days  Paraguayan Army [12]
7 General de ejército
Jose Key Kanazawa Gamarra
17 September 2003 28 November 2006 3 years, 72 days  Paraguayan Army [12]
8 Bernardino Soto Estigarribia - Flickr id 49130745006 (cropped).jpg General de ejército
Bernardino Soto Estigarribia
(born 1952)
28 November 2006 19 November 2008 1 year, 357 days  Paraguayan Army [12][14]
9 Contraalmirante
Cibar Benitez Caceres
19 November 2008 6 November 2009 352 days  Paraguay Navy [12][14]
10 General de brigada
Juan Oscar Velazquez Castillo
6 November 2009 20 September 2010 318 days  Paraguayan Army [12][15]
11 General de ejército
Felipe Benicio Melgarejo Recalde
21 September 2010 10 September 2012 1 year, 356 days  Paraguayan Army [12][16]
12 General de fuerza aerea
Miguel Christ Jacobs
10 September 2012 11 October 2013 1 year, 31 days  Paraguayan Air Force [12][17]
13 General de ejército
Jorge Francisco Ramirez Gomez
11 October 2013 23 October 2014 1 year, 12 days  Paraguayan Army [12]
14 General de ejército
Luis Gonzaga Garcete
23 October 2014 3 November 2016 2 years, 11 days  Paraguayan Army [18]
15 General de fuerza aerea
Braulio Piris Rojas
3 November 2016 9 August 2017 279 days  Paraguayan Air Force [18][19]
16 Almirante
Hugo Milciades Scolari Pagliaro
9 August 2017 30 October 2018 1 year, 82 days  Paraguay Navy [19][20]
17 General de fuerza aerea
Eladio Casimiro González Aguilar
30 October 2018 Incumbent 3 years, 85 days  Paraguayan Air Force [20]

See also


  1. ^ "CIA World Fact Book "Paraguay"". 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d IISS (2012), p. 398
  3. ^
  4. ^ "U.S. Military Moves in Paraguay Rattle Regional Relations". International Relations Center. December 14, 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-06-12. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
  5. ^ US Marines put a foot in Paraguay, El Clarín, September 9, 2005 (in Spanish)
  6. ^ "World Air Forces 2020". Flightglobal Insight. 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  7. ^ IISS (2012), p. 399
  8. ^ "Paraguayan military aviation OrBat".
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "World Air Forces 2021". Flightglobal Insight. 2021. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  10. ^ JSRJ 1976, p. 63.
  11. ^ "Paraguayan Air Force". Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Ex Comandantes". (in Spanish). National Secretariat of Information and Communication Technologies. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  13. ^ "LA SITUACION EN PARAGUAY: CAMBIOS EN LA CUPULA MILITAR DE ASUNCION". (in Spanish). 15 October 1999. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Cibar benitez caceres asumio como jefe de fuerzas militares". (in Spanish). 19 November 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Paraguay's military commander fired". Asuncion, Paraguay. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Con la salida de Velázquez, Lugo completa barrida en FFAA". (in Spanish). 22 September 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Comandante se despide diciendo que las FF. AA. fueron puestas a prueba". (in Spanish). 11 September 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Braulio Piris Rojas nuevo comandante las Fuerzas Militares". (in Spanish). 3 November 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Juró Scolari Pagliaro como nuevo comandante de las Fuerzas Militares". (in Spanish). 9 August 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  20. ^ a b "Jura nuevo comandante de fuerzas militares". (in Spanish). 30 October 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2021.


  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). "The Military Balance 2012". The Military Balance : Annual Estimates of the Nature and Size of the Military Forces of the Principal Powers. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222.
  • Ehlers, Hartmut (2004). "The Paraguayan Navy: Past and Present". Warship International. XLI (1): 79–97. ISSN 0043-0374.
  • Ehlers, Hartmut (2004). "The Paraguayan Navy: Past and Present, Part II". Warship International. XLI (2): 173–206. ISSN 0043-0374.
  • Ehlers, Hartmut (2007). "The Paraguayan Navy: Past and Present, Part III". Warship International. XLIV (2): 183–214. ISSN 0043-0374.
  • Joint Services Recognition Journal. London: Ministry of Defence. 1976.
  • Rauch, Georg von (n.d.). "The Green Hell Air War". Air Enthusiast Quarterly (2): 207–213. ISSN 0143-5450.
  • Sapienza, Antonio Luis (May 2001). "L'aviation militare paraguayenne durant la seconde guerre mondiale" [Paraguayan Military Aviation During the Second World War]. Avions: Toute l'Aéronautique et son histoire (in French) (98): 30–33. ISSN 1243-8650.

External links

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