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Venezuela Military


Venezuela's National Armed Forces (FAN - Fuerza Armada Nacional ) include roughly 87,500 personnel
spread through four service branches: the Ground Forces, the Navy (including the Marine Corps), the Air Force, and the Armed Forces of Cooperation (FAC), commonly known as the National Guard. As of 2005, a further 100,000 soldiers were incorporated into a new fifth branch, known as the Armed Reserve; these troops bear more semblance to a militia than the older branches. The President of Venezuela is the commander-in-chief of the national armed forces.

The Venezuelan army bears the title "Forjador de Libertades" or "Creator of Freedoms". This apparently refers to Venezuelan armies fighting Venezuela's independence war, as well as the independence wars of five other countries, namely Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Panamá (then part of New Granada, present day Colombia) and Bolivia.

The Venezuelan government has embarked on a massive military modernisation and purchases that greatly expand their defensive and offensive capabilities, including negotiations for German submarines and transport aircraft, several agreements with Russia, transport aircraft and naval vessels from Spain, radars from China, home-made and designed armored light vehicles and rocket launchers, studies for Leopard 2 main battle tanks, amongst many others.


Military branches
National Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales or FAN): Ground Forces or Army (Fuerzas Terrestres or Ejercito), Naval Forces (Fuerzas Navales or Armada; includes Marines, Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerzas Aereas or Aviacion), Armed Forces of Cooperation or National Guard (Fuerzas Armadas de Cooperacion or Guardia Nacional)

Military service age and obligation
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 30 months; all citizens of military service age (between 18 and 50 years old) are obligated to register for military service (2007)

Manpower available for military service
males age 18-49: 6,236,012
females age 18-49: 6,137,622 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 18-49: 4,907,947
females age 18-49: 5,151,843 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually
males age 18-49: 252,396
females age 18-49: 237,300 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP
1.2% (2005 est.)





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