Military of the Gambia

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The Gambian National Army numbers about 2300. A new batch of 620 recruits have recently joined. Recruits receive training from TGTT [Turkish Gambian Training Team]

The army consists of infantry battalions, the national guard, and the navy, all under the authority of the Department of State for Defence (a ministerial portfolio held by President Jammeh). Prior to the 1994 coup, the Gambian army received technical assistance and training from the United States, People's Republic of China, Nigeria, and Turkey. With the withdrawal of most of this aid, the army has received renewed assistance from Turkey, Pakistan and Taiwan and new assistance from Libya and others. Pakistan sent a 1.5 year long advisory team [Pakistan Armed Forces Advisory Mission -PAFAM]composed of 1 Brigadier, 1 Naval Captain and 1 Gp Captain from the PAF.

Members of the Gambian military have participated in ECOMOG, the West African force deployed during the Liberian civil war beginning in 1990. Responsibilities for internal security and law enforcement rest with the Gambian police/gendarme force under the Inspector General of Police and the Ministry of Interior.


Military branches

  • Army (~1600)
  • National Police
  • National Guard
  • Gambian Navy (~250)(4 Fast Attack Crafts, 2 Hovercrafts and several small vessels, berthed at GNS Jammeh Naval Base. Naval Chief: R/Adm Sarjo Fofana)

All branches are jointly governed by a Chief OF Defence Staff (CDS) , the last one being Lt Gen Lang Tombong Tamba.

Military manpower - availability

  • Males age 15-49: 306,359 (2000 est.)
  • fit for military service, males age 15-49: 154,432 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures

  • $1 million (FY96/97)
  • 2% of GDP (FY96/97)

Aircraft Inventory

The Gambian Army operates a single Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot attack jet. Gambia also has former retired Ukrainian Helicopters that are non-functional. Recently, a batch of 4 Gambian Soldiers received flying training in Ukraine. Gp Captain from Pakistan has also submitted a framework, based on which a new Gambian Airforce can be established [1].



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