Country Listing

Venezuela Table of Contents



Armed Forces: In 1990 total strength of the National Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales--FAN) estimated at 69,000, broken down into 34,000 army personnel, 10,000 navy, 5,000 air force, and 20,000 Armed Forces of Cooperation (Fuerzas Armadas de Cooperación--FAC)--also known as the National Guard.

Military Units: Army organized into five divisions, one for each military region, several independent units in capital area. Navy included main squadron at Puerto Cabello, marine infantry corps, naval aviation command, River Forces Command, and Coast Guard. Air Force organized into three commands: Air Combat Command, Air Logistics Command, and Air Training Command.

Equipment: Armor and artillery assets somewhat antiquated. Major naval vessels--including British-built "Constitution"-class fast attack craft, Italian "Lupo" missile frigates, and German Type 209 submarines--purchased during 1970s. Air Force equipped with most modern weaponry, including United States F-16 and French Mirage fighters.

Police: FAC functioned as paramilitary internal security force at national level. Other federal police organizations included Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (Dirección de Seguridad e Inteligencia Policial--Disip) under Ministry of Interior, Technical and Judicial Police (Policía Técnica y Judicial--PTJ) under Ministry of Justice, and Traffic Police under Ministry of Transport and Communications. These three organizations totaled some 8,000 personnel in 1990. Some 18,000 personnel in state, metropolitan, and municipal police forces exercised local jurisdiction. Largest such force was Metropolitan Police Force of Caracas, with about 9,000 members.

Data as of December 1990