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Venezuela Table of Contents


The Armed Forces of Cooperation (National Guard)

The Armed Forces of Cooperation (Fuerzas Armadas de Cooperación--FAC)--also known as the National Guard--was a domestic paramilitary force that was incorporated into the FAN in 1954. In 1990 the FAC numbered approximately 20,000. Its operational commands included the Logistics Command, the Air Operations Command, and the Operations Command. The tactical chain of command ran from Commander of the FAC downward through three regional commands headquartered at San Antonio de Tachira in the western Andean region, Maracaibo, and Caracas. Regional commanders, in turn, exercised authority over local battalion-sized detachments. Eight mobile detachments functioned as a reserve force, available for deployment to any area of the country in response to threats to internal security or border security. FAC personnel also provided static defense of certain public buildings, oil installations, and penal institutions. In addition, the FAC patrolled the nation's highway system, functioning as a federal police force.

The FAC was equipped as a light infantry force, with the standard FN FAL assault rifle and mortars up to 81mm. Its armored assets consisted of forty armored personnel carriers (see table 16, Appendix). It also employed seventy-seven small craft for coastal and river patrol duties. Air assets included both fixed-wing craft and helicopters.

FAC recruits, all volunteers, underwent a one-year training course at the Ramo Verde School at Los Teques. Officer candidates were required to study for an additional four years at the Officers Training School in Caracas. Postgraduate studies for officers were available at the Advanced Officers School at Caricuao, near Caracas.

Data as of December 1990