Zaire Table of Contents
Zaire's 1,300-member navy includes 600 marines and operates a small ocean-going force with larger river and lake flotillas. Because Zaire's Atlantic Coast is only about forty kilometers long, Lake Tanganyika is the largest body of water that the navy patrols, so the navy's primary mission is to control illegal entry into the country and to conduct antismuggling patrols as well. The navy has bases at Banana on the coast; at Boma, Matadi, and Kinshasa on the lower Congo; and at Kalemie, on Lake Tanganyika. A dry dock at Boma is used to repair the navy's patrol craft. The service reportedly has only a few vessels that can operate for short periods in the ocean. Its inventory includes small numbers of Chinese-made fast patrol craft (inshore) as well as three ex-North Korean torpedo boats, without torpedo tubes, which are normally only marginally operational (see table 17, Appendix). In addition, two United States-made coastal patrol craft, along with as many as eighteen French-built patrol craft, patrol the lakes and rivers (although their operational status is uncertain). Naval personnel receive basic training at the Banana Naval Base but in the past generally went to the United States, France, or Belgium for intermediate and advanced training.
Data as of December 1993