Country Listing

Brazil Table of Contents


National Security

Armed Forces: Total active-duty troops and officers: 314,700, including 132,000 conscripts (1997). Brazilian Army (Exército Brasileiro), largest service (accounting for 66 percent of total armed forces), has 200,000 active-duty officers and troops, including 125,000 conscripts. Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil) totals 64,700 members, including 1,300-member Naval Aviation (Aviação Naval), 14,600-member Marines, and 2,000 conscripts; and Brazilian Air Force (Fôrça Aérea Brasileira--FAB), also 50,000, including 5,000 conscripts. Reserves: trained first-line: 1,115,000 (400,000 subject to immediate recall); second-line: 225,000.

Conscription: Twelve months officially; usually nine to ten months in practice, but can be reduced or extended by six months.

Defense Budget: Total 1997: US$12 billion. Investment in armed forces (as percentage of government budget): 1.7 percent (1995). Except 1990, military spending as percentage of federal budget has declined steadily since 1985. Fifth-ranked recipient of arms transfer agreements of developing nations in 1995, Brazil received US$800 million worth of arms.

Military Organization: Army divided geographically into eleven military regions, each with military headquarters. Military regions subordinate to seven military commands: Southern Command (Porto Alegre), Planalto Military Command (Brasília), Amazonian Command (Manaus), Eastern Command (Rio de Janeiro), Southeastern Command (São Paulo), Northeastern Command (Recife); Western Command (Campo Grande). Units include: eight divisions (three with regional headquarters); one armored cavalry brigade (two mechanized, one armored, one artillery battalion); three armored infantry brigades (each with two infantry, one armored, and one artillery battalion); four mechanized cavalry brigades (each with three infantry and one artillery battalion); thirteen motor infantry brigades (twenty-six battalions); one mountain brigade; four "jungle" brigades (seven battalions); one frontier brigade (five battalions); one airborne brigade (three airborne battalions and one special forces battalion); two coast and air defense artillery brigades; three cavalry guard regiments; twenty-eight artillery groups (four self-propelled, six medical, eighteen field); two engineer groups (each with four battalions, including two railroad battalions, to be increased to thirty-four battalions); helicopter brigade (forming, to comprise five helicopters per battalion). Navy best structured branch of armed forces in terms of quality of equipment and troop preparation. Two naval commands: Brasília and Manaus. Five oceanic naval districts: Rio de Janeiro (headquarters, 1st Naval District), Salvador (headquarters, 2d Naval District), Natal (headquarters, 3d Naval District), Belém (headquarters, 4th Naval District), and Rio Grande do Sul (headquarters, 5th Naval District). One riverine naval district: Ladário (headquarters, 6th Naval District). Air Force has three general commands--air, support, and personnel; organized into seven regional commands, as follows: 1st at Belém, 2d at Recife, 3d at Rio de Janeiro, 4th at São Paulo, 5th at Porto Alegre, 6th at Brasília, and 7th at Manaus. Five operational commands: Tactical Command (ten groups), Coastal or Maritime Command (four groups), Transport Command (six groups), Special Transport Group (VIP), and Training Command. Also one Administrative Command (one group) (IISS).

Police: Security forces, including state paramilitary Military Police (Polícia Militar--PM), under army control and considered an army reserve, totaled 385,600 in 1997.

Data as of April 1997