Country Listing

Colombia Table of Contents



Armed Forces: In 1988 total strength estimated at 86,300: army (69,000) navy (10,600), and air force (6,700).

Military Units: Army organized into four divisions (consisting of twelve infantry brigades), special forces and logistic support brigades, four specialized battalions, and mechanized cavalry regiment. Navy organized into four fleet commands (including five marine battalions), coast guard, and naval air arm. Air force organized into three combat air commands, tactical air support command, one military air transport command, and one training command.

Equipment: Ground forces upgraded equipment in 1980s with purchase of tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided (TOW) antitank weapons and armored vehicles; other armored equipment mostly of World War II vintage. Major naval vessels included four submarines, four frigates, four large patrol ships, two fast attack craft, three river gunboats, two coastal patrol vessels, and eight river patrol craft. Air force equipment included jet fighters; antiaircraft missiles; and various ground attack aircraft.

Police: National Police strength estimated at 55,000 in 1988; approximately 10 percent civilians. Police subordinate to minister of national defense. Police included numerous specialized units, including antinarcotics force and special rural police. In addition to National Police, Administrative Security Department and Customs Service had important law enforcement duties.

Data as of December 1988