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Chile Military
 
 
 

Chile's Armed Forces are subject to civilian control exercised by the President through the Minister of Defense. The President has the authority to remove the commanders-in-chief of the armed forces.

The commander in chief of the Chilean Army is General Óscar Izurieta Ferrer. The Chilean Army is 45,000 strong and is organised with an Army headquarters in Santiago, seven divisions throughout its territory, an Air Brigade in Rancagua, and a Special Forces Command in Colina. The Chilean Army is one of the most professional and technologically advanced armies in Latin America.

Admiral Rodolfo Codina Díaz directs the 23,000-person Navy, including 2,500 Marines. Of the fleet of 29 surface vessels, only eight are operational major combatants (frigates). Those ships are based in Valparaiso. The Navy operates its own aircraft for transport and patrol; there are no Navy fighter or bomber aircraft. The Navy also operates four submarines based in Talcahuano.

General Ricardo Ortega Perrier heads a force of 12,500. Air assets are distributed among five air brigades headquartered in Iquique, Antofagasta, Santiago, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. The Air Force also operates an airbase on King George Island, Antarctica. The FACH took delivery of 14 F-16 aircraft in 2006 and will take delivery of 14 more in 2007.

After the military coup in September 1973, the Chilean national police (Carabineros) were incorporated into the Defense Ministry. With the return of democratic government, the police were placed under the operational control of the Interior Ministry but remained under the nominal control of the Defense Ministry. General José Bernales is the head of the national police force of 30,000 men and women who are responsible for law enforcement, traffic management, narcotics suppression, border control and counter-terrorism throughout Chile.

Overview

Military branches
Army of the Nation, Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile, includes naval air, marine corps, and Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine Directorate (Directemar)), Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Chile, FACh), Chilean Carabineros (National Police) (2007)

Military service age and obligation
all male citizens 18-45 are obligated to perform military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy and Air Force (2004)

Manpower available for military service
males age 18-49: 3,815,761
females age 18-49: 3,780,864 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 18-49: 3,123,281
females age 18-49: 3,128,277 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually
males age 18-49: 140,084
females age 18-49: 134,518 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP
2.7% (2006)

 

 
 


 



 


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