Cape Verdean Armed Forces

Last updated
Cape Verdean Armed Forces
Forças Armadas Cabo Verdeanas
Service branches Coast Guard
National Guard
Commander-in-Chief José Maria Pereira Neves
Minister of National Defense Janine Tatiana dos Santos Lélis
Chief of Staff Major general Anildo Emanuel da Graça Morais
Military age18
Conscription14 months
Active personnel1,200
Budget$11.2 million (2018) [1]
Percent of GDP0.6% (2018) [1]
Foreign suppliersFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Related articles
Ranks Military ranks of Cape Verde

The Cape Verdean Armed Forces (Portuguese : Forças Armadas Cabo Verdeanas), Cabo Verdean Armed Forces or FACV are the military of Cape Verde. They include two branches, the National Guard and the Coast Guard.



Cape Verdean Marines Marins du Cap-Vert en 2011.jpg
Cape Verdean Marines

Before 1975, Cape Verde was an overseas province of Portugal, having a small Portuguese military garrison that included both Cape Verdean and European Portuguese soldiers.

At the same time, some Cape Verdeans were serving in the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces (Forças Armadas Revolucionarias do Povo, FARP), the military wing of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde that was fighting for the joint independence of Guinea and Cape Verde in the Guinea-Bissau War of Independence. The FARP became the national armed forces of Guinea-Bissau when its independence was recognized by Portugal in 1974.

The Armed Forces of Cape Verde were created when the country became independent in 1975, being also officially designated the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces (Forças Armadas Revolucionarias do Povo, FARP). The Cape Verdean FARP consisted of two independent branches, the Army (Exército) and the Coast Guard (Guarda Costeira).

In the early 1990s, the designation "FARP" was dropped and the military of Cape Verde was designated the Cape Verdean Armed Forces (Forças Armadas Cabo Verdeanas, FACV).

In 2007, the FACV started a major reorganization that included the transformation of the Army into the National Guard (Guarda Nacional).

Together with the Cape Verdean Police, the FACV carried out Operation Flying Launch (Operacão Lancha Voadora), a successful operation to put an end to a drug trafficking group which smuggled cocaine from Colombia to the Netherlands and Germany using Cape Verde as a reorder point. The operation took more than three years, being a secret operation during the first two years, and ended in 2010.

Although located in Africa, Cape Verde has always had close relations with Europe. Because of this, it has been argued that Cape Verde may be eligible for entry into the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and NATO. [2]

The most recent engagement of the FACV was the Monte Tchota massacre that resulted in 11 deaths. [3]


The Cape Verdean Armed Forces are part of the Ministry of National Defense of Cape Verde and include:

Chief of Staff

The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Cape Verde (Portuguese : Chefe do Estado-Maior-General das Forças Armadas; CEMFA) The CEMFA is a major-general, the highest-ranked officer in the Armed Forces.

Term of officeRef.
Took officeLeft officeTime in office
Marino Dias
March 1989July 19912 years, 4 months [4] [5]
Ederlindo Ribeiro
July 1991 [4]
Amílcar Baptista
Jorge Bettencourt Pinto
Antero Matos
March 2009 [4]
Fernando Pereira Carvalho
March 200918 August 20112 years, 5 months [6]
Jorge Paulo Monte
18 August 201130 December 2011134 days [6]
7Major general
Alberto Fernandes
30 December 201130 April 20164 years, 122 days [7] [8]
8Major general
Anildo Emanuel da Graça Morais
(born 1962)
24 June 2016Incumbent6 years, 138 days [9]

National Guard

Military Police in Mindelo Policia Militar Cabo Verde 2006.jpg
Military Police in Mindelo

The National Guard (Guarda National) is the main branch of the Cape Verdean Armed Forces for the military defense of the country, being responsible for the execution of land and maritime environment operations and the support to internal security. It includes:

There is no general command of the National Guard. Each military region command is headed by a lieutenant-colonel directly subordinate to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, and includes units of the three corps.

Coast Guard

Coast Guard patrol vessel Guardiao (P511), in manoeuvres with a British frigate HMS Argyll with Cape Verde Coast Guard Cutter Guardiao (8555456612).jpg
Coast Guard patrol vessel Guardião (P511), in manoeuvres with a British frigate

The Coast Guard (Guarda Costeira) is the branch of the Cape Verdean Armed Forces responsible for the defense and protection of the country's economical interests at the sea under national jurisdiction and for providing air and naval support to land and amphibious operations. It includes:

The Coast Guard is headed by an officer with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. The Naval and Air Squadrons incorporate, respectively, all the vessels and aircraft of the Cape Verdean Armed Forces.


The rank insignia for commissioned officers for the national guard and coast guard. [10]

Rank groupGeneral/flag officersField/senior officersJunior officersOfficer cadet
Flag of Cape Verde.svg Cape Verdean National Guard [11]
Blank.svg Blank.svg Cape Verde-army-OF-5.svg Cape Verde-army-OF-4.svg Cape Verde-army-OF-3.svg Cape Verde-army-OF-2.svg Cape Verde-army-OF-1c.svg Cape Verde-army-OF-1b.svg Cape Verde-army-OF-1a.svg Cape Verde-army-OF-(D).svg
Major-generalBrigadeiroCoronelTenente-coronelMajorCapitãoPrimeiro tenenteTenenteSubtenenteAspirante
Flag of Cape Verde.svg  Cape Verdean Coast Guard [12]
Generic-Navy-8.svg Generic-Navy-6.svg Generic-Navy-5.svg Generic-Navy-4.svg Generic-Navy-3.svg Generic-Navy-2.svg Generic-Navy-1.svg PLANF-Sleeve-0710-CDT.png
Capitão–de–marCapitão–de–navioCapitão-de–patrulhaCapitão-tenentePrimeiro-tenenteTenenteGuarda-marinhaAspirante à oficial

The rank insignia of enlisted for the national guard and coast guard.

Rank groupSenior NCOsJunior NCOsEnlisted
Flag of Cape Verde.svg Cape Verdean National Guard [11]
Blank.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-8.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-7.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-6.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-5c.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-5b.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-5a.svg Instruendo curso de sargento.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-4c.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-4b.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-4a.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-3.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-2.svg Cape Verde-army-OR-1.svg No insignia
Sargento-morSargento-chefeSargento-principalPrimeiro-sargentoSegundo-sargentoSargento Furriel Instruendo curso de sargentoCabo-principalCabo de SecçãoCabo-adjuntoPrimeiro-caboSegundo-caboInstruendo curso de caboSoldado
Flag of Cape Verde.svg  Cape Verdean Coast Guard [12]
Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg Blank.svg
Sargento-morSargento-chefeSargento-principalPrimeiro-sargentoSegundo-sargento Furriel Segundo-furrielCabo-principalCabo de secçãoCabo-adjuntoPrimeiro-caboSegundo-cabo


Armored vehicles




Dornier 228 of the Cape Verdean Coast Guard Dornier Do-228-212, Cabo Verde - Coast Guard JP6789427.jpg
Dornier 228 of the Cape Verdean Coast Guard
Patrol boat Tainha (P 262) Tainha (P262).jpg
Patrol boat Tainha (P 262)

The Cape Verdean Army used to have its own air arm; after personnel training received from the USSR in 1982, three Antonov An-26 aircraft were delivered to Cape Verde – these were believed to be the only military aircraft possessed by the nation. [14] However these three aircraft were supplemented in 1991 by a Dornier 228 light aircraft equipped for use by the Coast Guard, and, in the late 1990s by an EMB-110 aircraft from Brazil, similarly equipped for maritime operations. The government has been in negotiations with China to acquire multirole helicopters for both military and civilian use.

Current Inventory

AircraftOriginTypeVariantIn serviceNotes
Maritime patrol
CASA C-212 Spain SAR/Maritime patrol 1 [15] Flown for the Coast Guard
Dornier 228 Germany SAR/Maritime patrol 2 [15] Flown for the Coast Guard
Harbin Z-9 China SAR/Utility2 [15] Flown for the Coast Guard


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  2. "sprungbrett-nach-westafrika".
  3. "Eleven shot dead in Cape Verde, including two Spanish citizens". Reuters. 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
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  10. "Anexo A". Boletim Oficial (in Portuguese). 1 (4): 132–137. 18 January 2017.
  11. 1 2 "Patente". (in Portuguese). Cape Verdean Armed Forces. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  12. 1 2 "Anexo A". Boletim Oficial (in Portuguese). Government of Cape Verde. 1 (4): 133–136. 18 January 2017.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 International Institute for Strategic Studies (2021). The Military Balance. p. 455. ISBN   9781032012278.
    • World Aircraft Information Files. Brightstar Publishing, London. File 337 Sheet 02
  14. 1 2 3 "Aircraft Used List Cape Verde Coast Guard". 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  15. "Stan Patrol 5009 "Guardiao"". Damen. Retrieved 21 March 2018.