|His Majesty's Armed Forces|
|Motto||Terra Marique ("Land and Sea") (Latin)|
|Service branches|| Tongan Land Component |
Tongan Air Wing
Tongan Training Command
Tongan Support Unit
|Headquarters||Vilai Barracks, Nuku'alofa|
|Commander-in-Chief||HM King Tupou VI|
|Minister of Defense||Lord Ma'afu|
|Chief of Defense Staff (CDS)||Brigadier General Lord Fielakepa|
|34,254 males, age 16-49 (2010 est.),|
32,974 females, age 16-49 (2010 est.)
|27,404 males, age 16-49 (2010 est.),|
28,509 females, age 16-49 (2010 est.)
|1,448 males (2010 est.),|
1,392 females (2010 est.)
|Percent of GDP||0.9% GDP (2006 est.)|
His Majesty's Armed Forces (HMAF) is the military of Tonga. It is composed of three operational components and two support elements (logistics and training groups).
The mission of HMAF is to: Defend the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Tonga.
The HMAF is partially supported by defence co-operation agreements with Australia, the United States, China, India and New Zealand. The co-operation aims at capacity development through training of HMAF personnel in leadership, academic and trades while support for infrastructure development is another part of the security co-operation.
In recent years, members of HMAF have supported Coalition of the Willing in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands.
Tonga participated in World War I, as part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
The Tonga Defence Service (TDS) came into existence at the beginning of World War II in 1939. In 1943, New Zealand helped train two Tongan contingents of two thousand personnel who fought in the Solomon Islands Campaign.In addition, New Zealand and US troops were stationed on Tongatapu, which became a staging point for shipping.
At the end of World War II, the TDS was disbanded, but was re-formed in 1946.
Former Prime Minister Prince Lavaka Ata 'Ulukalala (now King Tupou VI) joined the naval arm of the Tonga Defence Service in 1982 and became Lieutenant-Commander of the defence force in 1987. From 1990 to 1995 he commanded the PPB VOEA Pangai and his time in charge included peacekeeping operations in Bougainville.
In 2002, TDS soldiers were deployed as part of a multi-national regional peacekeeping force in the Solomon Islands. In July 2004, a forty-five personnel contingent of the TDS served in the Solomon Islands. A third contingent was sent in July 2005.This contingent consisted of thirty-three TDS troops, and was expected to remain four months.
In March 2003, military-to-military talks began between Tonga and the United States about Tonga providing personnel for the Multinational force in Iraq. Support arrangements were finalised in May 2004. Forty-five Royal Tongan Marines, led by the Chief of Defence of the Tonga Defence Services, Colonel Tau'aika 'Uta'atu, departed Tonga on 13 June 2004. From July 2004, the Royal Tonga Marines were augmenting the 1st Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF) in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq. The Royal Marines supported the 1st Marine Division's security and stabilisation mission at Camp Blue Diamond. Tonga first served with the 1st MEF on the Solomon Island during World War II. The Royal Tongan Marines returned from Iraq in December 2004. In December 2008, the Tonga Defence Services ended their mission in the Iraq War and returned home.
In 2006, TDS soldiers, in co-operation with local police, were deployed to deal with the Nuku'alofa riots.
In 2010, Tongan troops began training with the RAF Regiment, in preparation for operations in Afghanistan; the first troops deployed to Afghanistan during February 2011.Tonga's military size was approximately 450 troops, half of which were sent to fight in the War in Afghanistan, serving in Camp Bastion and Camp Leatherneck. During the September 2012 Camp Bastion raid Tonga troops were in perimeter guard towers without any night-vision devices. On September 2013, Tonga Defence Services were officially renamed into His Majesty's Armed Forces (HMAF). In April 2014, the Royal Tongan Marines ended their mission supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
The main elements of HMAF are:
The Maritime Force is equipped with three Pacific-class patrol boats, a tanker, a Landing Craft Mechanised and a motor boat that is the royal yacht.Tongan Maritime Force performs patrol missions, occasionally dealing with border violations, at the Minerva Reef and Tonga’s restricted fishing zones.
The Royal Tongan Marine Infantry is organised as a single battalion with a HQ and three Light Infantry Companies.
The Tongan Royal Guards are a company size unit that are responsible for the security of His Majesty. The Royal Guard maintains a musical unit known as the Tonga Royal Corps of Musicians that serves as a military band for different occasions.
The Air Wing was established in 1996 and operates one Beechcraft G.18S aircraft in the maritime patrol and search and rescue roles, and an American Champion Citabria light trainer.The current position of the HMAF air wing is unclear but both aircraft have not been active.
The HMAF is a member of the following international defence organisations:
Tonga has an agreement to share "disaster response knowledge" with the United States Nevada National Guard.
The ranks used by His Majesty's Armed Forces are similar to those used in other Commonwealth armed forces.
|Rank group||National rank||General/flag officers||Field/senior officers||Junior officers||Officer cadet|
| Tongan Land Component ||No equivalent|
|Brigadier General||Colonel||Lieutenant Colonel||Major||Captain||Lieutenant||Ensign||Officer Cadet|
| Tongan Maritime Force ||No equivalent|
|Commodore||Captain||Commander||Lieutenant commander||Lieutenant||Sub lieutenant||Midshipman|
|Rank group||National rank||General/flag officers||Field/senior officers||Junior officers||Officer cadet|
|Rank group||Senior NCOs||Junior NCOs||Enlisted|
| Tongan Land Component || ||No insignia|
|Warrant officer class 1||Warrant officer class 2||Staff sergeant||Sergeant||Corporal||Lance corporal|| Private |
| Tongan Maritime Force ||No insignia|
|Warrant officer class 1||Warrant officer class 2||Staff sergeant||Sergeant||Corporal||Lance corporal||Private|
|SMLE Mk IV||UK||Bolt-action rifle||.303||Acquired from New Zealand; many remain unissued and in storage.|
|FN FNC||Belgium||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm||Standard service rifle of Tonga.|
|IMI Galil||Israel||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm||Donated by Israel in 1988.|
|M4A1||USA||Carbine rifle||5.56×45mm||M4A1s sold as a 2008 Foreign Military Sales package.|
|M16A2||USA||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm||About twenty-five imported in 1994. A second order for three hundred was cancelled.|
|Bren machine gun||UK||Light machine gun||.303|
|Vickers machine gun||UK||Medium machine gun||.303||At least two; likely in unserviceable condition.|
|Unimog U1700||Australia||Military truck||Five||Five gifted by Australia in 2018.|
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