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Military in Suriname


After the creation of the Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Army was entrusted with the defence of Suriname, while the defence of the Netherlands Antilles was the responsibility of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The army set up a separate Troepenmacht in Suriname (TRIS - Forces in Suriname).

Upon independence in 1975, this force was turned into the Surinaamse Krijgsmacht (SKM - Surinamese Armed Forces). On February 25th 1980, a group of 16 sub alternate SKM officers overthrew the Government. Subsequently the SKM was rebranded as Nationaal Leger (NL - National Army).

The Netherlands has provided limited military assistance to the Surinamese armed forces since the election of a democratic government in 1991. In recent years, the USA has provided training to military officers and policy-makers to promote a better understanding of the role of the military in a civilian government. Also, since the mid-1990s, the People's Republic of China has been donating military equipment and logistical material to the Surinamese Armed Forces.

Suriname's armed forces consist of the national army, under the control of the Minister of Defence, and a smaller civil police force, which reports to the Minister of Justice & Police. The national armed forces are composed of some 2,200 personnel, the majority of whom are deployed as light infantry security forces. A small air force, navy and military police also exist.


Military branches : Suriname Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (2010)
Military service age and obligation : 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription; personnel drawn almost exclusively from the Creole community (2012)
Manpower available for military service : males age 16-49: 134,218

females age 16-49: 134,439 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service : males age 16-49: 109,445

females age 16-49: 112,538 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually : male: 4,119

female: 4,106 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures : 1.2% of GDP (2011)






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