Botswana Defence Force

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The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) is the army of Botswana. It was formed in 1977 and has approximately 12,000 members. As of 2006, the commander is Lt. Gen. Matshwenyego Louis Fisher. The commander in chief is the President of Botswana.


[edit] Overview

The BDF is a capable and well-disciplined military force. Following political changes in South Africa and the region, the BDF's missions have increasingly focused on anti-poaching activities, disaster-preparedness, and foreign peacekeeping. The United States has been the largest single contributor to the development of the BDF, and a large segment of its officer corps has received U.S. training. It is considered an apolitical and professional institution.

The BDF consists of one armed brigade, two infantry brigades, four infantry battalions, two armed artillery, one engineer regiment and one commando regiment.

The Botswana Defence Force Air Wing is the air force of Botswana and is organisationally part of the BDF.

[edit] Military branches:

Botswana Defence Force (includes Army and Air Wing), Botswana National Police

  • Military age:

18 years of age

  • Availability:

males age 15-49: 381,801 (2004 est.)

  • Fit for military service:

males age 15-49: 202,176 (2004 est.)

  • Reaching military age annually:

males: 20,651 (2004 est.)

[edit] Military expenditures

  • Dollar figure:

$207.3 million (FY02), $61 million (FY99/00)

  • Percent of GDP:

3.5% (FY02), 1.2% (FY99/00)

[edit] Overseas deployment

From 1998-99, 380 BDF soldiers formed part of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) task force to quell an internal uprising in Lesotho. Botswana withdrew its contingent when the situation was thought to be sufficiently stable not to require their presence.

[edit] Equipment

In 2001, Botswana's forces consisted of:

FV101 Scorpion (incl variants) light tank - 36
SK-105 Kuerassier light tank - 50
V-150 Commando - 12
BTR-60 armoured personnel carrier - 30
FV103 Spartan armoured personnel carrier - 6
RAM-V-2 armoured personnel carrier - 8
L118 Light Gun 105 mm towed howitzer - 12
Model 56 pack towed artillery (105 mm) 6
Soltam (reported) towed artillery (155 mm)
Mortar (81 mm) - 12
M-43 Mortar (120 mm) - 6
TOW anti-tank missile launchers - 6
Carl Gustav recoilless rifle 84 mm - 30
M167 Vulcan air defence gun 20 mm - 7
SA-7 Grail portable surface-to-air missile launchers - 12
SA-16 portable surface-to-air missile launchers - 10
Javelin surface-to-air missile launchers - 6

[edit] Training

IMET (International Military Education and Training) funds from the USA remain important to Botswana’s officer training programme. Over 30 Botswana officers receive military training in the US each year; by 1999 approximately 85% of the BDF officers are said to have been trained under this system.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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