Tanzania People's Defence Force

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Tanzania People's Defence Force
Military manpower
Military age 15
Availability males age 15–49: 8,477,193 (2003 est.)
Fit for military service males age 15–49: 4,911,235 (2003 est.)
Reaching military age annually males: unknown
Active troops 27,000
Military expenditures
Amount $19.68 million (FY02)
Percent of GDP 0.2% (FY02)

The Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Force (TPDF) (swahili: Jeshi la Wananchi la Tanzania - JWTZ) was created in September 1964. From its inception, it was ingrained in the troops that they were a people’s force under civilian control. They were always reminded of their difference from the colonial armed forces. TPDF was given a very clear mission, to defend Tanzania and everything Tanzanian, especially the people and their political ideology. TPDF sailors, pilots and officers are trained in China.


[edit] Early history

The TPDF was a result of the disbanded Tanganyika Rifles after a mutiny in 1964. Soldiers of the regiment mutinied on January 1964. The Mutiny began in Colito barracks in Dar es Salaam, then spread to Kalewa barracks in Tabora with Nachingwea, a new barracks, following suit. The mutiny was over pay, promotions, the removal of British officers and Africanisation. Julius Nyerere conceded that the "soldiers had genuine grievances and the demands presented a perfectly reasonable case." However, he could not tolerate a mutiny. The mutiny raised questions about the place of the military in the newly independent Tanganyika — a military under a foreign command and not integrated into the country’s system. In a way, it was a blessing in disguise as the government set out to rectify the situation. After the mutiny, the army was disbanded and fresh recruits were sought within the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) youth wing as a source.

[edit] Wars fought

The TPDF was one of the front line National Armies during the struggle to liberate Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Uganda. TPDF officers also trained African National Congress fighters in Morogoro. TPDF officers also participated in the training of the new Democratic Republic of Congo army, but were later withdrawn because of the war in the Congo.

The most significant TPDF involvement in the Uganda-Tanzania War following a Ugandan invasion of Kagera in 1978. Idi Amin with the help of Libya, accused Julius Nyerere of being at the root of his troubles and of waging war against Uganda. Amin invaded Tanzanian territory on 1 November 1978 and annexed Kagera. Julius Nyerere told the nation that Tanzania had the reason to fight Amin, was intent on fighting Amin and had the ability to defeat him. The war effort was not for the army alone on 22 November 1978, but for the entire population, the nation understood him and the reaction was predictable. In April 1979, Tanzania took Kampala and Amin fled the country to Libya and eventually ending up in Saudi Arabia after falling out of favour with Muammar al-Qaddafi. Unlike Amin’s soldiers, the TPDF had a relaxed relationship with the locals and at times went out of their way to assist them. As late as 1982, some Ugandans still marvelled at the gentle manners of the Tanzanians, which they could not associate with soldiers. On returning home, the TPDF soldiers were all heroes. They were received appropriately throughout the country.

[edit] Officer Corps

The TPDF employs a delibarate policy of drawing its officers from various regions of the country. This policy has ensured a development of a national force that has tended to promote stability.

[edit] Military branches

There are four branches of the Tanzania People's Defence Force: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Military Intelligence.

[edit] Army

The army consists of:

  • 8 infantry brigades
  • 2 divisional headquarters
  • 1 tank battalion
  • 2 field artillery battalions
  • 2 AA artillery battalions
  • 1 SAM battalion
  • 2 anti-tank battalions
  • 2 signal battalions.

Equipment includes: 30 heavy tanks, 66 light tanks, 20 combat vehicles, 50 armoured personnel carriers, 240 guns, 50 rocket launchers, 350 mortars, 400 air defence guns, 61 SAMs.

[edit] Navy

The navy operates 7 fast attack craft and 12 patrol boats.

[edit] Air Force

The air force operates:

  • 29 combat aircraft divided into three fighter squadrons
  • 1 transport squadron
  • 2 training squadrons
  • 2 helicopter squadrons.

TPDF operates four air bases at Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Tabora and Zanzibar.

[edit] Current High Command

[edit] Former Generals and high-ranking officers

[edit] Former CDF's

  • Major General Sarakikya 1964-1974;
  • Lieutenant General Abdallah Twalipo 1974-1980;
  • General David Musuguri 1980-1988;
  • General Ernest Kiaro 1988-1994;
  • General Robert Mboma 1994-2002

[edit] Chiefs of Staff

  • Brigadier General Tumainiel Kiwelu 1975-1980;
  • Major General Imrani Kombe 1980-1983;
  • Major General M.N. Mwakalindile 1983-1988;
  • Lieutenant General Kiwelu 1988-1994;
  • Lieutenant General G. F. Sayore from 1994-2001

[edit] Other statistics

  • 15 years of age for voluntary military service.
  • 18 years of age for compulsory military service upon graduation from secondary school.
  • conscript service obligation - 2 years (2004)

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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