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National Gendarmerie
Naval Ensign of France
Departmental Gendarmerie
Mobile Gendarmerie
Republican Guard
Security and Intervention Group
Maritime Gendarmerie
Air Transport Gendarmerie
Air Gendarmerie
Ordnance Gendarmerie

The Maritime Gendarmerie (French: Gendarmerie Maritime) is a component of French gendarmerie under operational control of the chief of staff of the French Navy. Its employs 1,100 soldiers and it has about thirty patrol craft and high-speed motorboats distributed on all the littoral waterways as well.



Vedette of the gendarmerie maritime in Guiana
Inflatable in La Rochelle

Commanded by a colonel for action at sea, under the coordination of the Préfet Maritime:

  • maritime safety and of general police force duties in the territorial waters and EEZ, under the authority of maritime prefect ;
  • Criminal Investigation Department under the authority of public prosecutor ;
  • protection of the naval shore establishments.
  • somme missions in assisting people at risk


Marine Nationale
Naval Ensign of France
Motto: Honneur, Patrie, Valeur, Discipline
(“Honour, Homeland, Valour, Discipline”)
Naval Ministers
Maritime Prefect
Force d'action navale
Forces sous-marines (FOST, ESNA)
Aviation navale
Commandos de Marine
Fusiliers de Marine
Gendarmerie Navale
Current Fleet
Current deployments
Ranks in the French Navy
History of the French Navy
Future of the French Navy
Ensigns and pennants
Historic ships

   ships of the line
   Sail frigates

Historic Fleets
Croix de guerre
Médaille militaire
Légion d'honneur

Commanded by a colonel who is assisted by a staff located in Paris, the coastguard is articulated in 3 groupings, 8 companies and 75 units (brigades of research, brigades of monitoring of the littoral, group of safety of the protected zones, group of monitoring of intervention and reinforcement, patrol craft, coastal high-speed motorboats of maritime surveillance) whose geographical distribution is as follows:

  • Metropolis:
    • grouping of the English Channel and the North Sea in Cherbourg (2 companies)
    • grouping of the Atlantic in Brest (4 companies);
    • grouping of the Mediterranean in Toulon (2 companies);
    • company from Paris to the Career-on-Seine (under the authority of the state major);
    • national instruction center of the GM (C.N.I.G.M) in Toulon.
  • Overseas:
    • Guadeloupe: 1 patrol craft;
    • French Guyana: 2 high-speed 20-metre motorboats;
    • Mayote: 1 patrol craft (20 metre high-speed motorboat);
    • French Polynesia: 1 patrol craft and a brigade;
    • New Caledonia: 1 high-speed motorboat of 20 meters and 2 brigades;
    • Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon: 1 patrol craft;
    • Martinique: 1 patrol craft;


  • Grouping of the English Channel and the North Sea (Cherbourg)
  • Grouping of the Atlantic (Brest)
  • Grouping of the Mediterranean (Toulon)


  • 2 companies for the English Channel and the North Sea (Cherbourg and Le Havre)
  • 4 companies for the Atlantic (Brest, Brest Arsenal, Ile-Longue and Lorient)
  • 2 companies for the grouping of the Mediterranean (Toulon and Toulon-Arsenal)
  • The company in Paris is based in the Career-on-Seine. Depending directly on staffing.
  • 4 high-speed motorboats for maritime surveillance of 20 meters (Le Havre, Dieppe, Boulogne, Dunkirk)
  • The National Center of Instruction of the GM (CNIGM) is located at Toulon

Means are also implemented in DOM and them TOM.


Like land-based colleagues the Gendarmes Maritime are military personnel carrying out police operations. Their missions include immigration control, monitoring of fishing operations, police at sea, and search and rescue operations. They also carry out provost duties within the French Navy.

The uniforms and insignia of the Gendarmerie Maritime are very similar to those of the French Navy, but the ranks used are those of the rest of the Gendarmerie (which are the same as the traditional ranks of the French Cavalry).

See also

External links



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