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Royal Moroccan Armed Forces
القوات المسلحة الملكية
FAR Insignia.png
Founded 1956
Service branches -Royal Moroccan Air Force
-Royal Moroccan Army
-Royal Moroccan Navy
-Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie
-Auxiliary Forces
-Moroccan Royal Guard
Supreme Commander and Chief-of-Staff King Mohammed VI
Available for
military service
7,908,864 males, age 18-49 (2005),
7,882,879 females, age 18-49 (2005)
Fit for
military service
6,484,787 males, age 18-49 (2005),
6,675,757 females, age 18-49 (2005)
Reaching military
age annually
353,377 males (2005),
341,677 females (2005)
Active personnel 196,300 (2006) (ranked 25th)
Reserve personnel 150,000 (2002 est.)
Budget $ 4,355,553,190[2]
Percent of GDP 4.3%
Foreign suppliers  France
 United States
Related articles
History Military history of Morocco

The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces is the summation of the armed forces of the kingdom of Morocco. It was founded in 1956 (except the Royal Navy founded in 1960) after Morocco's independence from France and Spain. It is structured into six different branches [1]

Branch: Personnel Founded
*Royal Army 175.000 1956
*Royal Moroccan Air Force 13.500 1956
*Royal Navy 11500 1960
*Royal Gendarmerie 23.000 1956
*Royal Guard 3000 1956
* Total 226 000 -
A Moroccan soldier trains with United States Marines


During the period of the French Protectorate (1912 - 1956) large numbers of Moroccans were recruited for service in the Spahi and Tirailleur regiments of the French Army of Africa. During World War II more than 300,000 Moroccan troops (including goumier auxiliaries) served with the Free French forces in North Africa, Italy, France and Austria. The two world conflicts saw Moroccan units earning the nickname of "Todesschwalben" (death swallows) by German soldiers as they showed particular toughness on the battlefield . By the end of the World War II, Moroccan troops took part of the French Expeditionary Force engaged in the First Indochina War from 1946 to 1954.

The Spanish Army also made extensive use of Moroccan troops recruited in the Spanish Protectorate, during both the Rif War of 1921-26 and the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. Moroccan Regulares, together with the Spanish Legion, made up Spain's elite African field army. A para-military gendarmerie, known as the "Mehal-la Jalifianas" and modelled on the French goumieres, was employed within the Spanish Zone.

By the end of the Protectorate in 1956, fourteen thousand Moroccan personnel from the French Army and ten thousand from the Spanish Armed Forces transferred into the newly formed Royal Armed Forces. This number was augmented by approximately 5,000 former guerrillas from the "Army of Liberation" (see below). About 2,000 French officers and NCOs remained in Morocco on short term contracts, until crash training programs at the military academies of St-Cyr, Toledo and Dar al Bayda produced sufficient numbers of Moroccan commissioned officers.

Army of Liberation

File:Thumb hmwvrenaultvabvtt8tj.jpg

The Army of Liberation (French: Armée de Libération, Arabic: جيش التحرير‎) was a force fighting for the independence of Morocco. In 1956, units of the Army began infiltrating Ifni and other enclaves of Spanish Morocco, as well as the Spanish Sahara. Initially, they received important backing from the Moroccan government. In the Spanish Sahara, the Army rallied Sahrawi tribes along the way, and triggered a large-scale rebellion. In early 1958, the Moroccan king reorganized the Army of Liberation units fighting in the Spanish Sahara as the "Saharan Liberation Army".

The revolt in the Spanish Sahara was put down in 1958 by a joint French and Spanish offensive. The king of Morocco then signed an agreement with the Spanish, as he asserted control over the rebellious southern border areas, and parts of the Army of Liberation was absorbed into the Moroccan armed forces.

Nationalistic Moroccans tend to see the Army of Liberation battles in Western Sahara as a proof of Western Sahara's loyalty to the Moroccan crown, whereas sympathizers to the Polisario Front) view it only as an anti-colonial war directed against Spanish. Sahrawi veterans of the Army of Liberation today exist on both sides of the Western Sahara conflict, and both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic celebrate it as part of their political history.

The Royal Moroccan Army fought on the Golan front in 1973 (mostly in the battle for Quneitra) and intervened decisively in 1977 Shaba conflict, to save Zaire's regime. But the Morrocan Armed Forces were mostly notable in fighting a 25 year war against the POLISARIO, an Algerian backed rebel movement seeking the separation of Western Sahara from Morocco. Moroccan Armed forces also took a symbolic part in the Gulf War among other Arab armies, and also intervened in Somalia in 1993.

It is today taking part in several peace keeping missions: MONUC, ONUCI, EUFOR, KFOR and MINUSTAH.


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