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Kuwait Military


Under the constitution of Kuwait, the Emir of Kuwait is the supreme commander of the armed forces with a Minister of Defence who directs the Military of Kuwait through the Chief of the General Staff. The National Guard has its own commander, who reports directly to the minister of defence. Public security forces report to the minister of interior. The ruling Al-Sabah family maintain a tight grip on the centres of power, including many senior posts in the security services.

The Kuwaiti Army is the primary land force of Kuwait. The army has a military base on Bubiyan Island, which has been established in 1991. Kuwait's postwar equipment orders include 200 M-84 tanks (from Yugoslavia to offset previous Yugoslav oil purchases) and 18 self-propelled 155 mm guns from France. Kuwait has also received United States, Russian and Egyptian armoured vehicles. The US has provided military and defence technical assistance to Kuwait from both Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and commercial sources with all transactions made by direct cash sale. The US Office of Military Cooperation in Kuwait is attached to the American Embassy and manages the FMS program. US military sales to Kuwait total $5.5 billion over the last 10 years. Principal US military systems currently purchased are Patriot missile system, F-18 Hornet fighters, and the M1A2 Main Battle Tank.

The Kuwaiti Navy's headquarters and sole naval base is Ras Al-Qulayah Naval Base, located in the south of Kuwait, approximately 35 miles (56 km) south of Kuwait City. The navy numbers approximately 2,000 officers and enlisted personnel, including approximately 400 coast guard. The Kuwait Air Force's headquarters is located at Al-Mubarak Air Base, with the remaining forces stationed at Air Defence Brigade, Ali Al-Salem Air Base and Ahmed Al-Jaber Air Base. The air force numbers approximately 2,500 officer and enlisted personnel. The Kuwaiti National Guard is an internal and border security force. Since 1999 women have served as part of the police forces.

The US stations at least 5,000 troops in Kuwait as part of the Defence agreement. The largest part is the US Army Central Command (ARCENT) part of the United States Central Command or USCENTCOM.


Military branches : Kuwaiti Land Forces (KLF), Kuwaiti Navy, Kuwaiti Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya), Kuwaiti National Guard (KNG) (2009)
Military service age and obligation : 18-30 years of age for compulsory and 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; women age 18-30 may be subject to compulsory military service; conscription suspended in 2001 (2009)
Manpower available for military service : males age 16-49: 1,002,480

females age 16-49: 616,958 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: : males age 16-49: 840,912

females age 16-49: 523,206 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually : male: 17,653

female: 16,232 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures : 5.3% of GDP (2006)






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