How many French soldiers are deployed?

At the beginning of 2016 there are more or less 34,000 French military personnel deployed on operations or missions. Of these 13,000 are deployed within France: 10,000 on the Sentinelle anti-terrorist mission, 1,500 ensuring a permanent maritime safety posture and 1,000 a permanent air safety posture. However, as Colonel Gilles Jaron, spokesman for the French joint staff, told journalists “that means that 70,000 different personnel were deployed for the Sentinelle operation over the course of 2015.

Soldiers from the 21st Infantry Marine Regiment deployed on Operation Sentinelle

Soldiers from the 21st Infantry Marine Regiment deployed on Operation Sentinelle

A further 10,000 are on foreign theatres, while 7,200 are part of the French forces of sovereignty in its five overseas departments (Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean, French Guyana in South America, Reunion and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean) and its five overseas territories (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon in the northern Atlantic, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna in the Pacific, Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin in the Caribbean). And of course New Caledonia in the Pacific which has a specific status as do the French Austral and Antarctic Territories.

A further 3,800 are deployed as pre-positioned forces in Africa (Djibouti, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon) and in the United Arab Emirates.