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Brazil Military

The Armed forces of Brazil comprise the Brazilian Army, the Brazilian Navy and the Brazilian Air Force. The Military Police (State's Military Police) is described as an ancillary force of the Army. Brazilian armed forces are the largest in Latin America. All military branches are part of the Ministério da Defesa (Ministry of Defence). The Brazilian Air Force is the aerial warfare branch of the Brazilian armed forces. Força Aérea Brasileira was formed when the air divisions of the Army and Navy were merged into a single military force, initially called "National Air Force". Both air divisions transferred their equipments, installations and personnel to the new armed force. The FAB is the largest air force in Latin America, with about 700 manned aircraft in service, and as of July 8, 2005, had 66,020 personnel on active duty. An additional 7,500 civilian personnel are employed by the Air Force. The Brazilian Navy is responsible for naval operations and for guarding Brazilian territorial waters. It is the oldest of the Brazilian Armed forces and the largest navy in Latin America, with a 27,307-ton aircraft carrier, the NAeL São Paulo (formerly FS Foch of the French Navy), some American and British-built frigates, a few locally-built corvettes, coastal diesel-electric submarines and many other river and coastal patrol craft. Finally, the Brazilian Army is responsible for land-based military operations, with a strength of approximately 190,000 soldiers.

The military age is 18-45 years for compulsory military service and the service obligation is for nine to 12 months. The age for voluntary service is 17-45 years, and an increasing percentage of the ranks are "long-service" volunteer professionals. Brazil's military manpower as of a 2005 estimate is 45,586,036 males age 19-49 and 45,728,704 females age 19-49 available for military service, and 33,119,098 males age 19-49 and 38,079,722 females age 19-49 fit for military service. A 2005 estimate found 1,785,930 males age 18-49 and 1,731,648 females age 19-49 reach military service age annually.

Males in Brazil are required to enlist for serving 12 months (24 months in the air force, 36 in the navy) of military service upon their 18th birthday. However, most enlisted are dispensed, and do not serve at all. Most often, the service is performed in military bases as close as possible to the person's home. The government does not require those planning to attend college or holding a permanent job to serve. There are also several other exceptions, including health reasons, for which one may not have to serve. Women were allowed to serve in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s. In 2006, the first class of female Air Force pilots was graduated. Military expenditures for 2006 were about 2.6 percent of the gross domestic product.


Military branches
Brazilian Army, Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil (MB), includes Naval Air and Marine Corps (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais)), Brazilian Air Force (Forca Aerea Brasileira, FAB) (2007)

Military service age and obligation
21-45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 9 to 12 months; 17-45 years of age for voluntary service; an increasing percentage of the ranks are "long-service" volunteer professionals; in early 1980s, the Brazilian Army became the first army in South America to accept women into career ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve Corps (2001)

Manpower available for military service
males age 19-49: 45,586,036
females age 19-49: 45,728,704 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 19-49: 33,119,098
females age 19-49: 38,079,722 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually
males age 18-49: 1,785,930
females age 19-49: 1,731,648 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP
2.6% (2006 est.)