Maritime Gendarmerie

The Maritime Gendarmerie (French: Gendarmerie Maritime) is a component of the French National Gendarmerie under operational control of the chief of staff of the French Navy. It employs 1,100 personnel and operates around thirty patrol boats and high-speed motorboats distributed on the littoral waterways of France.[1] Like their land-based colleagues the Gendarmes Maritime are military personnel carry out policing operations in addition to their primary role as a coast guard service. They also carry out provost duties within the French Navy.

Maritime Gendarmerie
Country France
AllegianceMinistry of the Armed Forces
TypeCoast guard
RoleDefense operations, maritime law enforcement, and search and rescue
Size1,100 active duty

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).


The mission of the Maritime Gendarmerie is as follows:

  • 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.
  • Search and rescue.


The Maritime Gendarmerie is 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:

  • Metropolitan France :
    • 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;
    • Martinique: 1 patrol craft.

Patrol boats

Class Picture Type Boat Displacement Note
Athos-classPatrol boatP 725 Athos
P726 Aramis
105 tonnes
Géranium-classPatrol boatP720 Géranium
P722 Violette
100 tonnes
Jonquille-classPatrol boatP721 Jonquille
P723 Jasmin
98 tonnes
Elorn-classPatrol boatP601 Elorn
P602 Verdon
P603 Adour
P604 Scarpe
P605 Vertonne
P606 Dumbéa
P607 Yser
P608 Argens
P609 Hérault
P610 Gravona
P611 Odet
P612 Maury
P613 Charente
P614 Tech
P615 Penfeld
P616 Trieux
P617 Vésubie
P618 Escaut
P619 Huveaune
P620 Sèvre
P621 Aber Wrac'h
P622 Esteron
P623 Mahury
P624 Organabo
41 tonnes
Pétulante-classPatrol boatA789 Melia16 tonnes
Pavois-classPatrol boatP692 Pavois
P693 Ecu
P964 Rondache
P695 Harnois
P696 Haubert
P697 Heaume
P698 Brigantine
P699 Gantelet
10.2 tonnes

See also


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