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. 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.
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.
- 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 vessels in service
|Patrol vessels (39 in Service)|
|Athos-class||Patrol boat||P725 Athos|
|Géranium-class||Patrol boat|| P720 Géranium|
|Jonquille-class||Patrol boat|| P721 Jonquille|
|Vedette-class||Patrol boat|| P601 Elorn|
P621 Aber Wrac'h
|Pétulante-class||Patrol craft|| P778 Reseda|
|Pavois-class||Patrol craft|| P692 Pavois|
- Hong Kong Marine Police, an equivalent police force in Hong Kong
- Water Police
- United States Coast Guard