Guyana Defence Force

Guyana Defence Force
Founded 1966
Commander-in-Chief David A. Granger
Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Barrington Greenidge[1]
Chief-of-Staff Brigadier Patrick West
Military age 16 years of age for selection process, 17 years of age is actual serving age (As of 2007)
Reaching military
age annually
(2005 est.)
Percent of GDP 1.09% (2010)  This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website
Foreign suppliers  United States
 Soviet Union (former)
 United Kingdom
Related articles
History Rupununi Uprising
Ranks Military ranks of Guyana

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) is the military service of Guyana.


The GDF was formed on 1 November 1965. Members of the new Defence Force were drawn from the British Guiana Volunteer Force (BGVF), Special Service Unit (SSU), British Guiana Police Force BGPF and civilians. Training assistance was provided by British instructors.

In January 1969, the GDF faced their first test when the Rupununi Uprising, a bloody separatist movement in southern Guyana, attempted to annex the territory to Venezuela that was contained 3 days later with a balance of between 70 and 100 dead, mostly indigenous Guyanese.

The GDF is an integral part of the Guyanese nation. Resources and equipment of the GDF are used to help other Guyanese; examples include medical mercy flights and the construction of roads and airstrips by the Engineering Corps.

Enlistment into the Force is Voluntary for officers and soldiers. Basic training is done within GDF training schools, which has also trained officers and soldiers from Commonwealth Caribbean territories. However, Officers are trained at two of the world-renowned British officer training schools: Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (Infantry Training) and Britannia Royal Naval College (Coast Guard Training).

The training and skills gained by the members of the GDF have been used when they move either into civilian life or into the sister military organizations, the Guyana People's Militia (now the Second Infantry Battalion Group Reserve) and the Guyana National Service.

Guyana Defence Force Flag
GDF Force Colour
GDF Presidential (or State) Colour
Emblem on the GDF Colours

Role of the GDF

  • Defend the territorial integrity of Guyana.
  • Assist the civil power in the maintenance of law and order when required to do so.
  • Contribute to the economic development of Guyana.


The motto of the Guyana Defence Force is "SERVICE". [2]


  • 1st Infantry Battalion group
  • 2nd Infantry Battalion group (Reserve)
  • 1 Special Forces Company
  • 1 Support Weapons Company
  • 21st Artillery Company
  • Engineer Battalion
  • 41st Construction Company
  • 42nd FD Company
  • 43rd EME Company
  • Signals
  • Headquarters
  • Defense Communication Center
  • Signal Center and Switchboard
  • Technical Workshop
  • School of Signals
  • Technical Stores
  • Military Band
  • Medical Corps
  • Air Corps

Army equipment

Infantry weapons

Armoured vehicles

Artillery and mortars

Aircraft Inventory

The Defence force air wing was formed in 1968 and was then renamed the Guyana Defence force air command in 1973. Seven Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander were delivered over a five-year period in the 1970s and then were supplemented by Short Skyvans series 3Ms in 1979. In 1986 3 Mil Mi-8 were delivered. The GDF currently operates three fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters.

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service [3] Notes
Transport and liaison aircraft
Short Skyvan [4][5][6] United KingdomUtility transportSC-7 Skyvan 3M1In service since 1979.
Harbin Y-12 Panda People's Republic of ChinaUtility transportY-121In service since 2002.
Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander[7] United KingdomUtility transportBN-22In service since 2018.
Bell 206 JetRanger United StatesUtility helicopter206B2In service since 1976.
Bell 412 [8] United StatesUtility Helicopter4121In service since 1984.
RotorWay Exec 162F United StatesLight helicopter162F1In service since 2004.

Former aircraft

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[3] Notes
Transport and liaison aircraft
Beechcraft Super King Air United StatesTransport and patrol aircraftKing Air 2001In service from 1975 to 1992.
Britten Norman Islander [9] United KingdomTransport and patrol aircraftBN-2A7In service from 1971 to 2001.[10][11][12] One (8R-GES) crashed on the 15th of December 1986 and another (8R-GFN) was destroyed in a crash on the 6th of January 2001.[13][14]
Cessna 182 United StatesLiaison aircraft182J Skylane1In service from 1982 to 1994.
Cessna 206 United StatesTransport and patrol aircraftU206G Stationair1In service from 1975 to 1995.
Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante BrazilTransport aircraft110P1In service from 1984 to 1994.
Helio Super Courier United StatesLiaison and patrol aircraftH-295 Super Courier3In service from 1968 to 1971.
Aerospatiale Alouette III [15] FranceUtility helicopterSA-319B2In service from 1975 to 1982.
Bell 212 [16] United StatesUtility helicopter3In service from 1976 to 1994.
Mil Mi-8 Soviet UnionTransport and utility helicopterHip3In service from 1985 to 1991.

The Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard is the naval component of the Guyana Defence Force.


  2. GDF. "Where it all began".
  3. 1 2 "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
  4. "Video footage of the 8R-GRR Skyvan shortly after landing (piloted by Mike Rogers)". 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  5. "Photo of the GDF Short SC-7 Skyvan, 8R-GGK (". 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  6. "Article with exterior and interior photos of the 8R-GGK Skyvan". 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  7. "Defence Force Islanders arrive in Guyana" (Press release). Department of Public Information of Guyana. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  8. "Article about the Bell 412 and other GDF aircraft at the Guyana Times website (with a larger resolution photograph of the Bell 412 in flight)". 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  9. "Historical photograph of the BN-2A Islander, code 8R-GEE (post in discussion thread at Key Publishing Ltd. forums)". 2009-01-10. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  10. "Video footage of the 8R-GFN Islander while it was still operating". 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  11. "Video footage of the 8R-GFN Islander while it was still operating". 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  12. "Video footage of the 8R-GFN Islander while it was still operating". 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  13. "Overview of accidents and crashes of Guyanese civilian and military aircraft". 2013-01-11. Archived from the original on 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  14. "Photo of the tail section of the crashed GDF BN Islander 8R-GFN". 2013-12-14. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  15. "Historical photograph of the GDF Aerospatiale Alouette III, 8R-GEL (post in discussion thread at Key Publishing Ltd. forums)". 2006-03-25. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  16. "Historical photographs of the GDF Bell 212 (post in discussion thread at Key Publishing Ltd. forums)". 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2013-01-21.

World aircraft information files Brightstar publishing file 344 sheet 2

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