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

Guyana Defence Force
GDF Emblem
Commander-in-ChiefDavid A. Granger
Chief-of-StaffBrigadier Patrick West
Military age16 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 GDP1.09% (2010)  This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website
Foreign suppliers United States
 United Kingdom
Related articles
HistoryRupununi Uprising
RanksMilitary ranks 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.

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.

Role of the GDFEdit

  • 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". [1]


Roundel of the GDF
  • 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
  • GDF Band Corps
  • Medical Corps
  • Air Corps

1st Infantry Battalion GroupEdit

In the 1980s, Guyana National Service provided infantry battalions for use by the GDF for the purposes of national security. Those battalions were amalgamated in 1988 to form what is now the 1st Infantry Battalion Group. The now combined battalion is today required to carry out the tasks protecting the country in case of wartime and to help the local authorities in emergency situations.[2]

GDF Band CorpsEdit

The Guyana Defence Force Band Corps is the official musical unit of the GDF whose role is to provide musical accompaniment for ceremonial functions of the GDF.[3] The band corps was founded on December 4, 1967, with the forming of the GDF Corps of Drums which was essentially a drum and bugle corps under the command of Sergeant Fitz Albert Ward. The members were drawn from the Rifle Companies and the defunct Volunteer Force and were brought out during regimental military parades. The Guyana Defence Force Steel Band would soon follow the main band's lead after its own establishment in 1970, three years after the original band was founded. By late 1972, the unit had grown and had a membership of 120 which included 8 females, one of which being Sergeant Rosemary Wood, who became the GDF's first female vocalist.[4]

The band is currently composed of the following ensembles:

Medical CorpsEdit

The Medical Corps provides medical and dental care to all the members of the GDF and their immediate families. It often liaises with the Health ministry for medical procedures and protocol to be carried out effectively. The corps is situated in Base Camp Ayanganna which includes facilities such as a medical laboratory and a dental lab.[5]

Army equipmentEdit

Infantry weaponsEdit

Armoured vehiclesEdit

Artillery and mortarsEdit

Aircraft inventoryEdit

GDF Air Corps Emblem

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 [6] Notes
Transport and liaison aircraft
Short Skyvan [7][8][9]   United Kingdom Utility transport SC-7 Skyvan 3M 1 In service since 1979.
Harbin Y-12 Panda   People's Republic of China Utility transport Y-12 1 In service since 2002.
Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander[10]   United Kingdom Utility transport BN-2 2 In service since 2018.
Bell 206 JetRanger   United States Utility helicopter 206B 2 In service since 1976.
Bell 412 [11]   United States Utility Helicopter 412 1 In service since 1984.
RotorWay Exec 162F   United States Light helicopter 162F 1 In service since 2004.

Former aircraftEdit

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[6] Notes
Transport and liaison aircraft
Beechcraft Super King Air   United States Transport and patrol aircraft King Air 200 1 In service from 1975 to 1992.
Britten Norman Islander [12]   United Kingdom Transport and patrol aircraft BN-2A 7 In service from 1971 to 2001.[13][14][15] One (8R-GES) crashed on the 15 December 1986 and another (8R-GFN) was destroyed in a crash on the 6 January 2001.[16][17]
Cessna 182   United States Liaison aircraft 182J Skylane 1 In service from 1982 to 1994.
Cessna 206   United States Transport and patrol aircraft U206G Stationair 1 In service from 1975 to 1995.
Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante   Brazil Transport aircraft 110P 1 In service from 1984 to 1994.
Helio Super Courier   United States Liaison and patrol aircraft H-295 Super Courier 3 In service from 1968 to 1971.
Aerospatiale Alouette III [18]   France Utility helicopter SA-319B 2 In service from 1975 to 1982.
Bell 212 [19]   United States Utility helicopter 3 In service from 1976 to 1994.
Mil Mi-8   Soviet Union Transport and utility helicopter Hip 3 In service from 1985 to 1991.

Coast GuardEdit

GDF Coast Guard Emblem

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


  1. ^ GDF. "Where it all began".
  2. ^ "This website is currently unavailable".
  3. ^ "This website is currently unavailable".
  4. ^ "This website is currently unavailable".
  5. ^ "This website is currently unavailable".
  6. ^ a b "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
  7. ^ "Video footage of the 8R-GRR Skyvan shortly after landing (piloted by Mike Rogers)". 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  8. ^ "Photo of the GDF Short SC-7 Skyvan, 8R-GGK (". 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  9. ^ "Article with exterior and interior photos of the 8R-GGK Skyvan". 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  10. ^ "Defence Force Islanders arrive in Guyana" (Press release). Department of Public Information of Guyana. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Video footage of the 8R-GFN Islander while it was still operating". 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  14. ^ "Video footage of the 8R-GFN Islander while it was still operating". 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  15. ^ "Video footage of the 8R-GFN Islander while it was still operating". 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  16. ^ "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. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ "Photo of the tail section of the crashed GDF BN Islander 8R-GFN". 2013-12-14. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "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

External linksEdit