Portugal THE ARMED FORCES
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Figure 10. Organization of the Armed Forces, 1992
Figure 11. Major Military Installations, 1992
A Portuguese navy frigate of the João Belo class in a live-fire exercise
A Portuguese Navy frigate of the Vasco da Gama class
Jet fighters of the Portuguese Air Force
Portuguese Air Force personnel manning a control tower
Figure 12. Officer Ranks and Insignia, 1992
Figure 13. Enlisted Ranks and Insignia, 1992
The three services of the Portuguese armed forces had a combined personnel strength of about 61,000 in 1992: about 33,000 in the army, 15,000 in the navy, and 13,000 in the air force. The president of the republic was commander in chief of the armed forces, while the senior military officer was the chief of staff of the armed forces. The president's formal powers included the right to declare war and appoint the chiefs of staff from names proposed by the government in power. The president chaired the Higher Council of National Defense, whose members were the prime minister, the minister of defense and other cabinet ministers; the chief of staff of the armed forces; the three service chiefs of staff; and the presidents of the regional governments of the Azores and Madeira (see fig. 10).
Prior to the passage of the National Defense Law of 1982, the military controlled the passage of laws affecting the armed forces, established budgetary and procurement policies, and had the power to veto international agreements involving national defense. The 1982 law was intended to make the military subordinate to civilian political authority, functioning through the minister of defense, in defense policy matters. Successive governments were reluctant to antagonize the military establishment by depriving it of its former powers, and initially the chiefs of staff retained practical control over budgets, strategic options, and procurement matters. By the early 1990s, however, civilian authority incorporated in the 1982 law was being more rigorously applied.
Data as of January 1993
NOTE: The information regarding Portugal on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Portugal THE ARMED FORCES information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Portugal THE ARMED FORCES should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.