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Army - Order of Battle

The ground forces — about 4,000 by 1973 — were initially organized into four infantry battalions, a reconnaissance squadron, a paratroop company, and supporting units. With a total of 12,000 men, 10 percent female, the Army remained the most important military formation. The Army is under the responsibility of the Chief of Staff, the General of Division (Général de division), whose staff is in Yaoundé. The organization dates from 2001 with distribution in several types of units: combat units, response units, support units and finally special reserve units as part of three joint military regions and the ten military land sectors. Each unit is trained and equipped to fight in swampy coastal terrain as demonstrated in their training grounds in Bakassi peninsula. The General Headquarter Brigade, located in Yaoundé, is tasked with protection of the capital city and its supporting institutions. No one has the power to deploy troops from here to other posts except on the authority of the President of the Republic.

The Rapid Intervention Brigade [Brigade d’Intervention rapide] has no general staff and is made up of three rapid intervention battalions, stationed at Doula, Tiko and Koutaba. These three battalions are the Bataillon Special Amphibie (BSA), the Bataillon des Troupes Aeroportees (BTAP) and the Bataillon Blinde de Reconnaissance (BBR) respectively. The BSA is inspired by the French Special Forces. Thus, this brigade is a tactical battle unit under the authority of the Chief of Staff of the armed forces. This group can only be engaged on the approval of the President when deemed necessary. Of the three battalions, only the BTAP is operational.

The Five motorised infantry brigades are supposed to be stationed in one military sector where they can be engaged without any regard to the territorial division of the country. These brigades do not have a general staff. In theory, they should consist of 11 motorised infantry battalions; 5 support battalions and 3 backing battalions. However, the motorised battalions are in reality not operational due to lack of staff, equipment and vehicles. Three rapid intervention battalions are those in the group called BIR for short.

Field Army (HQ Yaounde)
1 Presidential Guard battalion
1 guard batallion
1 armored reconnaissance battalion
1 airborne/commando battalion
1 artillery battalion
5 infantry battalions
1 anti-aircraft battalion
1 engineer battalion
1 armed forces training battalion
Yaounde logistic support base
There were only a few units of Cameroon's armed forces that were trained and equipped to a reasonable state of operational readiness, and these were involved with presidential security (Presidential Guard), counter-banditry and border security missions (3rd BIR/Batallion d'Intervention Rapide), and security for the Bakassi transition (BSA, the Special Amphibious Batallion). Cameroon could easily cobble together a full-strength infantry battalion, but it would need significant training and equipping (especially vehicles) before it could be appropriately deployed. Cameroon offered to deploy up 800 troops for UN/AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur but the UN determined that they did not yet have the necessary equipment to contribute effectively (light armored vehicles in particular).

Driven by the terrorist threat, Cameroon was forced to speed up the reform of the army committed since 2001. He proceeded with a rejuvenation of the military hierarchy in august 2015 by naming five (5) new generals of brigade of age less than 60 years, of which four were involved in the fight against Boko Haram. Jacob Kodji, 53, the Commander of the 4th Military Region Joint [Région militaire interarmées - RMIA], where the epicentre of the threat. Frederik Djonkep, 55, the Commander of the 3rd Military Region Joint. Valère Nka, 59, is the Deputy Commander of the joint Multinational Force (MMF) struggle against Boko Haram of the Lake Chad Basin Commission. Bouba Dobekreo, 57, was the Commander of the first sector of the DMF-based in Mora.

The country also reorganized the territorial network of its forces by creating the joint 4th Military Region [RMIA 4], dedicated to the "Battlespace." Land military sectors have changed its name and became the military sectors, which are subdivisions of the Region. Thus, all components of the armed forces now were under the Military Regions. It showed in the field. To the battle station fortified in Kolofata, for example, there is the BIR (rapid intervention battalion), the battalion armored recognition (BBR), the artillery ground (RASS), the national gendarmerie, the DGRE with a single mission of securing the territory and populations.

The Rapid intervention battalion troops (known under the French acronym, B.I.R.) exist outside the usual military chain of command and are under the authority of the former Israeli Defense Attache -- now retired and a nationalized Cameroonian. The BIR were formed to deal with insecurity in Cameroon's northern regions, especially along the borders with Chad and the Central African Republic. Their reputation for professionalism was further burnished by their adroit response to February 2008 social unrest in Douala and Yaounde. But by 2009 the regular army was increasingly jealous of the perks and funding of the elite Rapid Intervention Battalion.





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