The objectives of the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) are to maintain a military organisation with the primary aim of defending the Islands' integrity according to the defence roles as set by Government in an efficient and cost effective manner. This it does by emphasising on the maintenance of Malta's territorial waters' and airspace integrity .

The AFM is also devoted to combating terrorism, fighting against illicit drugs' trafficing, conduct anti-illegal immigrant and fishing operations, operating Search and Rescue (SAR) services, and physical/electronic security/surveillance of sensitive locations.

As a military organisation, the AFM also provides backup support to the Malta Police Force and other Government Departments/agencies in situations as required in an organised, disciplined manner in the event of national emergencies (such as natural disasters) or internal security and bomb disposal.

On another level, the AFM establishes and/or consolidates bilateral co-operation with other countries to reach higher operational effectiveness related to AFM roles.

Today the AFM is a brigade sized military organisation, consisting of a Headquarters, three Regiments (1st, 3rd and 4th Regiments), two independent units: The Air Wing and the Maritime Squadron - and the Emergency Volunteer Reserve Force.

Headquarters AFM is the main command for the Armed Forces of Malta, based at Luqa Barracks, and is divided into a number of branches/sections:

1st Regiment, AFM is the AFM's sole infantry unit, and has primary responsibility for the territorial defence of the country. It contributes to the maintenance of Malta's territorial integrity by deploying infantry soldiers to maintain security of the airfield, providing physical security and protection at sensitive locations. The regiment also gives military assistance to other Government Departments and the Malta Police Force in anti-narcotic patrols, internal security and civil emergency protection. The 1 Regiment based at Lyster Barracks (Hal Far), consists of a HQs Company, 3 Rifle companies and an Air Defence and Support company.

3rd Regiment, AFM is the AFM's main logistic unit and contributes to the maintenance of Malta's territorial integrity by deploying well-trained and motivated soldiers to provide adequate logistic back-up and support to the other units. This logistic support consists of a HQs Company and three operational sub units.

4th Regiment, AFM established on 30 October, 2006, is the descendant of the former Camp Commandant. Based at Luqa Barracks it is primarily responsible for all administrative matters of personnel belonging to those sections which directly support Headquarters AFM including finances, medical, records, staff quartermaster and the operating centre.

Air Wing, AFM has the responsibility for the maintenance and integrity of Malta's territorial waters and airspace through surveillance from the air against narcotics and illegal trafficking, and the prevention of illegal fishing; the provision of military search & rescue services; and the provision of military assistance to other Government Departments. Air Wing, AFM, located at the Malta International Airport (Apron 7) is currently equipped with both fixed and rotary wing aircraft, consisting of to BN-2B Islanders, 4 ex RAF Bulldog T.1s and 3 SA.316B Alouette helicopters.

Maritime Squadron, AFM has the responsibility for safeguarding Malta's territorial integrity from the sea. It carries out a wide range of duties, including coast guard, customs, marine police, fisheries protection and Search & Rescue. The Maritime Squadron which is based in Haywharf, Floriana is currently equipped with one offshore patrol vessel (P61), two coastal patrol boats (P51-P52), three inshore patrol boats (P23, P24 and P32), two search and rescue launches (Melita I and Melita II), and teh fast interceptor craft (P01).

Reserve Forces, Staff Association and Modernisation

The Emergency Volunteer Reserve Force (EVRF) consists of volunteers, both males and females, who are willing to train as part time soldiers and deploy when called for duty. These volunteers are put through all the basic training regular soldiers go through, including skill at arms, radio communications, first aid, physical fitness, land navigation and map reading, fire control orders, field craft and foot and arms drill. The EVRF is intended to provide the back-up for regular AFM soldiers when the need arises. The EVRF soldiers are expected to perform the following duties: civil emergency duties, key point security duties, tactical patrolling and surveillance, and manning of light anti-aircraft gun. This Force is administered and trained by 'C(SD)' Company, 1 Regt., at Lyster Barracks Hal Far. They are divided into infantry platoons led by regular officers and Non Commissioned Officers.

Legislation for the establishment of a Staff Association for AFM members has also been put into place. It incorporates all ranks in the army and its terms of reference are limited to pay, allowances, service conditions such as welfare and pensions.

Modernisation of the Force is aimed at having professional volunteer individuals that serve in an organisation led efficiently and equipped appropriately. AFM co-operation with foreign military continues within the country's neutrality parameters and serves to strengthen the professionalism and technical know-how of the AFM so as to safeguard better the stability and co-operation of the region.

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Last updated: July 2007