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Word Count: 916
Organisation The titular head of the French armed forces is the President of the Republic in his role as Chef des Armeacutees -- the President is thus Commander-in-Chief of French Forces However the Constitution puts civil and military government forces at the disposal of the gouvernement the executive cabinet of ministers who are not necessarily of the same political side as the president The Minister of Defence as of 2005 Micheacutele Alliot-Marie oversees the militarys funding procurement and operations The French armed forces are divided into four branches Army Arm de Terre including o Chasseurs Alpins o Foreign Legion L o Marine troops o light aviation ALAT - Aviation L de lArm de Terre o engineers G including Paris Fire Brigade Navy Marine Nationale including o Naval Air o naval fusiliers and naval commandos o Including Marseille Fire Battalion Air Force Arm de lAir including o territorial Air Defence o air fusiliers Gendarmerie Gendarmerie Nationale a military police force which serves for the most part as a rural and general purpose police force They also include the following services General delegation to weaponry defence procurement agency militarycivilian service including o formerly the Direction of Naval Constructions o supervision of some engineering schools including Polytechnique Nationale Sup de Techniques Avanc and SUPAERO Health service of the armies which operates a number of military hospitals Service of fuels Manpower The total number of military personnel is approximately 300000 However 100000 of these are in the Gendarmerie and thus a vast majority of these 100000 are used in everyday law enforcement operations inside France and are not fit for external operations Elements of the Gendarmerie are however present in all French external operations providing troops specialised in order enforcement and military police Previously France relied a great deal on conscription to provide manpower to its armies with only a minority of
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