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The Maritime Gendarmerie (French: Gendarmerie Maritime) is a component of the French National Gendarmerie under operational control of the chief of staff of the French Navy. It employs 1,100 personnel and operates around thirty patrol boats and high-speed motorboats distributed on the littoral waterways of France. Like their land-based colleagues the Gendarmes Maritime are military personnel carry out policing operations in addition to their primary role as a coast guard service. They also carry out provost duties within the French Navy.
The uniforms and insignia of the Gendarmerie Maritime are very similar to those of the French Navy, but the ranks used are those of the rest of the Gendarmerie (which are the same as the traditional ranks of the French Cavalry).
The mission of the Maritime Gendarmerie is as follows:
The Maritime Gendarmerie is commanded by a colonel who is assisted by a staff located in Paris. The coastguard is articulated in 3 groupings, 8 companies and 75 units (brigades of research, brigades of monitoring of the littoral, group of safety of the protected zones, group of monitoring of intervention and reinforcement, patrol craft, coastal high-speed motorboats of maritime surveillance) whose geographical distribution is as follows:
|Athos-class||Patrol boat||P 725 Athos
|Géranium-class||Patrol boat||P720 Géranium
|Jonquille-class||Patrol boat||P721 Jonquille
|Elorn-class||Patrol boat||P601 Elorn
P621 Aber Wrac'h
|Pétulante-class||Patrol boat||A789 Melia||16 tonnes|
|Pavois-class||Patrol boat||P692 Pavois