Former Portuguese colony.
MPLA guerrillas fought for independence against colonialist Portuguese forces.
After achieving independence from Portugal, Angola was invaded by an alliance of military forces from South Africa, Zaire, UNITA and FMLA guerrillas. This joint military operation had the support and backing of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
During the time of the invasion, Cuban military advisers and engineers were already in Angola helping MPLA forces. The MPLA asked Cuba for support against the invading forces. Cuba agreed and sent military forces to counter the threat and eventually pushed the invaders out of the country. One of the first combat units the Cubans sent was an elite airborne anti-tank unit.
Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA)
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola
UNITA was originally an anti-colonialist guerrilla army in Angola. After the MPLA took power, UNITA forces fought against them. Jonas Savimbi and UNITA changed policy from being Maoist to being African nationalist and received support from the U.S. government. Savimbi even visited the White House at one point and garnered the support of the CIA. Savimbi was killed in 2002. Teamed up with racist white South African forces, Zaire, FNLA guerrillas and the CIA to help invade Angola. UNITA began capturing territory in south central Angola from MPLA forces in 1974. UNITA and the other invading forces were eventually repulsed by MPLA and Cuban forces.
Frente Nacional de Libertacao de Angola (FNLA)
National Liberation Front of Angola
Rival guerrilla group in Angola who initially, like UNITA, fought against colonialist Portuguese forces. The FNLA teamed up with racist white South African forces, Zaire, UNITA guerrillas and the CIA to help invade Angola. Began capturing territory in northern Angola from MPLA forces in 1974. Zairian military forces crossed over into northern Angola in 1975 to assist FNLA forces. Eventually repulsed by MPLA and Cuban forces.
Forcas Armadas Angolanas (FAA)
Armed Forces of Angola
130,000 total personnel
SU-25 attack aircraft (8)
EMB-312 Tucano trainer/light attack aircraft (5)
Pilatus PC-7 (12)
Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters (15)
Mi-25 attack helicopters
*Conflicting numbers as to the amount of actual aircraft in service, as with most African countries.
Marinha de Guerra Angola (MGA)
2,500 personnel (2007 est.)
Coastal Patrol vessels
Osa II missile boats with SS-N-2 Styx anti-ship missiles (6)
Shershen Class Fast Torpedo craft (4-5)
Mine Warfare vessel
Landing Craft Tank
SSC-3 Styx coastal based anti-ship missiles
SSC-1 Sepal radar system in Luanda?
Aircraft used for maritime patrol.
Fokker F27 (1)
Boeing 707 (1)
120,000 personnel (2007 est.)
Batalhao de Para quedista
Special Forces brigade consisting of:?
2 Commando Battalions
2 Companies of Special Operations
1 Battalion of multiple rocket launchers
1 Logistical unit
1 Special Actions Group
Batalhao de Comando
PT-76 light amphibious tanks
107mm recoilless guns
82mm recoilless guns
75mm recoilless guns
Policia Nacional Angolana
Intervencao Rapida (IR)