Armed Forces Of Saudi Arabia
The Saudi armed forces (Arabic: القوات المسلحة الملكية السعودية, al-Quwwāt al-Musallaḥah as-Suʿūdiyyah) consists of the Saudi Arabian Army, the Royal Saudi Air Force, the Royal Saudi Navy, the Royal Saudi Air Defense, the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), and paramilitary forces, totaling over 200,000 active-duty personnel. In 2005 the armed forces had the following personnel: the army, 75,000; Royal Saudi Air Force, 18,000; air defense, 16,000; Royal Saudi Navy, 15,500 (including 3,000 marines); and the SANG had 75,000 active soldiers and 25,000 tribal levies. In addition, there is a military intelligence service, the Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah.
The Saudi Arabian National Guard is not a reserve but a fully operational front-line force, and originated out of Abdul Aziz’s tribal military-religious force, the Ikhwan. Its modern existence, however, is attributable to it being effectively Abdullah’s private army since the 1960s and, unlike the rest of the armed forces, is independent of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation. The SANG has been a counterbalance to the Sudairi faction in the royal family; Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, the Minister of Defense and Aviation, is one of the so-called ‘Sudairi Seven’ and controls the remainder of the armed forces
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