The Portuguese Armed Forces (Portuguese: ForÃ§as Armadas) are the military of Portugal. They include the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the other unified bodies and the three service branches: Portuguese Navy, Portuguese Army and Portuguese Air Force.
The President of the Republic is the head of the Portuguese military, with the title of “Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces” (Comandante Supremo das ForÃ§as Armadas). The management of the Armed Forces and the execution of the national defense policy is however done by the government via its Minister of National Defense. The highest-ranking officer in the military is the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, which has operational control of the Armed Forces during peacetime and assumes their full control when a state of war exists.
The Armed Forces are charged with protecting Portugal as well as supporting international peacekeeping efforts when mandated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the United Nations and/or the European Union.
Portugal was ranked the 3rd most peaceful country in the World in the Global Peace Index 2017, presently not having significant national security issues. The Portuguese Armed Forces have been thus focused in non military public service activities and in external military operations. Recent external operations include anti-piracy action in the Gulf of Aden, the conflicts in the Central African Republic and in the Afghanistan, the peacekeeping missions in East-Timor, Lebanon, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the air policing of Iceland and the Baltic States.
Military units and other bodies are stationed throughout all the Portuguese territory, including Continental Portugal, Madeira and the Azores.