Military of Swaziland – Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force

Military of Swaziland – Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force

The Military of Swaziland (Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force) is used primarily during domestic protests, with some border and customs duties; the force has never been involved in a foreign conflict. The army has struggled with high rates of HIV infection. Since measures were put in place the rate is dropping.
The USDF replaced the Royal Swaziland Defence Force, which was created in 1973 to replace the role of the British Army following independence in 1968.
The King is the Commander-in-Chief of the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF), and the substantive Minister of the Ministry of Defence. However, he delegates the responsibilities of the day-to-day activities of the executive arm of the government.
There is a Defence Council, which is responsible for inter alia advising the King on all matters pertaining to the USDF. The USDF is commanded by Major General Stanley Dlamini; the deputy commander is Brigadier General Patrick Motsa, and the formation commander is Brigadier General Jeffry S. Tshabalala.

Swaziland Air Force

An IAI Arava of the Swazi military air wing at Pretoria AFB Waterkloof (October 1995). This airframe was written off in the 2004 accident.

Swaziland also maintains a relatively small air wing, part of the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF). The air wing is mainly used for transporting the King as well as cargo, and personnel; surveying land with search and rescue functions, and mobilizing in case of a national emergency.
Both Arava 201 have crashed; the first was on a demo flight in the 1980s, leaving both pilots dead. The second was lost in 2004, after bad weather caused the pilots to miss the runway and crash into a sugar cane field. Although no injuries were reported, the incident left the air force temporarily crippled.

Swaziland Army

The army, called the Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF), is the main component of Swaziland’s military.


  • Nsingizini Army Barracks
  • Mbuluzi Barracks
  • Mdzimba Mountain Barracks
  • Phocweni Barracks
  • Etjeni Barracks
  • Zombodze Barracks


  • Ludlukhala Regiment
  • Lindimpi Regiment (watchman/guard)
  • Gcina Regiment

Swaziland Navy

Due to Swaziland being landlocked, the country does not maintain a navy