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:
- Maritime safety and of general police force duties in the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, under the authority of maritime prefect
- Criminal Investigation Department under the authority of public prosecutor
- Protection of the naval shore establishments
- Search and rescue.