The French Navy (French: Marine Nationale), informally «La Royale», is the maritime arm of the French Armed Forces. Dating back to 1624, the French Navy is one of the world's oldest naval forces. It has participated in conflicts around the globe and played a key part in establishing the French colonial empire.
The French Navy consists of six main branches and various services: the Force d'Action Navale, the Forces Sous-marines (FOST, ESNA), the Maritime Force of Naval Aeronautics, the Fusiliers Marins (including Commandos Marine), the Marins Pompiers, and the Gendarmerie Maritime.
As of June 2014, the French Navy employed a total of 36,776 personnel along with 2,800 civilians. Its reserve element consisted of 4,827 personnel of the Operational Reserve. As a blue-water navy, it operates a wide range of fighting vessels, which include nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with various aeronaval capabilities, attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines, frigates, patrol boats and support ships.