The Zimbabwe military is one of the best in Africa with excellent training, vast operational experience and doctrines
drawing from both the East and Western blocks. As an organization the ZDF has experience from the war against
minority rule in the 60s and 70s that led to independence, through the Mozambican civil war in the 80s,
“cooperating” with Angola during the South African inversion also in the 80s and UNITA banditry to the two DRC
wars in the 90s and beyond. In all these conflicts the ZDF has been or been part of the victorious side. While other
allies like Angola and Namibia contributed significant men and equipment, the overall command of the forces was
entrusted to the ZDF.
The ZDF exploits during the second DRC war does not get much attention because the Zimbabwean involvement and
achievements upset global powers. On the other hand, the ZDF professionalism in the many UN sponsored peace
keeping operations has been noted. The request by the South African government to have Air Force of Zimbabwe
instructors help in modernizing the SAAF is a very positive testimonial for the Zimbabweans.
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ZDF - Organization
The Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) are under the command of the President, who is the Supreme Commander-in-
Chief of the Defense Forces. He is assisted by the Minister of defense who is responsible for the administrative and
logistical support of the defense force, and the Command of the Defense Forces, who maintains operational control
through the Defense Forces Headquarters in Harare. Subordinate to the Defense Force Headquarters are the
Commander, Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), and Commander, Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ).
Commander, Land Forces is assisted at Army Headquarters by a chief of staff to whom the Army Staff is subordinate.
The Staff consists of the chiefs of staff for operations, administration, procurement, and logistics.