The Advisory Council, created under the MNDF Act, is chaired by the Chief of Defence Force. The council advises the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Force on matters of policy regarding administrative and operational affairs of MNDF. Members of the Advisory Council are appointed by the Minister from among the senior officers of MNDF.
The Integrated Headquarters (IHQ), headed by the Chief of Defence Force and assisted by the Vice Chief of Defence Force and the Commandants of the 7 Services, is the highest military Headquarters of the MNDF and functions as the brain of the force. The IHQ exercises operational command authority over the subordinate operational echelons and formations and administers and manages the force through the Joint Staff Directorates. The primary staff functions of IHQ are directed and executed through the Joint Staff Directorates – which are responsible for formulating policies and strategies, developing doctrines, coordinating operations and directing service support activities of the MNDF at the IHQ level.
Given the geostrategic landscape, the archipelagic nature and the pressing defence and security needs of the country, the Maldives National Defence Force rationalizes its force structure through a unique lining up of its limited resources and personnel in an adaptable, flexible and a highly contextual manner. Hence, the defence force caters for both military and civil defence of the country. The force structure of the MNDF consists of; (a) the combat and maneuver forces (Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Fire and Rescue Service), and is administratively, functionally and logistically supported by (b) the support services (Defence Intelligence Service, Service Corps, Adjutant General’s Corps, and Medical Corps). Every individual service person is recruited into, trained and equipped by one of these Services. Each service sets up and maintains the standards for its respective roles as a Corps, ensuring training, equipping and providing force for the joint operational and functional commands which carry out the broader missions of the MNDF.
The MNDF carries out its mission by conducting operations and activities within a joint operational framework. The geographic combatant commands (Area Commands) and the functional commands are manned by units/components and personnel assigned/attached/deputed from various services as demanded by their mission requirements.
While the Area Commands undertake all operations as outlined in Range of Military Operations ((1) Combat operations (2) Security operations (3) Emergency and Safety operations (4) Military Aid to Civil Community and Military Aid to Civil Authority (MACC/MACA), this is done within the specified geographic area of operation (AOR). On the other hand, functional commands are assigned with specialized functions of the MNDF such as special operations, training, special protection services, and welfare and recreation services.
Operations at the MNDF level are conducted and coordinated through the Joint Operations Center (JOC) under the Integrated Headquarters (IHQ). At the area command level, the Area Command Operation Center (ACOC) at each of the Area Command conducts and coordinates operations within the Area of Responsibility (AOR) of the Area Command. The JOC directs operational instructions to the ACOCs to carry out the operations of the MNDF.
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