The Maritime Gendarmerie () is a component of French gendarmerie under operational control of the chief of staff of the French Navy. It employs 1,100 soldiers and it has about thirty patrol craft and high-speed motorboats distributed on all the littoral waterways as well.
Commanded by a colonel for action at sea, under the coordination of the Préfet Maritime:
maritime safety and of general police force duties in the territorial waters and EEZ, under the authority of maritime prefect ;
Commanded by a colonel who is assisted by a staff located in Paris, the coastguard is articulated in 3 groupings, 8 companies and 75 units (brigades of research, brigades of monitoring of the littoral, group of safety of the protected zones, group of monitoring of intervention and reinforcement, patrol craft, coastal high-speed motorboats of maritime surveillance) whose geographical distribution is as follows:
grouping of the English Channel and the North Sea in Cherbourg (2 companies)
grouping of the Atlantic in Brest (4 companies);
grouping of the Mediterranean in Toulon (2 companies);
company from Paris to the Career-on-Seine (under the authority of the state major);
national instruction center of the GM (C.N.I.G.M) in Toulon.