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  • The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and casually called La Royale, is the maritime arm of the French military. Tracing its roots back to 1624 it is one of the world's oldest naval forces and historically played a key part in establishing the French colonial empire. Since 2008, its roles have been defined as maintaining intelligence, protecting populations, preventing crises, intervening wherever necessary to reestablish peace, and dissuading any threats against vital French interests. The Marine nationale consists of four branches, the Force d'Action Navale, the Forces Sous-marines, the Aeronavale and the Fusiliers Marins. As a blue-water navy the Marine nationale operates a wide range of fighting vessels, including a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, nuclear-powered submarines, frigates, patrol boats and support ships. The French Navy does not use prefixes of the names of its ships. Foreign commentators sometimes use the prefixes "FS" or FNS; these are not official, however. As of June 2014, the French Navy employs a total of 36,776 regular personnel. The reserve element of the French Navy consisted of 4,827 personnel of the Operational Reserve.

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