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French Gendarmerie
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French Gendarmerie

In France, the Gendarmerie Nationale is the national military police force. Its missions include:
Similar forces exist in other countries such as Italy (the Carabinieri), Turkey (Jandarma), and used to exist in  Belgium, where the Gendarmerie (Rijkswacht in Dutch) was passed to civilian control and merged with municipal police forces into a new corps called the Federal Police.

While administratively a part of the armed forces, thus under the aegis of the Ministry of Defense, it is operationally attached to the Ministry of the Interior for its missions within France, and criminal investigations are run under the supervision of judges. Its members operate in uniform and exceptionally in plainclothes.

Career gendarmes are either commissioned or non-commissioned officers. The lower ranks consist in auxiliary gendarmes on limited-time contracts.

The officer school of the Gendarmerie Nationale is located in Melun.

The Gendarmerie Nationale is divided into the gendarmerie départementale and the gendarmerie mobile.

Table of contents
1 The Gendarmerie Départementale
2 The Gendarmerie Mobile
3 Special divisions
4 Republican Guard
5 External link
6 See also

The Gendarmerie Départementale

The Gendarmerie Départementale conducts local policing functions throughout the French territory. Its uniforms are blue.

It is divided into regions (headed by a general, one for each defense zone), themselves divided into legions (headed by a colonel, one for each administrative region), themselves divided into groupements (one for each département, thus the name), themselves divided into compagnies (one for each arrondissement).

It maintains gendarmerie stations throughout the rural parts of the territory. In addition, it has specialized units:

Note that the research units may be called into action by the judiciary even within cities. As an example, the Paris research section of the Gendarmerie was in charge of the enquiries into the vote-rigging allegations in the 5th district of Paris (see corruption scandals in the Paris region).

Gendarmes normally operate in uniform. They may operate in plainclothes only for specific missions and with their supervisors' authorization.

The Gendarmerie Mobile

It is divided into legions, similarly as the Gendarmerie Départementale. Its uniforms are black.

Its main responsabilities are

Those tasks are similar to those of the police units known as
Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, for which they are often mistaken.

It has specialized units:

In addition, it has armored units: Such units may intervene abroad in varied cases such as a hostage crisis or the support of peacekeeping operations.

Special divisions

Gendarmerie Maritime

Placed under the dual supervision of the Gendarmerie and the Navy, its missions include:

Gendarmerie des Transports Aériens

Placed under the dual supervision of the Gendarmerie and the direction of civilian aviation of the transportation ministry, its missions include:

Gendarmerie de l'Air

Placed under the dual supervision of the Gendarmerie and the Air Force, it fulfills police and security missions in the air bases, and goes on the site of accident of military aircraft.

Gendarmerie de l'Armement

It fulfills police and security missions in the establishments of the Délégation Générale de l'Armement (defense procurement agency).

Republican Guard

Main article: French Republican Guard

The Garde Républicaine, is a ceremonial unit based in Paris, whose main mission is to guard official buildings and perform honor services.

External link

See also