Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia today is a highly operational unit of the Serbian Police of military-police type. After the declaration of the new Police Law, the unit attained a special police unit status within the Police Directorate.
After armed conflicts on Kosovo and Metohia former state officials realized Special Police Units (Serb. Posebne jedinice policije), due to impermanent personnel in ranks, were not able to effectively execute given tasks. Special Police Units, organized in six brigades, starting January 3 1997, continued the tradition of Special Militia Units, established in 1972. During 1997 founded were Operative-Searching Groups (Serb. Operativno-potražne grupe) within the SPUs, which were, considering the higher level of training of operators and better equipment, intended for conducting specific tasks on Kosmet. Commanding duties carried out Goran Radosavljevic Guri. Great achievements, effort and dedication during armed conflicts on Kosovo and Metohia have built up a great reputation of the SPUs operators. Besides broad combat experience, these brigades did not meet operational and efficiency standards, simply because former police officers would have been called up when needed, out of their regular tasks and jobs.
for the Honorable Cross
and Mother Serbia!
By choosing the name of the new unit, a famous Serbian warrior tradition continued, starting since the langsyne 1860 when in Belgrade, by the Decree of Prince Mihajlo, the first Gendarmerie Company was founded intended for tasks and jobs of preserving public order and peace in the city of Belgrade. The first company had around 120 footmen and 15 cavalrymen in strength. The loyalty to their country, as well as numerous deeds of generations of Serbian gendarmes have carved the honorable reputation of the unit, which is being continued nowadays.
With the foundation documents defined was the purpose of the modern Gendarmerie as well, based on meticulous analysis security challenges at the time in the former country, as well as capacities of the state security system itself. During the operational period the purpose of the Gendarmerie did not change drastically, but until the present days, minor changes can be perceived, in accordance with the ongoing needs on the field, as well as operational capacities of the unit. Mentioned changes could be considered as additional precisions of given tasks, jobs and actions, or marking certain activities as primary ones. Generally, Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia today is intended for conducting operational-tactical jobs, tasks and actions in order to:
-effectively fight terrorism at operational and tactical level, as well as other types of organized crime
-secure public order and peace, or to establish and preserve when disrupted in greater volume or vicinity
-execute other police jobs defined by the Serbian legislations
Bearing in mind that Gendarmerie in its organization enlists several organizational units, it should be pointed out that these, as a rule, have more specified defined purposes, matching the general purpose of the unit. Also, today`s Diving Unit its capacities focuses on conducting special actions in all types of water surroundings, as well on land areas near water. On the other side, specialized units of the Gendarmerie are specially trained and equipped for executing the most complex given jobs and tasks primarily on land, such as conducting high-risk arrests, resolving hostage crisis by breaching into buildings and the like. In addition, it was predicted that Gendarmerie units, when needed on the field, can provide assistance to the other organizational elements of the unit, or other organizational units of the Ministry of Interior and/or Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Serbia.
In accordance with the new Police Law Gendarmerie is alerted by the order of the unit`s Commander (or deputy), along with previous approval given by the Police Director (or deputy). In the case of extraordinary circumstances, when one or more units of the Gendarmerie are being activated in full capacity, the order of the Commander or deputy must be previously approved by the Police Director (or deputy), along with the approval of the Minister for Internal Affairs (or deputy). The proposition of the Commander or a deputy for activation must include security evaluation of the situation in concrete, as well as activity plan of action which is going to be applied. In the case of extreme urgency, the activity plan can be submitted afterwards, 24 hours after the intervention the most.
Analyzing the security challenges on the territory of the former state it was determined Gendarmerie should be organized over the territorial criteria, so that in larger cities in the country independently operational elements of the unit to be deployed. It was concluded to establish operational detachments in major cities in the country-Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kraljevo and Nis.
Every detachment would be activated by the principle of territorial jurisdiction, and when needed, being able to assist any detachment. In order to rationalize execution of every-day operational activities every of detachments had its own commanding element with precisely defined executive jurisdictions, submitted to the main command of the unit, organized in Belgrade. By filing out workplaces defined by the first systematization it was deemed for Gendarmerie to become highly operational professional unit on the state territory, which in practice soon became obvious.
The first plan and program of instructors training, and afterwards first generations of gendarmes was very intensive both in theoretical and practical parts, in order to rationalize the time period of building the operational abilities for effective execution of given activities. Thanks to the experienced and highly trained professionals in the country, the first phase of the plan was carried out very good, so a possibility emerged to establish counter terrorist platoons within every unit, as the first specialist components at every Gendarmerie detachment. The ranks were filled with the best operators and officers. Activity plan and program, as well as the gear of these platoons were specific, in accordance with the needs of the former state security system, and the unit itself. In the upcoming period, the strength of the platoons increased, so these formations were upgraded to a company rank at every detachment of the Gendarmerie. In addition, plans and programs of trainings were adapted as well, and a great effort was put in in order to improve specialized gear and weaponry held in the companies.
After the abolition of the Special Operation Unit-SOU, Diving Center was included in the Gendarmerie organization. Thanks to the superb gear and training of the center`s operators, Gendarmerie has increased its operational capacities even further. The Diving Center was of the SOU was founded during 1997, and today operates as the Diving Unit of the Gendarmerie with base settled in Belgrade. In its operational element compiles three specialist teams: diving-interventional, diving-searching and nautical team.
On May 7 2003, by the decision of the Minister of Interior Dushan Mihajlovic and suggestion of the former Gendarmerie Commander Goran Radosavljevic, within Gendarmerie Counter Terrorist Unit-CTU was established, intended for executing the most complex tasks and jobs, such as high-risk arrests, hostage crisis and the like. During April 2007, by the decision of the Serbian Government, and over the proposition of the Minister of Interior Dragan Jochic, CTU was segregated from the Gendarmerie to become an independent organization unit of the Police Directorate.
During 2005 operational capacities of the unit has been increased by establishing the Person and Infrastructure Protection Unit, which, in accordance with its name, aims its capacities to close protection tasks and jobs, as well activities relating to physical and technical protection.
During 2006 at Gendarmerie detachments are organized K9 handlers groups, at first with 6 dogs each. Among specially trained K9, assisting in execution of given tasks and jobs, today are mostly used breeds German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Rottweiler and Labrador.
By the 2011 systematization founded was the First Quick Response Detachment, which gathered specialist companies of all Gendarmerie detachments along with the Diving Center. The First Detachment had its own Command, submitted to the Gendarmerie Command in Belgrade, and commanding duties carried out Police Colonel Vojkan Ivanovic, an experienced officer and, among other, parachuting specialist with over 1000 jumps.
Amid 2013 minor changes emerged in the unit`s systematization: The First Quick Response Detachment was disbanded and Unit for Counter Terrorist Actions-UCTA was established, which, similar to the FQRD, compiled four specialist companies, but without the Diving Center. By the present systematization, The Frist Diving Center changes its name to the Diving Unit of the Gendarmerie, submitted to the Command, and four counter terrorist units change their names to specialized units, one established at every Gendarmerie detachment.
Insignia of the Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia is represented with the shield with centered motives of sunlight outlining the minor circular shield colored as the national flag. Amid the minor shield, surrounded with three swords, placed are four ocilas, the symbol of the Serbian statehood.
Every 28th of June is celebrated as the Day of the Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia, and tendering the Serbian Orthodox tradition, the unit celebrates its Slava, Saint Knez Lazar-Vidovdan. Serbian medieval nobleman, Lazar Hrebeljanovic (around 1329-1389) is a very important character in the Serbian history. With a prince title, he led the Serbian Army in the Battle of Kosovo on Vidovdan, on June 28 1389, against the army of Turkish Sultan Murat. Serbian prince laid his life in this battle, and after his death was canonized. The tradition of the Battle of Kosovo is a very important part of the Serbian culture, as well as tradition of the Gendarmerie.
In accordance with the possibilities, celebration of the Day and Slava of the unit is being organized in all detachments of the Gendarmerie. On the occasion Serbian religious customs and often tactical exercises are being performed in the presence of prelates, state officials, officers and operators of the unit, as well as friends from the country, region and the world. Celebrations are chances to mention the long tradition and achievements of the Serbian Gendarmerie, such as events from 15th to 17th of June 1862, when many Serbian gendarmes laid their lives in conflicts with Turkish soldiers at Chukur Fountain Plateau as well as during the bombardment of Belgrade conducted in the period. Also, from oblivion are preserved lives and deeds of modern Gendarmerie operators who sacrificed their lives while carrying out service tasks and jobs. At the same time, emphasized are achievements of active operators, and the foremost ones are being decorated and awarded.
Plan and program of activities relating to the selection and training of candidates and operators is defined in accordance with the purpose and needs of the specific unit, and this primarily depends on the national security system needs within which the unit is operational. To effectively execute given activities Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia conducts training of operators in rural and urban land surroundings, while Diving Unit its activities mostly carries out in water surroundings, as well as ground near waters. During the operational period of the modern Gendarmerie, thanks to the professional development of the operators and officers, as well as efforts of the Command and Ministry of Interior, plan and program of activities were often compounded by implementation of various experiences and methods, as well as sharpening already adopted.
After foundation of the unit for a workplace opening for the operational part of the modern Gendarmerie at first police officers were able to apply, but also willing civilians. Candidates had to meet criteria during psychophysical checks, as well during security ones, in order to be called up for a selection training which at first lasted for three weeks and was organized at training centers in the country. Plan and program of training was carried out by the models at units of similar purpose abroad, and according to the local experience and needs of the unit as well and state security system at the time. The drill was designed to turn away candidates of weaker character for a workplace in a unit of this kind. Therefore, candidates would have been exposed to psychophysical efforts and checks of various types. Simultaneously, the drill flow had a goal to develop the sense of affiliation to the unit, as well as community and teamwork among candidates, and later maybe, operators of the unit. Resigning of the candidates during selection was set as voluntary, which is a practice remained up to today.
After the selection and admission of the first gendarmes to the unit`s detachments, it become possible to segregate the most capable ones and continue their professional development. The management of the unit, with the approval of the competent ministry, decided to establish a counter terrorist platoon at every detachment in the country, which at the same time represented the foundation of the specialist component of the Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia. Activities of the counter terrorist units of that time mostly were carried out in rural surroundings, with the special attention given to studying and practicing special action tactics of the less-strength formations. Topography was studied intensively, with elements of outdoor survival in all climate conditions, tactical movement in pairs, department, group, actions of scouting, setting an ambush, surrounding and destroying enemy positions and the like.
Today within the general plan and program of training for operators of the Gendarmerie is possible to differ a plan and program intended for the operators of the “regular” Gendarmerie, as well as that intended for the operators of specialized units. For a workplace opening in the Serbian Gendarmerie nowadays can apply officers of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia with at least two years of service as a police officer. Ranks of the specialized Gendarmerie units, as a rule, are filled out with the best candidates from the Gendarmerie.
After being deployed, gendarmes at elite units intensively work on raising their professional capacities. Special physical training here includes intensive studies and practices of martial arts such as judo, aikido, boxing and others. In addition, physical strength is also raised, as well as stamina of every operator, therefore daily physical training is mandatory working activity. Further on, alpinism training is also mandatory for all operators of specialized units and is being conducted in urban and rural surroundings. A significance of the alpinism training is not only in increasing professional capacities of an operator, but in strengthening his character as well, self-confidence, courage and determination in the first place. Thanks to the intercession of the Command and Ministry of Interior, part of the training of operators is being conducted in cooperation with foreign instructors, so the unit maintains very good relations with Israeli instructors, for instance. Operators who achieve high results or show interests in certain areas of training can, in accordance with possibilities and needs, be admitted for professional development in the country and abroad, in order to attain specialist ranks. So, specialized units in their ranks compile sniping specialists, specialists for handling explosives and explosive devices of various types, K9 handlers and others. Few years ago a plan and program of basic parachute training for operators was created, but not realized yet. Despite that, units do have operators with parachuting ranks, attained privately, or within other organization units.
A great significance for the training of gendarmes has the training center in Kula which Gendarmerie started using after the abolition of the Special Operation Unit-SOU. Thanks to the excellent infrastructure of the center, operators can study and practice alpinism training, while at various ranges quality firearm training is being carried out as well as advanced tactical training. Center`s capacities allow training of special actions as well.
Weaponry and gear used in the Gendarmerie units are adapted to the needs of given tasks and jobs. Used are models from national manufacturers and abroad ones, with a notable tendency that in every infantry weapon category both national and foreign systems are available and used. Purchases are realized by the decision of the Command, in cooperation with the Minister of Interior, according to the unit`s needs and given funds. Bearing in mind that execution of the most complex activities, as a rule, is entrusted to the specialized units of the Gendarmerie, a special attention is devoted to their proper gearing up, and less number of operators in strength enabled realizations of purchases of some very quality contingents of gear abroad.
In the semi-auto handgun category main models in use are CZ 99 in 9 mm caliber, of the national producer Zastava Arms. The units also possess models of the CZ 999 series in the same caliber, which national manufacturer constructs for the needs of special forces. A notable difference from the series 99 is a rail on the front side of the frame, bellow the barrel, which enables mounting of devices providing light in the low-visibility conditions and/or acquiring targets with a laser dot. For the needs of specialized units purchased were Austrian Glock 17 Gen 3 in 9x19 mm Parabellum. Units hold a certain contingent of the Swiss SIG Sauer P 220 in 9x19 mm Parabellum, and for the needs of training used are revolvers Amadeo Rosi, Smith & Wesson and others. Low leg carry is enabled with holsters of the Mile Dragic producer in black color or a camouflage pattern similar to the Woodland, while operators of the specialized units of the Gendarmerie possess holsters BLACKHAWK! Serpa Tactical Level 2 and newer Level 3 in black color. Having in mind individual affinities of the operators, officers allow certain builds on the personal weaponry, such as mounting various mechanic and reflex sights, tactical lights, handgrips and the like. In the submachine category, main models in use are HK MP5 in various models. The unit possesses models A2 with fixed buttstock, A3 with telescopic, as well as models with integrated suppressor SD3, and compact ones MP5 K, all in 9 mm Parabellum caliber. For the needs of specialized units purchased were various accessories used for modifying mentioned models for various field needs. So, on the front carriers of the standard Picatinny rails can be mounted, from the manufacturer UTG, from which were purchased vertical handgrips and ergonomic hand pads as well, used to mount on rail carrier for a more comfortable grip. Tactical lights used come from various manufacturers, and for the needs of the units purchased were ones with white light. Efficiency of action is certainly contributed by the reflex sights Aimpoint CompM3 and red-color laser illuminators. Models Zastava M92 constructed by the Kalashnikov system are in use, chambered for 7.62x39 mm caliber, which are marked as submachine guns by the producer Zastava Arms. In personal defense weapon-PDW category enlisted are models of the national producer Zastava M84 A Scorpio, in specific caliber 7.65x17 mm.
As of the primary armament, used are various models, mostly based on the Kalashnikov system. Gendarmes hold models in 7.62x 39 mm caliber Zastava M70 AB1 with fixed and M70 AB2 with foldable buttstock and more compact in size, comparing with the previous series. Also, units of the Gendarmerie possess rifles Zastava M70 ABX specially modified for the needs of special forces. Models of the mentioned series are fitted with standard rails mounted by the 12-3-6-9 principle, and for the needs of the unit are used in configuration with red dot sight from the UTG producer and vertical handgrip of the national manufacturer. Very often, operators mount telescopic buttstock Magpul. National producer Zastava Arms is signing M21 rifle series as well, made by the Kalashnikov system, but in 5.56 mm caliber. Mentioned series is developed within the national arms industry project “Soldier 21”, and in Gendarmerie units mostly are used models M21 S, constructed for the needs of special forces. In use are also quality East German rifles AK 47 in 7.62x39 mm, with fixed buttstock, superb balance and very acceptable weight, which are very positive features from a tactical-combat point of view. Units also use grenade launchers 40 mm of the national producer Zastava Arms, constructed over the Russian systems. Specialized units of the Gendarmerie since 2007 possess a significant contingent of very quality carbines Colt M4 A4 Commando in 5.56x45 mm NATO caliber. For the contingent of rifles purchased were Picatinny carriers from the Knight`s Armament producer, as well as red dot sights Aimpoint CompM3. Also, all carbines are fitted with the Surefire accessory that compiles tactical white light and vertical handgrip.
For the needs of close combat, especially when breaching and room clearing, used are combat shotguns of the national producer Zastava Arms, and units also possess a certain contingent of Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical in 12 gauge, with 7+1 capacity.
For the needs of sniping operators of the Serbian Gendarmerie use semi-automatic rifles Zastava M76 in 7.92x57 mm caliber, as well as Zastava M91 in 7.62x54 R, which national manufacturer constructed by the Kalashnikov system. Also, units hold a certain contingent of HK G3 rifles in semi-auto versions. For engaging long-range individual targets, covered or light-armored ones anti-materiel Zastava M93 Black Arrow could be used, in 12.7x108 mm caliber, with bolt-action operating system. For the needs of specialized units purchased were semi-auto rifles SIG Sauer 716 Precision Marksman in 7.62x51 mm NATO. In configuration with KAHLES optic sight can be effectively used at medium distances. Used are excellent Steyr Tactical Elite in .308 Winchester caliber with a bolt-action operating system. Optic sights KAHLES are mounted on reliable carriers Milmont. Specialized units also possess a certain contingent of semi-automatic anti-materiel rifles Barrett M82 A1 with Swarovski 10x42 optic, in 12.7x99 mm NATO (.50 BMG). Besides these, used are also bullpup models Barrett M95, in the same caliber, with optic Bausch&Lomb 10x40.
As of the support weaponry, used are light machine guns Zastava M84 in 7.62x54 R caliber, from the national producer Zastava Arms, which proved as very reliable in all climate-terrain conditions. Used are also heavy machine guns Browning in .50 BMG caliber, and units possess automatic grenade launchers Zastava M93 in 30 mm caliber, from the national producer. When needed, these systems could be mounted on specialized vehicles or vessels used in the unit.
During interventions or training on vessels, or when conducting climbing training, for the needs of head protection against mechanic stress used are helmets Jobe. Ballistic head protection is achieved with ballistic helmets MD97 in models S and P, of the PASGT design. According the manufacturer`s claims these helmets provide IIIA level of protection acc. NIJ STD 0106.01. For the needs of specialized units of the Gendarmerie purchased were quality ballistic helmets CGF Gallet S.A. in black, matted color.
For the needs of interventions operators possess several two-piece tactical uniforms and overalls. So, for the needs of tasks execution in urban environment operators wear two-piece uniforms from the Mile Dragic producer in urban digital camo designed by the US AT Digital and in Tactical One cut. For the needs of masking in rural surroundings operators use two-piece uniforms of the same producer and in the same cut, with digital rural camouflage pattern which producer designed especially for the needs of the Serbian Gendarmerie. Mentioned pattern visually looks similar to the US MARPAT. Units possess a certain amount of two-piece uniforms and overalls of the national producer in a Woodland camo pattern that are nowadays mostly used for the needs of selection of candidates, rarely when conducting given tasks. Specialized units of the Gendarmerie are being recognized by their two-piece black tactical uniforms Mile Dragic Tactical One, as well as models from national producer Yumco A.D, also in black.
Over the uniforms operators during interventions wear vests of various purposes. So, when conducting tasks and jobs relating to public order and peace gendarmes wear black anti-trauma vests of the producer Mile Dragic, and protective set on this occasion consists of a helmet with protective visor, pads for forearms and lower legs. Individual, but group protection as well of the operators is being increased with transparent light shields made from special composite materials. Ballistic protection of the upper body is achieved with ballistic vest from Mile Dragic purchased in black and camo pattern similar to the Woodland. Stripe system MOLLE enables attaching holsters and pouches of various purposes.
Tactical belts in black are being purchased from Mile Dragic. Adjustable by length, while locking is realized through a plastic buckle with double-locking system. Knee and elbow pads, as well as tactical gloves and goggles are being purchased from various producers, such as Mil-Spec, ESS, Revision, BLACKHAWK!, 5.11, and in accordance with personal desires, operators often purchase this type of gear privately as well.
Intervention set of the operators is completed with tactical boots from several producers, and mostly used are ones from Mile Dragic, as well as Magnum Spider Urban in various models.
Units of the Gendarmerie possess reliable terrain vehicles of various purposes. For the transport of personnel and gear used are various vans, and terrain jeeps such as Land Rover Defender and specific terrain vehicles Quads. Combat-armored vehicles of infantry are adapted to the needs of the unit and being produced by the national arms industry, models M86 as well as Lazarus II in various configurations. Constructions of multi-purpose armored vehicles Lazarus II, 8x8, of the national producer Yugoimport SDPR present a combination of MRAP (Mine Ressistant Ambush Protected Vehicle) and vehicles of MRAV class (Multi Purpose Armored Vehicle), while personnel transport capacity is limited to 12 operators, and max road speed is 110 km/h. Units of the Gendarmerie amid 2016 were enforced with new combat-armored vehicles M11 from the Yugoimport SDPR producer. These vehicles can be effectively used in combat activities as well as during preserving or establishing disrupted public order and peace. Crew capacity is limited to 8 members, from which four are marked as mandatory. Primary armament of the vehicle is a remote-managing combat station with a 12.7 mm machine gun (effective range up to 1500 meters for air targets and up to 2000 meters for ground ones) and fire guiding system consisted of a TV camera with zooming option, thermal-vision camera and laser rangefinder. Max road speed of the vehicle is 100 km/h. Quick deployment to the venue of crisis can be achieved by helicopter of the Helicopter Unit of the MoI, BELL 212 Twin and BELL 206 JR.
Part of the activities defined by the Plan and Program of Training of Gendarmerie Operators is being carried out with police and military units from the Republic of Serbian and abroad. These activities include participation in joint tactical exercises and security seminars, providing professional assistance in training of operators of units from the countries to whom Republic of Serbia tender friendly political relations and cooperation, as well as conducting activities in the country, with assistance of operators and/or instructors abroad.
In the Republic of Serbia Gendarmerie maintain excellent cooperation with all police and military units through joint tactical exercises, seminars but joint completion of certain tasks and jobs on the field as well, especially in the Ground Security Zone in the South Serbia. With colleagues from the region Serbian gendarmes have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences at joint international seminars being organized on the territory of former Yugoslavia annually, and intensive cooperation is maintained with the Special Police Unit-SPU of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Srpska, as well as Montenegrin Special Police Unit-SPU, and Special Anti-terrorist Unit-SAU.
Serbian Gendarmerie maintains excellent relations with instructors from Israel, colleagues from Portugal, France, Romania, Algeria, Jordan, and thanks to the intercession of the state establishment Serbian gendarmes will have the chance to cooperate with the operators of the Russian Spetsnaz.
 ] According the adopted criminalistics theories, modern terrorism is considered as a type of organized crime.
 High-risk arrests include crisis situations in which, based on collected and processed information, is concluded that active resistance of the suspect, or a group, is expected, by using physical strength, cold weapon or firearm, as well as harmful tools and the like.
 On the ground and water surfaces defined and stated as the Territory of the Republic of Serbia.
 Paragraph 23, Line 4,5 and 6.
 Commander or deputy submit a written paper of Gendarmerie units` activation to the Police Director in a form of a proposition.
 It is likely, in the case of serious violations of rules and customs of behavior mandatory for the candidates, or in the case of damaged health and the like, for a candidate to be dismissed of the selection by the decision of the instructors who are in charge for the selection in concrete.
 Due to the rationalization of the resource managing, new operators are usually deployed to the detachment nearest to their residence.
 A special attention is given to practicing and learning of the safe firearm handling principles.
 In the case of forming various formations.
 Operators of Gendarmerie specialized units are trained to conduct air insertions by techniques such as Fast Rope and Rappelling, as well as tasks of observation and air support.
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