Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia
Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia today is a highly operational unit of the Serbian Police of a 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 that Special Police Units (Serb. Posebne jedinice policije), due to an 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 Operative-Searching Groups were founded (Serb. Operativno-potražne grupe) within the SPUs, which were, considering the higher level of training of operators and better equipment, intended for the execution of specific tasks on Kosmet. Commanding duties carried out Goran Radosavljevic Guri. Exceptional achievements, efforts and dedication during armed conflicts on Kosovo and Metohia have built up a great reputation of the SPUs operators. Besides a broad combat experience, these brigades did not meet operational and efficiency standards though, 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, reaching the langsyne 1860 when the first Gendarmerie Company was founded in Belgrade, by the Decree of Prince Mihajlo, 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 the purpose of the modern Gendarmerie was defined as well, based on meticulous security challenges analysis 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 have not changed 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 defining certain activities as primary ones. Generally, Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia today is intended for conducting operational-tactical tasks, jobs 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 retreive and preserve it when disrupted in a greater volume or area
-execute other police jobs defined by the ongoing Serbian legislations
Bearing in mind that in its organization Gendarmerie enlists several organizational units, it should be pointed out that these, as a rule, have closely defined purposes, under the general purpose of the unit. Given that, today`s Diving Unit focuses its capacities on conducting special actions on all types of vessels and in all water surroundings, as well as on immediate land areas. On the other side, specialist units of the Gendarmerie are specially trained and equipped for the execution of the most complex given jobs and tasks primarily on land, such as conducting high-risk arrests, resolving hostage crisis by breaching into buildings and road vehicles of all types and the like. In addition, it was considered that Gendarmerie units, when needed on the field, could provide assistance to the other organizational elements of the unit, or other organizational units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and/or Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Serbia.
In accordance with the new Police Law Gendarmerie is activated by the order of the unit`s Commander (or a deputy), along with a previous approval given by the Police Director (or a deputy). In the case of extraordinary circumstances, when one or more units of the Gendarmerie are being activated in their 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 of Internal Affairs (or deputy). The activation suggestion of the Commander or deputy must include security evaluation of a specific situation, as well as a plan of action which is about to be applied. In the case of an extreme urgency, the activity plan could be submitted afterwards, within 24 hours after the intervention at most.
Analyzing the security challenges within the territory of the former state it was determined that Gendarmerie should be organized under territorial criteria, so that in country`s larger cities independent operational elements of the unit to be deployed. It was concluded to establish operational detachments in major and strategically significant cities in the country: Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kraljevo and Nis.
Every detachment was activated considering a principle of territorial jurisdiction, and if needed, could provide assistance to any detachment. In order to rationalize the 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, settled in Belgrade. By filling out vacancies defined by the first systematization it was deemed for Gendarmerie to become a highly operational professional unit within the state territory, which in practice soon became obvious.
The first curriculum 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 up the operational abilities for an 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 weoo, 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 curricula, as well as the gear of these platoons were specific, matching the requirements of the former state security system, and the unit itself. In the upcoming period, the strength of the platoons was increasing, so these formations were upgraded to a company rank, at every detachment of the Gendarmerie. In addition, training curriculums were adapted as well, and a great effort was put in in order to improve specialized gear and weaponry held in companies.
After the abolition of the Special Operation Unit, the Diving Center was added to the Gendarmerie organization. Thanks to the superb gear and training of the center`s operators, Gendarmerie had increased its operational capacities even further. The Diving Center was established during 1997, and today operates as the Diving Unit of the Gendarmerie with a 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, Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) was established within Gendarmerie , intended for the execution of 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 Gendarmerie to become an independent organizational unit of the Police Directorate.
During 2005 operational capacities of the unit have 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 as activities relating to a physical and technical protection.
In 2006 K9 handlers groups have been organized at Gendarmerie detachments, at first counting 6 dogs each. Among specially trained K9s, assisting in execution of given tasks and jobs, today mostly are used German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Rottweiler and Labrador breeds.
By the 2011 systematization The First Quick Response Detachment was established, which compiled 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, while commanding duties carried out, at the time, Police Lieutenant Colonel Vojkan Ivanovic, an experienced officer and, among other things, parachuting specialist with over 1000 jumps.
Amid 2013 minor changes emerged in the unit`s systematization: The First Quick Response Detachment was disbanded and counter terrorist actions units (CTAU) were established within every detachment. By the present systematization, The Frist Diving Center changed its name to Gendarmerie Diving Unit, submitted to the Command, while four counter terrorist units changed their names to specialist units.
The insignia of the Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia is represented with a shield with centered motives of sunlight outlining a minor round shield colored as the national flag. Amid the minor shield and 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 Serbian Gendarmerie, 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, June 28 1389, against the army of Turkish Sultan Murat. Serbian prince laid his life in this battle, and was posthumously canonized. The tradition of the Battle of Kosovo is a very important part of the Serbian culture, as well as Gendarmerie`s tradition.
With the available resources, the celebration of the unit`s Day and Slava is being organized in all Gendarmerie detachments. On the occasion Serbian religious customs and tactical exercises are usually 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 also chances to mention the long tradition and achievements of the Serbian Gendarmerie, such as events between June 15 and 17 1862, when many Serbian gendarmes laid their lives during conflicts with Turkish soldiers at Chukur Fountain Plateau, as well as during the following bombardment of Belgrade within the period. Moreover, lives and deeds of modern Gendarmerie operators who sacrificed their lives while carrying out service tasks and jobs are preserved from oblivion. At the same time, achievements of active operators are being recognized, and the finest ones are being decorated and rewarded.
Activities curriculum relating to a selection and training of candidates and operators is defined in accordance with a purpose and needs of a specific unit, and this primarily depends on a national security system requirements within which a unit is operational. To effectively execute given activities Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia conducts operators training in rural and urban land surroundings, while Diving Unit its activities mostly carries out in water surroundings, as well as immediate land areas. During the operational period of the modern Gendarmerie, thanks to the professional development of the operators and officers, as well as Command and Ministry of Interior joint efforts, activities curricula were often compounded by implementation of various experiences and methods, as well as sharpening the already adopted.
After the foundation of the unit for a vacancy within the operational part of the modern Gendarmerie active police officers were able to apply at first, but also willing civilians. Candidates had to meet criteria during psychophysical checks, as well during background checks, 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. Training curriculum was carried out by examples of similar purpose units abroad, and according to the local experience and requirements of the unit, as well and state security system at the time. The drill was designed to discourage candidates of a weaker character to apply for a vacancy at a unit of this type. Therefore, candidates would have been exposed to psychophysical exertion and tests of various types. Simultaneously, the drill flow had a goal to develop the sense of affiliation to the unit, as well as the sence of unity and teamwork among candidates, and later maybe, operators of the unit. Candidates leave during selection was set as voluntary, which is a practice remained up to today.
After the selection and induction of the first gendarmes to the unit`s detachments, it became possible to compile the most capable ones and continue their professional development. The command of the unit, under the approval of the ministry in charge, 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 Serbian Gendarmerie. Activities of the counter terrorist units of that time were mostly carried out in rural surroundings, with the special attention given to studying and practicing special action tactics of the small-strength formations. Topography was studied meticulously, including elements of outdoor survival in all climate conditions, tactical movement in pairs, team, group, reconnaissance actions, ambushing, surrounding and destroying enemy positions and the like.
Today within the general plan and program of training for Gendarmerie operators is possible to differ a curriculum intended for the operators of the “regular” Gendarmerie, relating to those of general purpose units, as well as the one intended for the operators of specialist units. For a Serbian Gendarmerie vacancy opening officers of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia with at least two years of police service are allowed to apply nowadays. Ranks of Gendarmerie specialist units, as a rule, are filled out with the best candidates within Gendarmerie itself.
- Training Demonstration of the Gendarmerie Belgrade Detachment SPU
- Demonstration of Operational Capacities of the Novi Sad Gendarmerie Detachment SPU
- Gear of Specialist Units
- Tactical Exercise "Drina 2016"
- Tactical Exercise of the Serbian Gendarmerie "The Bridge 2015"
- Tactical Exercise of the Serbian Gendarmerie "Ada 2013"
- Joint Exercise of the Serbian Police "Arena 2012"
- The Diving Unit
A great significance for gendarmes training has the Ministry of Internal Affairs Training Center "Kula", located in the homonymous city which Gendarmerie started using after the abolition of the Special Operation Unit (SOU). Thanks to the excellent infrastructure of the center, operators can learn and practice alpinism training, while firearm training as well as advanced tactical training are being carried out at ranges of different types. Center`s capacities allow training of special actions as well.
Weaponry and gear used at Gendarmerie units are adapted to the requirements of given tasks and jobs. In use are models from national manufacturers and foreign ones, with a notable tendency that in every weapon category both national and foreign systems are available and used. Procurements are completed 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 Gendarmerie specialist units, a special attention is devoted to their proper gearing up, while less operators in strength enabled completions of procurements of some very quality contingents of foreign gear.
In the semi-auto handgun category main models in use are CZ 99 in 9 mm caliber, of the national producer Zastava Arms. Units also possess models of the CZ 999 series in the same caliber, of the same producer. For the requirements of specialist units Austrian Glock 17 Gen 3 in 9x19 mm Parabellum were purchased. Units hold a certain contingent of the Swiss-made SIG Sauer P 220 in 9x19 mm Parabellum, while for the needs of training revolvers Amadeo Rosi, Smith & Wesson, Zastava Arms and others are used. Low leg carrying is enabled with holsters of Mile Dragic producer in black color, or a camouflage pattern similar to Woodland, while Gendarmerie specialist units operators possess BLACKHAWK! Serpa Tactical Level 2 and newer Level 3 holsters in black color. Having in mind operators` individual affinities, officers allow certain modifications on a personal weaponry, such as mounting various mechanic and reflex sights, tactical lights, modified handgrips and the like.
In the submachine gun category, main models in use are HK MP5 in various models. The unit possesses models A2 with a fixed buttstock, A3 with a telescopic, as well as SD3 models with an integrated suppressor, along with compact MP5 K ones, all in 9 mm Parabellum caliber. For the needs of specialist units purchased were various accessories used for modifying mentioned models for various tasks requests. So, at the front side standard Picatinny carriers can be mounted, produced by UTG, from which assault grips were purchased along with ergonomic hand pads, mounted for a more comfortable grip. Used tactical lights are purchased from various manufacturers, and for the needs of the units ones with white light were purchased. Action efficiency is certainly contributed by the reflex Aimpoint CompM3 sights and red-color laser sights. Models Zastava M92 constructed under the Kalashnikov system are in use, chambered for 7.62x39 mm caliber, and are marked as submachine guns by the Zastava Arms producer. In a 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 7.62x39 mm caliber Zastava M70 AB1 with a fixed and M70 AB2 with a foldable buttstock and more compact in size, comparing to the previous series. For the Gendarmerie units requirements Zastava M70 AB2 systems are fitted with UTG Picatinny rails mounted at the front handguard, usually used in configuration with UTG red dot sight, assault grip of the same producer, or Israeli Tdi Arms, as well as UTG telescopic stock. 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 M21 S models are being used, constructed to meet special forces requests. In use are also quality East German AK 47 rifles 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 40 mm grenade launchers of the national producer Zastava Arms, constructed over the Russian systems. Gendarmerie specialist units possess a significant contingent of very quality Colt M4 A4 Commando carbines in 5.56x45 mm NATO caliber. For the entire rifle contingent Picatinny carriers from CAA and UTG were purchased, as well as Aimpoint CompM3 red dot sights. Also, all carbines are fitted with CAA FGA ergonomic assault handgrip with CAA TC1 tactical flashlight fitted, while telescopic stocks were purchased from UTG.
For the special operation requirements, especially breaching and room clearing, tactical shotguns of the national producer Zastava Arms are being used, while units also possess a certain contingent of Remington 887 Nitro Mag Tactical in 12 gauge, with 7+1 capacity.
For precision shooting Serbian Gendarmerie specialists 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. In 7.92 mm caliber are Zastava M69 systems as well. Also, units hold a certain contingent of HK G3 rifles in semi-auto A4 versions and .308 Winchester caliber, as well as G33 S1 models of the same producer, in 5.56 mm caliber. 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 specialist units purchased were semi-auto rifles SIG Sauer 716 in 7.62x51 mm NATO. In configuration with KAHLES K-312 3x12-50 optic sight can be effectively used at medium distances. Used are Steyr Tactical Elite rifles in .308 Winchester caliber with a bolt-action operating system, operated in a configuration with mentioned KAHLES optics mounted on MAK Milmont carriers. Specialist 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). In addition, bullpup models Barrett M95, in the same caliber, but with bolt-action system and optic Bausch&Lomb 10x40 are also in use.
As of the support weaponry, light machine guns Zastava M84 in 7.62x54 R caliber are used, produced by national producer Zastava Arms, which proved as very reliable in all climate-terrain conditions. Heavy machine guns Browning in .50 BMG caliber are also being used, while 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 at the unit.
During interventions or training on vessels, or when conducting climbing training, mechanic stress head protection is achieved with Jobe helmets. A significant part of climbing gear is being purchased from US PETZL. Ballistic head protection is achieved with ballistic helmets MD 97 of the PASGT design. Canvas helmet covers provide the same producer. According the manufacturer`s claims these helmets provide IIIA level of protection acc. NIJ STD 0106.01. The same producer provides MICH 2002 helmets, that were delivered to Gendarmerie units at the end of 2017, in Ranger Green color and configuration with tactical rails, night vision google carrier along with helmet bungees. For the needs of specialist units of the Gendarmerie ballistic helmets CGF Gallet S.A. were purchased 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 Mile Dragic producer in urban digital camo designed by the US AT Digital and in Dragon Tactical cut. For the needs of camouflaging 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 requirements of the Serbian Gendarmerie. Mentioned pattern visually likens 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 candidates selection training, seldom when conducting given tasks. Gendarmerie specialist units are being recognized by their two-piece black Mile Dragic Dragon Tactical tactical uniforms, as well those from Yumco A.D national producer, also in black. At the end of 2017 new two-piece tactical uniforms were inducted, made by Yumko AD, in Dragon Tactical Cut and monochromatic green shade named Ranger Green.
During interventions operators wear vests of various purposes over the uniforms. So, when conducting tasks and jobs relating to public order and peace gendarmes wear black anti-trauma vests from Mile Dragic, and protective set on this occasion consists of a helmet with protective visor, forearms and lower legs pads. Individual, but also group protection is being increased using transparent light shields made from special composite materials. Ballistic protection of the upper body is achieved with a ballistic vest from Mile Dragic, purchased in black and camo pattern similar to Woodland. During 2017 green-shade ballistic vests were introduced. Stripe MOLLE system enables attaching of holsters and pouches of various purposes. Depending on a specific activity requirements, operators use light tactical vests in black, or in a rural camouflage pattern, produced by Mile Dragic.
Tactical belts in black are being purchased from Mile Dragic. Adjustable by length, while locking is done through a plastic buckle with double-locking system. Tactical belts in green were introduced at the end of 2017. Knee and elbow pads, as well as tactical gloves and goggles are being purchased from various producers, such as Mil-Tec, ESS, Revision, BLACKHAWK!, 5.11, and in accordance with personal desires, operators often purchase this type of gear privately as well.
Operators` intervention set is completed with tactical boots from various producers and models, such as Magnum, Matterhorn and others.
Gendarmerie units possess reliable terrain vehicles of various purposes. For personnel and gear transport various vans and terrain jeeps, such as Land Rover Defender, and specific motorbikes Quads are used. Infantry combat-armored vehicles are adapted to the requirements of the unit and being produced by the national arms industry, models M86 as well as Lazarus II and Lazarus III 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, with max road speed of 110 km/h. Gendarmerie units amid 2016 were reinforced with new 4x4 combat-armored vehicles M11 and M15 from 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. After Counter Terrorist Unit was dispanded, a certain number of light-armored HUMMER vehicles was succeeded by Gendarmerie units. Quick insertion to the venue of crisis can be achieved by activating Helicopter Unit capacities, such as helicopters BELL 212 and BELL 206.
A part of the activities defined by the Plan and Program of Training for 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 operators training of the units from the countries with whom Serbia tenders friendly political relations and cooperation, as well as conduction of activities in the country, with an assistance of foreign operators and/or instructors.
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 field tasks and jobs as well. Together with colleagues from the region Serbian gendarmes have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences at joint international seminars organized on the former Yugoslavia territory annually, and an intensive cooperation is maintained with Special Anti-terrorist Unit 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 Russian Spetsnaz operators.
 According to the accepted 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, 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.
 A commander or a deputy submit a written paper for 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 behavior customs mandatory for the candidates, or in the case of jeopardized health and the like, for a candidate to be dismissed from the selection by the decision of the instructors who are in charge for the specific selection.
 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 safe firearm handling principles.
 When forming various tactical formations.
 Gendarmerie specialist units operators are trained to conduct air insertions using techniques such as Fast Rope and Rappelling, as well as observation and air support tasks.
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