The Mobile Gendarmerie is a specialized intervention force within the French National Gendarmerie. With her essential role in maintaining order and preserving public safety, she embodies the guardians of social peace during demonstrations and sensitive events. In this article, we dive into the dynamic world of the mobile gendarmerie, exploring its history, its organization, its missions and its determining role in the protection of French society.
Since its origins, the mobile gendarmerie has evolved to become an essential force in maintaining order in France. Its roots go back to the first mobile units created to deal with social unrest and riots in the 1920s. Today, the Mobile Gendarmerie represents a major component of the National Gendarmerie, engaged in varied missions aimed at preserving public order. , protect people and property, fight against crime and support internal security operations.
Within the mobile gendarmerie, the organization and the structure are specifically adapted to law enforcement missions. The mobile gendarmerie units are spread across France and have a well-defined hierarchical structure, with rapid intervention companies ready to be deployed in sensitive areas. This efficient organization enables a rapid and coordinated response to crisis situations.
The main mission of the mobile gendarmerie is to ensure public safety during demonstrations, gatherings and high-risk events. The mobile gendarmes are trained to deal with situations of tension, crowd management and maintaining order. They intervene with professionalism and discernment to prevent disturbances and guarantee the safety of all.
The mobile gendarmerie also plays a crucial role in the fight against delinquency and terrorism, in cooperation with other internal security forces. It takes part in missions to secure the territory, protect critical infrastructures and support peacekeeping operations. As a mobile force, it is able to deploy rapidly throughout the national territory to respond to threats and emergencies.
To join the ranks of the Gendarmerie Mobile, recruits must go through a rigorous selection process and undergo specialized training. Mobile Constables learn specific technical and tactical skills to deal with the unique challenges of policing, while benefiting from solid ethical and legal training.
Origins and History of the Mobile Gendarmerie
The mobile gendarmerie has origins dating back to the first decades of the 20th century. The idea of creating special units to deal with social unrest and riots emerged in the 1920s in France. At the time, the country was facing socio-political challenges and protest movements that required a specific response from the security forces.
The Mobile Gendarmerie was officially created in 1921 as the "Compagnies de Marche de la Gendarmerie", with the main mission of ensuring the maintenance of order during demonstrations and social unrest. These first units were made up of gendarmes specially trained and equipped to deal with situations of tension and violence.
Over the years, the mobile gendarmerie has undergone several changes and has expanded its field of action. In the 1950s, it was renamed "Republican Security Companies" (CRS) and saw its skills extended to other areas, such as the securing of major events, the protection of personalities, as well as the fight against terrorism. and crime.
The mobile gendarmerie has played a key role in the history of France, especially during important social and political movements. She was present during the student demonstrations of May 1968, where she faced violent clashes and had to manage complex situations. Over the decades, the mobile gendarmerie has been able to adapt to social and political developments in the country, while preserving its fundamental mission of maintaining public order.
In addition to its role on the national territory, the mobile gendarmerie has also been engaged in international missions. It has taken part in peacekeeping operations under the aegis of the United Nations, notably in the former Yugoslavia, in Kosovo and in the Central African Republic. These commitments abroad testify to the expertise and professionalism of the mobile gendarmerie at the international level.
Over the past decades, the mobile gendarmerie has continued to modernize and adapt to new security challenges. It has integrated advanced technologies, developed crowd management techniques and strengthened its cooperation with other internal security forces. Today, the mobile gendarmerie remains an essential force in maintaining order and preserving public safety in France.
Missions and Fields of Intervention of the Mobile Gendarmerie
The mobile gendarmerie is responsible for various and varied missions which contribute to the maintenance of public order, the protection of persons and property, as well as internal security. Its main role is to provide security during demonstrations, gatherings and sensitive events, where the preservation of order and the protection of the population are essential.
During demonstrations, mobile gendarmes are deployed to prevent and deal with disturbances, violence and offences. They ensure respect for public order, the safety of demonstrators and property, as well as the protection of institutions and national interests. Their dissuasive presence and their ability to intervene quickly make them key players in maintaining social peace and managing risky situations.
The mobile gendarmerie also intervenes in the fight against delinquency and terrorism. It participates in operations to secure the territory, aimed at preventing and repressing criminal and terrorist acts. In collaboration with other security forces, it conducts investigations, makes arrests and contributes to the collection of intelligence with the aim of preserving the security of citizens and protecting national interests.
In addition, the Mobile Gendarmerie provides support for internal security operations, such as maintaining order during natural disasters, major industrial accidents or other emergency situations. It ensures the coordination of relief, facilitates evacuations and guarantees the safety of those affected. The versatility of mobile gendarmes allows them to adapt to different scenarios and contribute effectively to crisis management.
The mobile gendarmerie is also mobilized for missions to protect personalities and institutions. It provides security for dignitaries, embassies, government buildings and sensitive sites. This mission requires constant vigilance, rigorous preparation and high reactivity to deal with any potential threat.
Finally, the mobile gendarmerie is engaged in peacekeeping operations on an international scale, under the aegis of the United Nations. Its units can be deployed in conflict zones to contribute to stabilization, the protection of civilians and the application of justice. This participation testifies to the expertise and professionalism of the mobile gendarmerie in the field of international security.
Training and Recruitment in the Mobile Gendarmerie
The mobile gendarmerie places particular emphasis on the rigorous selection and specialized training of its personnel. To join the ranks of this elite unit, candidates must go through a demanding recruitment process, followed by extensive training that prepares them for the specific challenges of law enforcement.
Recruitment within the mobile gendarmerie is open to all French citizens, men and women, aged 18 to 35. Applicants must meet certain conditions, including being in good physical condition, holding a bachelor's degree, and being of good character. Selection tests are then organized, including written tests, individual interviews, psychotechnical assessments and sports tests.
Once selected, the admitted candidates integrate the school of gendarmerie to follow a specific training. The initial training lasts about nine months and takes place at the Gendarmerie School of Châteaulin, in Brittany, or at the Gendarmerie School of Chaumont, in the Grand Est. During this period, the future mobile gendarmes receive a complete training which combines theoretical lessons, practical work and concrete scenarios.
The training covers a wide range of areas, ranging from legal and ethical aspects to the handling of weapons, through techniques of maintaining order and intervention in crisis situations. Mobile gendarmes learn to master crowd management techniques, tactics for dispersing violent demonstrators, methods of de-escalating conflicts and first aid.
Practical training occupies an important place in the training course of the mobile gendarmerie. The trainees are confronted with simulations of real situations, enabling them to acquire concrete experience and develop their operational skills. They are supervised by experienced instructors, specialized trainers and law enforcement professionals, who pass on their expertise and know-how.
Once the initial training is completed, the new mobile gendarmes are assigned to a mobile gendarmerie company. They then continue their learning in the field, working alongside experienced units and participating in real law enforcement operations. This practice period allows them to consolidate their skills and adapt to the different situations they will face.
Equipment and Techniques Used by the Mobile Gendarmerie
The mobile gendarmerie is equipped with specific equipment and uses specialized techniques to deal with law enforcement situations and ensure security during demonstrations and sensitive events. This equipment and techniques are designed to protect both the mobile gendarmes and the people present on the scene.
With regard to individual equipment, the mobile gendarmes are equipped with a specific outfit which gives them a clear and visible identification. They typically wear riot helmets to protect themselves from projectiles, shields to defend against physical assault, and body armor to reduce the risk of injury. Gloves, knee pads and elbow pads also reinforce their individual protection.
The mobile gendarmerie also has vehicles adapted to its missions. The law enforcement vans are equipped with riot barriers, protective grilles and tear gas launchers. These vehicles make it possible to create a physical barrier between the demonstrators and the police, and to disperse the crowds if necessary.
The mobile gendarmes also use modern communication equipment to ensure effective coordination in the field. The radios and transmission systems allow instant communication between the different units of the mobile gendarmerie, thus facilitating the coordination of operations and the sharing of information in real time.
With regard to the techniques used, the mobile gendarmerie is trained in methods of crowd management and maintaining order. The mobile gendarmes are trained to put in place security measures, to channel the demonstrators and to maintain a distance between the different parties to prevent clashes. They use verbal communication techniques to give clear orders and instructions to demonstrators, thus promoting dialogue and de-escalating tensions.
If necessary, the mobile gendarmerie can resort to crowd dispersal techniques, such as the use of tear gas or water cannons. These methods are used with care and in compliance with the rules of proportionality, with the aim of restoring order and protecting the safety of those present.
It is important to emphasize that the use of force by the mobile gendarmerie is regulated by strict standards and framed by law. The mobile gendarmes are trained in ethical and deontological principles, which guide their action during interventions to maintain order. Priority is always given to the preservation of social peace and the protection of fundamental rights.
Collaboration and Cooperation with Other Security Forces
The mobile gendarmerie maintains close collaboration with other internal security forces, such as the national police and special units, with the aim of guaranteeing effective coordination and a global response to security issues. This cooperation makes it possible to pool the resources, skills and expertise of each force to ensure public safety.
Coordination between the mobile gendarmerie and the national police is essential to guarantee a unified response in crisis situations. The two security forces work closely together to plan and implement law enforcement operations, sharing the necessary intelligence, resources and logistical means. This cooperation enhances the effectiveness of interventions and promotes a concerted approach in the management of social unrest.
In addition, the mobile gendarmerie works in collaboration with special units, such as the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN), for operations requiring specific skills. These special units intervene in high-risk situations, such as hostage-taking, terrorism situations or delicate interventions. The mobile gendarmerie can provide logistical and security support during these operations, thus strengthening the action capacity of the special units.
Cooperation between the different security forces also extends to the local level, through the Operational Coordination Cells (OCC). These structures bring together representatives of the mobile gendarmerie, the national police and other public security actors, in order to promote the exchange of information, operational planning and the coordination of interventions. The CCOs ensure constant collaboration between the various security forces, particularly during major events or crisis situations.
In addition, the mobile gendarmerie maintains international partnerships with other security forces around the world. It participates in exchanges of experience, best practices and training with foreign law enforcement agencies. This international cooperation makes it possible to strengthen operational capacities, improve techniques for maintaining order and promote mutual understanding of security issues.
Finally, the mobile gendarmerie also collaborates with other security actors, such as intelligence services, emergency medical services and local authorities. This cross-functional cooperation aims to optimize responses to crisis situations, by mobilizing all available resources and ensuring effective coordination between the various players.