Republican Guard (Albania)
|Republican Guard of Albania
Garda e Republikës
Standard of the Republican Guard of Albania
|Active||1928 — present|
|Allegiance||Albanian Police; Albanian Armed Forces|
The Republican Guard (Albanian: Garda e Republikës) is a militarized government agency of Albania, tasked with the protection of several, mandated by the relevant law, high-ranking state officials, including the President of Albania, as well as certain national properties, high-ranking foreign visitors and diplomatic offices. It is mostly subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with only the part responsible for the incumbent president's security being under the authority of the President of Albania.
Royal Guard (1928 - 1939)
The Guard of the Republic was estabilished as a necessity in the late 1920s when President Ahmet Zogu (later King Zog I) demanded the reorganization of the Albanian Armed Forces and the creation of a special unit, separated by Militias and Gendarmerie, upon which its main duty would be to protect the highest state personalities and the important buildings (such as Institutions; Banks; personalities houses; etc.). The official creation of the Guard was made on 24 June 1928 with a decree of the same year. It's secondary responsibility was public duties in Tirana, the national capital.
On 1 September 1928, Albania was transformed into a kingdom, and President Zogu became Zog I, King of the Albanians. The Guard changed the name to "Royal Guard of Albania", but the duties in most of them remain the same. Hysen Selmani was appointed Commander-in-chief.
In November 1929, the law "On the Organization of Armed Forces" was promulgated, which changed the structure of the unit. The structure of the Guard consisted of:
- The Guard Command
- 1 company (21 Officers; 37 Sub-Officer; 412 Guards)
- 1 Platoon of Cavalry
- Guards Band and Bugles
Socialist Republican Guard (1945 - 1991)
After the World War II, the Guard would be named: Special Battalion of the General Staff, being a structure within the People's Defense Division (DMP).
In February 1947, the department was renamed Republican Guard Department. By the end of the 40s, the Guard began to recruit new effectives with the conscription service because until then its organic consisted of ex-Partisans of the Albanian National Liberation Army (UNÇSH). In 1951, the Guard became part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which charged the battalion with the function of preserving and securing the high-ranking state officials and important members of the communist party. During these years until November 1968, the Guard was strengthened and modernized, the guard battalion numbered around 600 personnel of all ranks,
After the Soviet-Albanian split that then culminated with the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Guard underwent a structural and quantitative change. That was increased from 1 to 3 battalions, in addition, consisted of 4 battalions with reservists, which Command and permanent staff with officers. Also, the Artillery Command was created.
In 1976, with the adoption of the new Constitution, the name of the Guard changed; becoming the Republican Guard Regiment of the Socialist Republic of Albania
Its organizational chart included:
- Command Center
- Political department
- General Staff of the Guard Regiment
- Artillery Command
- 3 active infantry battalions (1st to 3rd Battalions, Republican Guard)
- 4 reserve battalions (4th to 7th Battalions (Volunteers), Republican Guard)
- Instruction Center in Mullet
- Autonomous bases (Durres, Vlore, Pogradec, Lezhe and Korce)
- 1 anti-aircraft company equipped with ZPU
- 1 artillery battery equipped with ZiS-3
- 1 company each of Flamethrower; Tanks; Engineers Corps; Chemical Corps; Support Corps and Transport Support
- 1 armored transport Platoon
On 04 February 1984 the Presidium of the People's Assembly awarded the "Order of the National Flag" to the Republican Guard Regiment.
1991 - Present
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The Republican Guard Battalion of Albania is a structure of special status in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, whose mission is to provide physical security to the President; Prime Minister; Chairman of the Parliament and other high state personalities defined in the No.8869, dated 22.5.2003 "For the Guard of the Republic of Albania". Another of the guard duties it is also the protection of the high importance buildings, such as Parliament; Presidential Office and other buildings defined in the same law.
The guard missions:
- Guarding important public buildings in Tirana or across the country.
- Honor and security services for the highest national personalities and important foreign guests; Military ceremonies and guards of honour for fallen soldiers.
- Support of other law enforcement forces with intervention (i.e. Special Unit) teams;
- Royal Albanian Gendarmerie
- 2011 Albanian opposition demonstrations
- Albanian Armed Forces
- Albanian Police
- Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Ikën Garda, krijohet Shërbimi i Sigurisë së Personaliteteve
- Official website (in Albanian)