Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince
The Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince (Prince's Company of Riflemen) is the Infantry branch of the Force Publique, and one of the limited number of militaries that recruits foreigners. Although Monaco's defence is the responsibility of France, Monaco maintains a small force for the protection of the Sovereign and the Prince's Palace. Formed by Prince Honoré IV in 1817, the unit was re-organized in 1909. The company numbers 119 officers and men. Whilst the NCOs and soldiers are local, the officers have served in the French Army or the Republican Guard. Along with the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers, the Carabiniers form Monaco's total public forces.
|Prince's Company of Riflemen|
|Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince|
Patch of the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince
|Active||8 December 1817 – present|
|Type||Foot Guards, and Gendarmerie|
|Size||One company, 119 personal|
|Motto(s)||"Honour, loyalty, devotion"|
|Engagements||French Revolutionary Wars,|
World War I,
World War II,
Tōhoku Disaster[note 1]
|Chief Commander||Prince Albert II of Monaco|
|Senior Commander||Colonel Luc Fringant[note 2]|
|Company Commander||Lt. Colonel Philippe Rebaudengo|
|Plume||Red over White|
An antecedent of the Carabiniers was the company known in the 19th century as the "Papalins", former soldiers of the Papal States, who, upon the destitution of the Papacy's temporal authority at the time of the Italian Unification, were given the role of protecting the Sovereign and the Princely Family. A road in Fontvieille is named in honour of them.
In Monaco, the Milice Nationale was created in 1865. In 1870, the Milice Nationale was renamed the Gardes du Prince, although, the "Gardes" were still tasked with fire-fighting, and national security. On May 5, 1881, the Gardes du Prince were renamed the Compagnie de Sapeurs-Pompiers to better adjust to their fire-fighting duties. On June 17, 1909, the fire-fighting unit was re-organised into a separate operating company called the Compagnie de Sapeurs-Pompiers, while the protection unit was renamed the Corps des Carabiniers du Prince. This lasted over 60 years, until the companies were finally renamed the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers, and the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince, and were placed under the Force Publique's direct control.
The Carabiniers are currently commanded by Comdt. Philippe Rebaudengo, who was sworn in on February 1, 2007.[note 3] Previous commanders include, Lt. Col. Jacques Morandon (2005-2007), Lt. Col. Luc Fringant (1993-2005), and Comdt. Maurice Allent (1978-1993).
Organisation and expendituresEdit
- Diving Team;
- Motorcycle Platoon;
- Bodyguard Unit;
- Palace Guard;
- Honour Guard;
- Civil Defence.
Duties and missionsEdit
Since its inception, the Carabiniers were tasked with guarding the Prince's Palace, ensuring the security of the Sovereign and the Princely Family, to provide services to honour, and to assist law enforcement in times of need. The Palace is guarded at all times, twenty-four hours a day, with two non-commissioned officers of varying rank, one Maréchal des logis, and eight Carabiniers. The Changing of the Guard, is performed daily at 11.55 am, and announced by a musical element (two drums, two trumpets).
The Carabiniers provides services of honour. To "requisition", the Company escorts judiciary, participates in official ceremonies, civil and religious, and ceremonial parades and processions.
The Carabiniers also perform various missions of public service. With the creation of a Military Aid Unit, the Carabiniers implement ambulances for the Monegasque Red Cross. The Company participate as such, the security of major sporting events or arts that take place in the Principality, requiring emergency supplies and evacuation. The Company participate as appropriate in the implementation of emergency plan, ORMOS Red Plan (Monaco relief organisation), which also includes the Corps des Sapeurs-Pompiers, and the Direction de la Sûreté Publique.
The Diving Team is regularly asked to integrate with security devices, and participate in various rescue missions during the sailing competitions in Monegasque waters. They also participate in scientific observations, underwater environment for the study of pollution in the Mediterranean.
The Carabiniers maintain a musical band consisting of twenty-six "rifle-musicians" under the command of a Maréchal des Logis Chef. In 1978, the title of "Fanfare de la Companies des Carabiniers" was adopted. An integral part of the unit, the band is not trained solely to perform music. Instead, Carabiniers receive the same training as their comrades. The band participates in the same occasions, and duties as the Company. The diversity of the repertoire of the band allows it to perform at official ceremonies, sporting events, and public concerts. Since 1989, the band has performed outside of Monaco, in multitudes of destinations, such as: Saumur, Nîmes, Albertville, Lugano, Düsseldorf, Turin, Lisbon, Seville, Geneva, and Hanover.
The equipment and vehicles of the Carabiniers have been upgraded in recent years. Mobility has been improved by the adoption of modern vehicles, adapted to different missions, such as two MOWAG Piranha Vs, six Peugeot P4s, and seven BMW R1200RT-Ps.
Parade dress in the winter is a modernised version of that worn in the early 1900s. It comprises a dark blue tunic, and light blue trousers with red facings. A medium-blue cloth helmet is worn, with plumes for gala occasions. White trefoil epaulettes, spats and aiguillettes date from the 19th century.
|Vehicle||Country of origin||Type||In service (ca.)||Notes|
|Peugeot P4||France||Utility 4x4||6|||
|Renault Scenic||France||Compact MPV||4|||
|Renault Espace||France||Large MPV||2|||
|MOWAG Piranha V||Switzerland||IFV||2|||
|Vehicle||Country of origin||Type||In service (ca.)||Notes|
|Dodge WC series||United States||Light truck||3|||
|GMC CCKW||United States||Heavy truck||1|||
|Harley-Davidson WLA||United States||Motorcycle||11|||
|Weapon||Country of origin||Type||In service (ca.)||Notes|
|Glock 17||Austria||Semi-automatic pistol||100|||
|Beretta 92||Italy||Semi-automatic pistol||12|||
|SIG P210||Switzerland||Semi-automatic pistol||12[note 6]|||
|M16A2||United States||Assault rifle||100|||
|M4A1||United States||Assault rifle||12|||
|SIG SG 510||Switzerland||Battle rifle||80[note 7]|||
|FN MAG||Belgium||General-purpose machine gun||6|||
|LGI Mle F1||France||Rocket-propelled grenade||3|||
|Weapon||Country of origin||Type||In service (ca.)||Notes|
|Fusil modèle 1866||France||Bolt-action rifle||70|||
|Remington Rolling Block rifle||United States||Rolling block||60|||
|Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80||France||Bolt-action rifle||60|||
|Modèle 1874 Revolver||France||Service Revolver||110|||
|Fusil Mle 1886 M93||France||Bolt-action rifle||80|||
|Modèle 1892 Revolver||France||Service Revolver||100|||
|MAS Modèle 36||France||Bolt-action rifle||80|||
|MAS Modèle 49||France||Semi-automatic rifle||110|||
- Between twenty and thirty-years-old;
- Single (marriage licence granted after the confirmation period);
- Pass a vision examination;
- Within a minimum height of 1.8 m (5.9 ft) to a maximum height of 2 m (6.6 ft);
- BMI (Body Mass Index) less than or equal to twenty-five;
- Pass a physical fitness test and examination;
- Graduated with a high school or equivalent degree;
- Possess a driving licence;
- Capable of swimming.
Applicants may be esteemed if they know skills in one or more specialties relevant to the Carabiniers. For instance: music (primarily band instruments), diving, first aid, culinary, computer, and mechanics training, or combat experience.
At the time of his enlistment, a Carabinier signs his first contract for five years which is validated after a period of instruction, and confirmation period in which ability and motivation are verified. This confirmation is usually after one year's service, but may be extended for one or even two years further probation. A Carabinier can pursue his career and commitments by successive reenlistments after each five years of service until reaching age 55, subjecting to meet all the conditions of fitness. Promotion on merit allows a number of Carabiniers to reach the various grades of noncommissioned officers. However, a very low turnover rate of enlistments means that 50% finish their military career as a Carabinier first or second class.
- An eleven man peacekeeping and rescue force was deployed, however, the majority were Sapeurs-Pompiers.
- The Senior Commander heads the Force Publique; the military oversight agency.
- The Prince of Monaco who holds the rank of Colonel is the Commander in Chief.
- Ordered by largest to smallest quantity.
- Ordered by oldest to newest.
- Originally 12 pistols were used, however, many pistols have been permanently retired.
- Originally 80 rifles were used, however, many rifles have been permanently retired.
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