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The Guard Battalion (Estonian: Vahipataljon) is specialized unit under the Military Police of the Estonian Defence Forces, which conducts ceremonial duties and prepares military police units. It is based in Tallinn and specialized in urban warfare.
|Active||January 9, 1919 – June 17, 1940|
January 22, 1993 – present
|Branch||Estonian Land Forces|
|Part of||Military Police|
|Garrison/HQ||Tallinn, Miinisadam (Naval Base)|
|Nickname(s)||Presidendi Kaardivägi (Presidential Guard)|
|Lieutenant colonel Margot Künnapuu|
Being the capital's largest military formation, the Guard Battalion also has the duty of carrying the watch over the presidential palace and welcoming foreign diplomats and political guests.
The Guard Battalion was first created on 9 January 1919 from a battalion of the Estonian Defense League. It served as an auxiliary law enforcement unit in Tallinn that doubled as a ceremonial unit used at funerals and reception ceremonies for foreign guests. On 25 February, it was officially renamed to the Guard Battalion. On 1 June of the following year it was renamed to the Tallinn Single Guard Battalion. On 20 May 1939, by order of President Konstantin Päts, 11 January 1928 was declared to be the birthday of the unit. On 1 July 1930 , the Tallinn Garrison Command and Guard Battalion were formed as an independent institution. On 19 April 1940, the battalion was approved a unit flag donated by the Bank of Estonia. After the Soviet invasion of Estonia, the unit was move out of its barracks and phased into the 21st Rifle Regiment.
The modern Guard Battalion was reestablished on 22 January 1993 on the basis of the formerly Internal Defense Guard Regiment, which was previously engaged incarceration services. On 1 May 2003, a battalion known as the Single Guard was renamed the Infantry Training Center before being changed at the outset of 2009 to the Guard Battalion. Since 2014, it has been subordinated to the Sõjaväepolitsei, being part of the Northern Defense District until then. In March 2015, it moved to the Estonian Navy's Mine Harbor base.
- Colonel Oskar Raudvere (1919–1934)
- Lieutenant Colonel Jaan Junkur (1934–1939)
- Lieutenant Colonel Juhan Tuuling (1939–1940)
- Major Jaan Ilm (1992–1994)
- Lieutenant Colonel Manivald Kasepõld (1994–1995)
- Lieutenant Colonel Vahur Väljamäe (1995–1997)
- Lieutenant Sander Kesküla (1997–1998)
- Lieutenant Colonel Riho Terras (1998–2000)
- Captain Madis Uibopuu (2000–2002)
- Major Rene Brus (2002–2007)
- Major Rasmus Lippur (2007–2009)
- Major Toomas Väli (2009–2011)
- Lieutenant Colonel Kalle Teras (2011–2013)
- Lieutenant Colonel Kaido Sirman (2013–2015)
- Major Martin Kukk (2015–2018)
- Major Romet Kaevu (acting) (2018–2019)
- Lieutenant Colonel Margot Künnapuu (2019–present)
- 2 Military Police Companies
- Staff and Support Center
Almost 300 conscripts are serving in the battalion every year. It is the only one unit with conscripts in Military Police role in Estonian Defense Forces.
In 2015, the battalion was moved from its old base to the Naval base of the Estonian Navy. The old premises in suburbs of Tallinn was sold together with old barracks of Logistics Battalion. Since then, the Guard Battalion has been in excellent living conditions for conscripts in renovated historical barracks. However, the unit has a lack of training facilities because it is far away from shooting ranges and training grounds.
Conscripts of the Estonian Navy live in the same barracks.
- "Vahipataljoni uus ülem on kolonelleitnant Margot Künnapuu". mil.ee. 5 August 2019.
- "Vahipataljon". mil.ee.
- "Vahipataljon" [Guard battalion]. www.mil.ee. November 30, 2009.
- "Vahipataljoni põhimäärus – Riigi Teataja". Riigiteataja.ee. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- "Uudised – Kaitsevägi". Mil.ee (in Estonian). Retrieved 7 February 2019.