Tajikistan - National Guard
The CIA World Factbook reports the Tajik military (as of 2010) consisted of Ground Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Mobile Forces. Tajik sources report the armed forces consist of Land Forces, Mobile Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Presidential National Guard, and Security Forces (internal and border troops).
The National Guard is an independent unit of special task, directly under orders of the President – the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan, fulfills particularly important state missions.The National Guard of the Republic of Tajikistan is one of the pillars of the National Army and this prestigious structure is a result of independence as well. Establishment and strengthening of the National Guard by the support of the President – the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan – is inseparably connected with the period of strengthening the state independence of Tajikistan.
After the historical 16th Session of the Supreme Council of Tajikistan in the ancient city of Khujand one of the first initiatives of the Head of State was the Decree on establishment of the Military Unit No. 3571 within the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Tajikistan signed on 4 December 1992. In accordance with the Decision of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Tajikistan dated 10 April 1993 the Battalion of Special Task Force (Military Unit No. 3571) of the Department of Internal Forces of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Tajikistan was transformed into the Brigade of Special Mission.
The Brigade of Special Mission from the first days of its functioning went through a serious test and earned the trust of the Head of State and the people of the country. This was the reason why the President of Tajikistan by his Decree dated 17 January of 1995 transferred the Brigade of Special Mission into the Presidential Guard. After two years, four additional military units of the Presidential Guard have been established in Chkalovsk town of Sughd region, Kalinin of Dushanbe city and Obigarm settlement of Roghun city. The officers and soldiers of the Presidential Guard like the personnel of other military structures had a difficult duty of ensuring public order and security in Tajikistan.
It is worth mentioning, that military personnel of the Guard fulfilled this difficult task and today they are honestly serving the country. During the first years of independence of the Republic of Tajikistan the officers and soldiers of the Guard together with personnel of other military structures participated in ensuring rule of law and public order, establishment of the constitution, security and safety, strengthening state independence of Tajikistan, and dozens of them sacrificed their lives while performing their duties.
By the end of Tajikistan’s first civil war in late 1996, Col. Khudoiberdiyev’s First Brigade of the Presidential Guard was one of the most effective combat units in the Tajik army due in part to its illegal activities. Dissatisfied with their compensation, the First Brigade picked a fight with Tajik 11th Brigade for control of the central market in Qurghonteppa. Although the 11th Brigade was whipped in a short street-to-street fight, Khudoiberdiyev’s newly named Rapid Reaction Force was not satisfied. They rebelled in January-February 1996, moving on the capital Dushanbe. Another unit of the Presidential Guard was up to the fight. Backed by street thugs armed by the government with AK-47s during a rally at the soccer stadium, the Presidential Guard sent Khudoiberidyev and his irregulars fleeing into Uzbekistan. The Uzbeks share a loose kinship with the Lakais, and thus, Khudoiberdiyev has used Uzbek territory to launch operations. Tactically, the First Brigade demonstrated greater combat capabilities than most private armies — yet, even it was defeated by a rag-tag Tajik army.
By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan dated 26 January 2004, the Presidential Guard was transformed into the National Guard. Furthermore, basic tasks and principles of activity, logo and identity symbol, as well as issues of financial and technical provision of the National Guard were determined and new organizational and staff system of the Guard and its military units were approved.
The Decree of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan on the National Guard dated 26 January 2004 and ratification of the Charter of the National Guard has determined the state status of the Guard as an independent military unit directly under the orders of the President and as a symbol of Tajikistan’s independence. From that day, a new phase of professional activity of the personnel of the National Guard started.
On 18 November 2006 a new page in the history of independent Tajikistan was opened. At the inauguration ceremony of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan that for the first time was conducted with observance of all legal and historical norms, the honorary task of carrying state symbols of Tajikistan was entrusted to the National Guard. This great honor was fulfilled with glory by the command staff and soldiers of the National Guard.
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