The French presidency announced a plan to form a national guard, in the wake of the terror attacks. “The President of the Republic [Francois Hollande] decided to establish the National Guard from the existing operating reserves,” the statement reads. Hollande said the government will “as soon as possible begin the establishment of this structure, which would serve to protect the French people.”
Hollande said he hoped the guard, made up of volunteers from the police, paramilitary police, and military would be operational by early autumn.
The announcement came after France suffered two attacks in less than a fortnight this month — in a bloody series that began with the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo killings — and the government has come under fierce criticism for alleged security lapses.
Calls arose for the National Guard following the November 13 jihadist massacre in Paris that claimed 130 lives.
The government urged all able-bodied volunteers to come forward with the goal of boosting the current 28,000 reservists by 12,000.
About 2,500 have already answered the call, according to the Interior Ministry.
In January he called for the number of army reserves to be boosted from the current 28,000 to 40,000 by 2019.
France has not had a national guard since 1872.
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Featured Image – French Soldiers await the arrival of the U.S. Army Chief of Staff to partake in an honor cordon ceremony hosted by French army Chief of Staff Gen. Bertrand Ract-Madoux during his visit to France to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and French army in Paris – DVIDS