The National Headquarters is at the top of the institution's Chain of Command and it is responsible for directing, coordinating and supervising all activities which are, in turn, split internally among the Training, Territorial, Mobile, Special and Military Police branches.
The Training branch provides basic military education and the continuing update and specialisation process which accompany the entire professional life of Carabinieri personnel.
The Territorial branch is the backbone of the Carabinieri Corps and employs more than 80% of all personnel. It consists of 102 Comandi provinciali, 13 Gruppi, 4 Reparti territoriali / 537 Compagnie, 55 Tenenze and 4,619 Stazioni operating in 4,080 cities and towns and extending their jurisdiction to cover all of Italy's 8,094 municipalities. They provide all services of public safety, and can thus be considered the key component of the country's security network.
Such well-structured and flexible territorial organisation responds to the following commanding bodies: the 19 Comandi Legione, which provide logistic support, deploy personnel to balance the strength of the various units to suit local needs and coordinate interprovincial operations; the 5 Comandi Interregionali, top coordination and control structures, are responsible for ensuring consistent standards in policing at the national level and for conducting logistic planning.
In addition to crime prevention and countering activities, the Carabinieri must also ensure public order, to which end the Corps allocates significant resources, thus contributing to guaranteeing safety at a wide variety of events.
The Institution's action in this area is strengthened by 9 Battalions and 2 Regiments (including a horse-mounted unit), integrated into the 1st Brigata Mobile, which also supply reinforcement units for territorial control operations. Two additional Regiments (the 7th “Trentino Alto Adige” and the 13th “Friuli Venezia Giulia”) of the 2nd Brigata Mobile are primarily engaged in peacekeeping missions. The 2nd Brigata Mobile also includes the Gruppo di Intervento Speciale (G.I.S.) - this unit is dedicated to high-risk activities against terrorist or criminal threats and provides the Carabinieri's own contribution to the armed forces in the field of Special Operations - and the 1st “Tuscania” Paratrooper Regiment, geared for deployment in operations theatres abroad or in critical situations at home for the purpose of enhancing services of public order and security.
The operational capacity of the territorial units is enhanced by the special skills of the Raggruppamento Operativo Speciale (R.O.S.), the Raggruppamento Carabinieri Investigazioni Scientifiche (Ra.C.I.S.), the Raggruppamento Aeromobili, the Comandi Carabinieri serving: Ministero Affari Esteri; Banca d'Italia (whose duties include escorting currency transport vehicles and guarding the Bank buildings); Politiche Agricole e Alimentari; Antifalsificazione Monetaria and other Carabinieri Commands dedicated to protecting the key collective interests of society in matters concerning the quality of life, notably health, the environment, cultural heritage and labour.
Lastly, additional special departments with specific tasks are located at various public organisations and bodies. Among them are the Reggimento Corazzieri, the Carabinieri Department serving the Presidenza della Repubblica, the Senato, the Camera dei Deputati, the Corte Costituzionale, the Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, the Corte dei Conti, the Consiglio Nazionale dell'Economia e del Lavoro, as well as Carabinieri Commands operating within the three Armed Forces, the Stato Maggiore della Difesa and NATO primarily with military police and security duties.