Latvian National Guard
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|Latvian National Guard|
Latvian National Guard emblem
The National Guard (Latvian: Zemessardze (ZS)) is a part of National Armed Forces. NG is a basic land component, consisting of volunteers who perform traditional national guard duties such as crisis response and support for military operations. It consists of 3 regions of National Guard. The National Guard continues development also after Latvia has joined the NATO.
The National Guard was established in August 1991 as a voluntary public military self-defense organization. Its roots can be traced to the pre-World War II Aizsargi organization. It is the largest NAF structure in terms of numbers. The National Guard has always played an essential role in the national defense system by allowing the public to be involved in national defense. A number of National Guard battalions have been transformed into high-readiness reserve forces, which can be deployed immediately on international military operations.
The youth organization of the National Guard, the Jaunsardze (Youth Guards), was established in 1992. It is the largest youth movement in Latvia, bringing together young people from the age of 12 to 18.
The main task of the National Guard is to support the regular Land Force units by defending the national territory during military threat and to perform NAF combat support and combat logistics functions. At the same time, the National Guard will continue providing assistance to the public regarding crisis control, as well as to the State Police regarding provision of public law and order, and continue the safeguarding of sites of national security importance.
The main mission of the National Guard is to:
- Ensure the combat and mobilization readiness of its own units;
- Provide legal and military training for National Guard soldiers;
- Provide national juridical order.
National Guard (NG) Headquarters
National Guard Region (NGR) 1:
- NG Infantry Battalion 44
- NG Infantry Battalion 45
- NG Infantry Battalion 46
- NG Infantry Battalion 51
- NG Infantry Battalion 52
National Guard Region (NGR) 2:
- NG Logistic Battalion 35
- NG Infantry Battalion 31
- NG Infantry Battalion 32
- NG Infantry Battalion 55
- NG Infantry Battalion 56
- NG Artillery Battalion 34
- NG WMD Defense Battalion 31
National Guard Region (NGR) 3:
- NG Logistic Battalion 19
- NG Infantry Battalion 22
- NG Infantry Battalion 27
- NG Student Battalion
- NG Engineer Battalion 54
- NG Air Defense Battalion 17
Armament: 100 mm K 53 cannons, 90 mm M 1110 antitank guns; 120 mm, 82 mm, 71 mm mortars; 40 mm L70 antiaircraft guns;Carl Gustav 84 mm launcher; heavy machine gun M2HB Browning ".50 cal";Hecate II large-caliber sniper rifles; FN MAG machine guns (KSP 58 b); AK-4 and Heckler & Koch G36 KV assault rifles; Carl Gustav M45 submachine gun (Kulsprutepistol m/45).
The National Guard has established close co-operation with similar organizations abroad – the US Michigan Army National Guard, the Australian Army Reserve, the UK Territorial Army, and the Home Guard Organizations of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania and Estonia.
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