Latvian National Guard

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Latvian National Guard
Latvian National Guard emblem.svg
Latvian National Guard emblem
Active 1991
Country Latvia
Type Light Infantry
Size 11,000

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.

History[edit]

National Guard troops firing artillery

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.

An aviation component was introduced in 1993, with a fleet of ex-Soviet DOSAAF light aircraft and gliders. In 2000 the aviation component became part of the Air Force.

Mission[edit]

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 soldiers parade in Riga (2011)

Structure[edit]

National Guard soldier

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

Equipment[edit]

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).

Transport:Mercedes-Benz G-Class jeep(MB240GD); HMMWV; Volvo C303 4x4, C304 6x6, and C306 6x6; Unimog 406; Mercedes-Benz 1017; VOLVO 934; VOLVO VIKING 939 (4x4); Bandvagn 206(Bv 206).

Military vehicles[edit]

Name Image Origin Type Variants Quantity Notes
Trucks
Mercedes-Benz MB 1017.jpg  Germany Truck
MB1017
Unimog Unimog 404-serial number 4.jpg  Germany Truck
MB406
VOLVO Volvo TL31 Truck.jpg  Sweden Truck
VOLVO934
VOLVO Volvo L 485.jpg  Sweden Truck
VOLVO Viking 939
Light vehicles
Mercedes-Benz Puch G Bundesheer.jpg  Germany SUV
MB G-Class 240GD
HMMWV Slohmmwv.jpg  United States SUV
Jeep Jeep Rubicon Green.JPG  United States SUV
VOLVO Volvo C303 front q.jpg  Sweden SUV4x4
C303
VOLVO 13bil.jpg  Sweden SUV6x6
C304
VOLVO Tgb20.jpg  Sweden SUV6x6
C306
Special vehicles
Bv 206 Hagglunds Bv206 25th US Marines 2.jpg  Sweden Amphibious tracked vehicle
Bv 206A
Bv 206F

Weapons[edit]

Name Image Origin Type Variants Quantity Notes
Artillery
K53 BS-3-batey-haosef-1.jpg  Soviet Union Field gun
100mm caliber
Heavy mortars
2B11 120 mm mortar 2B11.jpg  Soviet Union Mortar
120 mm caliber
Anti-tank weapons
Pvpj 1110 LT PV1110.jpg  Sweden Recoilless rifle
90 mm caliber
Carl Gustav recoilless rifle Carl Gustav recoilless rifle.jpg  Sweden
84 mm caliber
Air defence weapons
Bofors 40mm gun ChathamAmherst6525.JPG  Sweden
Bofors 40mm L/70
submachine guns
Carl Gustav Carl Gustav M45-b.jpg  Sweden
M45
Assault rifles
Heckler & Koch G36 G36 Select-Fire Carbine.JPEG  Germany
Heckler & Koch G36K
Heckler & Koch G3 Gun safety.jpg  Germany
AK4
Machine guns
FN Ksp58.jpg  Belgium
FN MAG
M2 Browning Musee-de-lArmee-IMG 1044.jpg  United States
M2
Sniper rifles
Hecate PGM Hecate.jpg  France
Hecate2

Cooperation[edit]

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.

References[edit]