Latvian Land Forces

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Latvian Land Forces
Sauszemes spēki
Latvian Land Forces logo.png
Latvian Land Forces emblem
Active 1918 - 1940
1991 - present
Country  Latvia
Role Land force
Size ~6,500 professionals, 8,000 National Guard and 3,000 reserve personnel [Military of LVA]
Part of Latvian Armed Forces
Motto(s) Vienotībā spēks (Power in unity)[1]
Anniversaries April 30, Land Forces Day
May 4, Independence Restoration and Armed Forces Day
Engagements

War of Independence
Iraqi war (2003)
Afghanistan War (2001)

Commanders
Commander Colonel Ilmārs Atis Lejiņš[2]

The Latvian Land Forces (Latvian: Sauszemes Spēki, SzS) together with the Latvian National Guard form the land warfare branch of the National Armed Forces. Since 2007, land forces are organized as a fully professional standing army.

Mission[edit]

The main missions of the national Land Forces are to:

  • Provide for the defense of all national territories;
  • Ensure combat readiness and the mobilization of units;
  • Exterminate explosives;
  • Provide public assistance.

Structure[edit]

Latvian military units and bases [3]
Note: "Special Tasks Unit" is a special forces unit of battalion size.
Structure of the Latvian Armed Forces 2017


Land Forces Infantry Brigade

  • Headquarters
  • HQ and Signal Company
  • NBS 1. Kājnieku bataljons emblem.svg 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion
    • Staff and Signal Company
    • 1st Mechanized Infantry Company
    • 2nd Infantry Company
    • 3rd Mechanized Infantry Company
    • 4th Mechanized Infantry Company
    • Combat Service Support Company
  • NBS 2. Kājnieku bataljons emblem.svg 2nd Infantry Battalion
    • Staff and Signal Company
    • 1st Infantry Company
    • 2nd Infantry Company
    • 3rd Infantry Company
  • Emblema Combat Support Battalion
    • Staff and Signal Company
    • Anti-tank Company
    • Fire Support Company
    • Engineer Company
    • Military Intelligence Company
    • Forward Air Control Team
  • Combat Service Support Battalion
    • Supply and Transport Company
    • Medical Company

Cooperation[edit]

Latvian, US, and Afghan soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan.

Since 1996 till today the National Armed Forces' soldiers have been deployed on nine international peace-keeping missions in Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia, Central African Republic, Georgia, Iraq, Kosovo, Macedonia and Somalia.[4]

Starting from January 1, 2015 Latvian Armed Forces are taking part in EU's Nordic Battle Group.[5][6]

On March 29, 2004, Latvia became a fully fledged member of the NATO.[7]

Equipment[edit]

Artillery[edit]

Air defence[edit]

Latvian soldiers with a RBS 70.

Anti-tank weapons and grenade launchers[edit]

A Latvian soldier demonstrates the Heckler & Koch G36 rifle

Assault rifles and machine guns[edit]

Pistols, shotguns and sniper rifles[edit]

Military vehicles[edit]

Name Image Origin Type Variants Quantity Notes
Armored reconnaissance vehicles
CVR(T) Latvian Army CVR'T in Allied Spirit VI  United Kingdom Armored reconnaissance vehicle
Scimitar
Sultan
Spartan
Samson
Samaritan
123[8] All vehicles will be upgraded and overhauled. Some of them will be equipped with SPIKE anti-tank guided missiles.[9]
Self-propelled artillery
M109A5Ö Latvian soldiers training on Austrian M109A5O.jpg  United States Self-propelled artillery
M109A5Ö
47 [10] Mobile artillery system’s M109A5Ö A-type howitzer, which is a modernized version of A2 and A3 howitzer with 39-calibre M185 barrel. Their range is 22 km with conventional munitions and 30 km with improved conventional munitions. First delivery autumn 2017 [11]
Armoured cars
HMMWV Ministru prezidents Valdis Dombrovskis vēro Nacionālo bruņoto spēku vienību militāro parādi 11.novembra krastmalā (6357918105).jpg  United States Armoured car 60 Some equipped with HK GMG, M2 Browning and SPIKE ATGM
Mercedes-Benz G-Class Latvian Soldiers, Trident Juncture 15 (22558849382).jpg  Germany Armoured car 50 [12]
Snatch Land Rover Large 2efa.jpg  United Kingdom Armoured car 9 [13]
Trucks
Mercedes-Benz 1017 Uroczystość przekazania WP pierwszej partii niemieckich czołgów Leopard 2 A6.jpg  Germany Truck
Mercedes-Benz Unimog 416 Latvian Army Unimog.jpg  Germany Truck
Scania Scania 93M Norwegian military.jpg  Sweden Truck
P93
NM154
192[14]
Light vehicles
Mercedes-Benz G-Class Latvian Army Mercedes Light G-Class.jpg  Germany SUV
240GD
300GDN
Volvo C class Latvian Army Volvo C303.jpg  Sweden SUV
C303
C304
C306
Land Rover Defender Latvian Land Rover Defender.JPG  United Kingdom SUV
Special vehicles
Bv 206 141002-Z-WX809-658 (15281520727).jpg  Sweden Amphibious tracked vehicle
Bv 206A
Bv 206F
~180

Rank structure[15][edit]

The rank structure of the Latvian army is adjusted to the rank structure of the NATO countries in Europe. Rank insignia are worn historically on the collars and today also on shoulder marks. Starting 2016, only the Staff Battalion wears the collar insignia.

Officers of the Latvian Army
Generals Officers
Rank insignia LV-Army-OF8.png LV-Army-OF7.png LV-Army-OF6.png LV-Army-OF5.png LV-Army-OF4.png LV-Army-OF3.png LV-Army-OF2.png LV-Army-OF1a.png LV-Army-OF1b.png
Rank Lieutenant General
Ģenerālleitnants
Major General
Ģenerālmajors
Brigadier General
Brigādes Ģenerālis
Colonel
Pulkvedis
Lieutenant Colonel
Pulkvežleitnants
Major
Majors
Captain
Kapteinis
First Lieutenant
Virsleitnants
Second Lieutenant
Leitnants
NATO Rank Grade OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Non-Commissioned Officers of the Latvian army
Sergeants Privates
Rank insignia LV-Army-OR9.png LV-Army-OR8.png LV-Army-OR7.png LV-Army-OR6.png LV-Army-OR5.png LV-Army-OR4.png LV-Army-OR3.png LV-Army-OR1.png
Rank Senior Warrant Officer
Augstākais virsseržants
Warrant Officer
Galvenais virsseržants
Senior Sergeant
Štāba virsseržants
Sergeant First Class
Virsseržants
Sergeant
Seržants
Corporal
Kaprālis
Private First Class
Dižkareivis
Private
Kareivis
NATO Rank Grade OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Simbolika". Nacionālie bruņotie spēki. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Nacionālie bruņotie spēki". Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Jane's World Armies Issue 23 - 2008
  4. ^ "Nacionālie bruņotie spēki". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.forsvarsmakten.se/en/about/our-mission-in-sweden-and-abroad/international-activities-and-operations/nordic-battle-group
  6. ^ http://www.forsvarsmakten.se/siteassets/english/nbg15---eng/14mar_-fcdr_master-f.pdf#page=13
  7. ^ "Member countries". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Latvian army purchases UK armoured combat vehicles". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Latvia to continue purchases of Spike anti-tank missiles". Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Latvia to procure nearly fifty used howitzers; first ones to be supplied in autumn". Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  11. ^ "Latvia to procure nearly fifty used howitzers; first ones to be supplied in autumn". Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  12. ^ "Latvia to buy anti-tank weapons, armoured vehicles from Norway". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Latvian soldiers leave for the operation in Central African Republic". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Bruņotie spēki saņem Norvēģijā pirktās automašīnas un ieročus" (in Latvian). Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Latvia Latvian Army ranks military combat field uniforms dress grades uniformes combat armee lettone - Army Recognition - Army Recognition". Retrieved 24 December 2014.