Latvian National Guard
|National Guard of the Republic of Latvia|
|Latvijas Republikas Zemessardze|
Emblem of the Latvian National Guard
|Founded||23 August 1991; 31 years ago (1991-08-23)|
|Part of||Latvian National Armed Forces|
|Garrison/HQ||Maiznīcas iela 5, Rīga, LV-1001|
|Brigadier general Egils Leščinskis|
The Latvian National Guard or NG (Latvian: Latvijas Republikas Zemessardze or ZS) is a part of the Latvian National Armed Forces. The National Guard 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 the Staff Headquarters and 4 brigades (formally - regions or novadi), which are divided into 18 battalions. The National Guard continued its development also after Latvia joined NATO.
The National Guard was established on August 23, 1991 by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia 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 Youth Guard (Latvian: Latvijas Republikas Jaunsardze, JS), was established in 1992. It is the largest youth movement in Latvia, bringing together young people from the age of 10 to 21.
An aviation component of the National Guard 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.
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 Latvian State Police regarding provision of public law and order, and continue the safeguarding of sites of national security importance.
(as of April 20, 2021:) National Guard (NG) Headquarters (Rīga)
- NG Cyber Defense Unit (Rīga)
- NG special task force
- NG Special PSYOPS Support Platoon (Valmiera)
- NG Veterans' Union (Rīga)
- Central Band of the National Guard (Rīga)
National Guard 1st Brigade (Rīga HQ):
- NG Student Infantry Battalion (Rīga)
- NG 13th Infantry Battalion (Rīga)
- NG 17th Combat Support Battalion (Mārupe)
- NG 19th Combat Service Support Battalion (Ulbroka)
- NG 53rd Infantry Battalion (Bauska)
- NG CBRN Defense Company (Rīga)
National Guard 2nd Brigade (Valmiera HQ):
- NG 22nd Combat Service Support Battalion (Valmiera)
- NG 25th Infantry Battalion (Gulbene)
- NG 27th Infantry Battalion (Cēsis)
- NG 31st Infantry Battalion (Alūksne)
- NG 54th Combat Support Battalion (Ogre)
National Guard 3rd Brigade (Rēzekne HQ):
- NG 32nd Infantry Battalion (Rēzekne)
- NG 34th Infantry Battalion (Daugavpils)
- NG 35th Infantry Battalion (Preiļi)
- NG 36th Combat Support Battalion (Lūznava)
- NG 55th Infantry Battalion (Aizkraukle)
- NG 56th Combat Service Support Battalion (Jēkabpils)
National Guard 4th Brigade (Liepāja HQ):
- NG 44th Infantry Battalion (Liepāja)
- NG 45th Combat Service Support Battalion (Kuldīga)
- NG 46th Infantry Battalion (Ventspils)
- NG 51st Infantry Battalion (Dobele)
- NG 52nd Combat Support Battalion (Jelgava)
|Glock pistol||Austria||Semi-automatic pistol||9×19mm Parabellum||Glock 17 variant.|
|SIG Sauer P210||Switzerland||Semi-automatic pistol||9×19mm Parabellum|||
|Carl Gustav m/45||Sweden||Submachine gun||9×19mm Parabellum|||
|Heckler & Koch MP5||Germany||MP5A3||9×19mm Parabellum|||
|Heckler & Koch G36||Germany||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm NATO||Main service rifle. Has mostly replaced the Ak4, first contract signed in February 2018.|
|Heckler & Koch G3||Sweden||Battle rifle||7.62×51mm NATO||Ak4 variant, donated from Sweden. Being replaced by G36. Used mostly as a reserve weapon.|
|M14 rifle||United States||Battle rifle||7.62×51mm NATO||Large number of rifles were donated by USA after restoration of independence. Modified M-14s used as sniper rifles.|
|SIG Sauer SSG 3000||Germany||Sniper rifle||7.62×51mm NATO|||
|RPK||Soviet Union||Light machine gun||7.62×39mm|||
|Heckler & Koch HK21||Germany||General-purpose machine gun||7.62×51mm NATO|||
|Rheinmetall MG3||Germany||General-purpose machine gun||7.62×51mm NATO|||
|FN MAG||Sweden||General-purpose machine gun||7.62×51mm NATO||Kulspruta 58 B variant.|
|M2 Browning||United States||Heavy machine gun||.50 BMG|||
|AT4||Sweden||Recoilless rifle||84 mm|||
|Carl Gustav||Sweden||Recoilless rifle||84 mm||M2 variant used by the National Guard.|
|Pvpj 1110||Sweden||Recoilless rifle||90 mm||130 units, some on motorized platforms.|
|100 mm vz. 53||Czechoslovakia||Field gun||100 mm||23 guns in inventory.|
|Bofors 40 mm gun||Sweden||Anti-aircraft autocannon||40 mm||24 guns in inventory. Used with CIG-790 fire control system.|
|L16 81mm mortar|| United Kingdom |
|Mortar||81 mm||28 mortars in inventory.|
|120-PM-43 mortar||Soviet Union||Mortar||120 mm||25 mortars in inventory. Received from Czechia in 1995.|
|Scania 3-series||Sweden||Truck||50||Model P93M. Purchased from Norway between 2014 and 2015.|
|Mercedes-Benz Unimog||Germany||Truck||Model 416.|
|Volvo C303||Sweden||Truck||Model Tgb 11, Tgb 13 and Tgb 211A.|
|Mercedes-Benz G-Class||Germany||SUV||Model 240GD and 290GD.|
|CUCV||United States||SUV||Model M1008.|
|Bv 206||Sweden||Amphibious tracked vehicle||Model Bv 206 and PvBv 2062.|
|Husky VMMD||United States||Route clearance vehicle||3||Three Husky 2G vehicles provided to the 54th Engineers Battalion by the US in 2019.|
|PTS||Soviet Union||Amphibious tracked transporter||In reserve in the 54th Engineers Battalion|
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.
- ^ "Par Zemessardzi". www.zs.mil.lv.
- ^ "Egils Leščinskis". zs.mil.lv.
- ^ Baltiņa, Sarmīte (2014). "Dawn of the Restored Latvian National Armed Forces". Eesti Sõjaajaloo Aastaraamat / Estonian Yearbook of Military History. 4: 62–79. ISSN 2228-0669.
- ^ "Par iestādi". Jaunsardzes un informācijas centrs (in Latvian). Retrieved 2019-06-06.
- ^ Pike, John. "Latvian National Guard - Zemessardze". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
- ^ "ZS vienības" (in Latvian). LR Zemessardze. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j Tupp, Enn (2018). "Zemessardze - KASP-i ja Kaitseliidu vääriline partner". Kaitse Kodu! (in Estonian). Kaitseliit. 1: 34. ISSN 1406-3387.
- ^ "AM sagatavojusi jaunus armijas ieroču standartus". www.tvnet.lv (in Latvian). LETA. 12 July 2018.
- ^ Latvijas Republikas Nacionālie Bruņotie Spēki. 1991 – 1994 – 2019 (PDF) (in Latvian). Rīga: Latvijas Republikas Aizsardzības ministrijas Nacionālo bruņoto spēku Apvienotais štābs. 2019. p. 85.
- ^ Jones, Bruce (6 February 2018). "Latvia orders infantry small arms". IHS Jane's 360. London. Archived from the original on 7 February 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
- ^ "Latvia's National Guard receives G36 rifles". www.shephardmeida.com. 31 May 2017.
- ^ Emerson, Lee. "M14 Rifle History and Development" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-02-22. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- ^ "POTD: Latvian National Guard with M14 Rifles". thefirearmblog.com. 16 September 2019.
- ^ a b c "Zemessargs vairs lupatas nelasa". diena.lv (in Latvian). 29 March 2019.
- ^ a b "ZEMESSARDZES 1. RĪGAS BRIGĀDE". zs.mil.lv (in Latvian).
- ^ a b c d e The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (14 February 2018). The Military Balance 2018. Routledge. p. 123. ISBN 978-1857439557.
- ^ "Latvijas valsts armija gadu griežos". la.lv (in Latvian). 9 November 2012.
- ^ "SIPRI Arms Transfers Database". sipri.org.
- ^ "National Guard loads up with anti-tank weapons, trucks". eng.lsm.lv. 20 March 2015.
- ^ a b c d e "Zemessardzes 3. Latgales Brigade" (PDF).
- ^ a b c d "Skrundas novadā atklās militārās tehnikas ekspozīciju" (in Latvian). 18 June 2019.
- ^ "Visurgājēju BandVagn apkalpju apmācība Jēkabpils apkaimē". sargs.lv (in Latvian). 12 May 2011.
- ^ "US provides Husky mine clearing equipment to Latvia". www.armyrecognition.com. 22 October 2019.
- ^ "Zemessardzes 54. inženiertehniskā bataljona amfībiju vadītāji aizvadījuši mācības Koknesē". Sargs.lv (in Latvian). Retrieved 2021-12-13.
- ^ "Michigan Guard and Latvia celebrate 25-year partnership". www.army.mil. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
- Latvian National Guard Official Website (in Latvian)