Zemessardze
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Zemessardze
National Guard of the Republic of Latvia
Latvijas Republikas Zemessardze
Latvian National Guard emblem.svg
Latvian National Guard emblem
FoundedAugust 23, 1991; 28 years ago (1991-08-23)
Country Latvia
TypeLight Infantry volunteer force
Size8,280 personnel[1]
Part ofLatvian National Armed Forces
Garrison/HQMaizn?cas iela 5, R?ga, LV-1001
AnniversariesAugust 23, 1991
Websitehttps://www.zs.mil.lv
Commanders
Current
commander
Brigadier general Egils Leinskis[2]

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.

History

National Guard troops firing artillery

The National Guard was established in August 23, 1991 by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia as a voluntary public military self-defense organization.[3] 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.[4]

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.

Mission

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.[5]

Structure

Members of the Latvian Zemessardze 45th Logistics Battalion remove a volunteer patient from a military ambulance in a field at Kuld?ga Hospital during a training exercise
Soldiers from the Latvian National Guard having a conversation with an American soldier from the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade during a training exercise on August 21, 2017

(as of December 22, 2018:)[6]

National Guard (NG) Headquarters (R?ga)

  • NG Cyber Defense Unit (R?ga)
  • NG special task force
  • NG Special PSYOPS Support Platoon (Valmiera)
  • NG Veterans' Union (R?ga)
  • Central Band of the National Guard (R?ga)

National Guard 1st Brigade (R?ga HQ):

  • NG Student Infantry Battalion (R?ga)
  • NG 13th Infantry Battalion (R?ga)
  • NG 17th Combat Support Battalion (M?rupe)
  • NG 19th Combat Service Support Battalion (Stopi?i)
  • NG 53rd Infantry Battalion (Iecava)
  • NG CBRN Defense Company (R?ga)

National Guard 2nd Brigade (Valmiera HQ):

  • NG 22nd Infantry Battalion (Valmiera)
  • NG 25th Infantry Battalion (Gulbene)
  • NG 27th Infantry Battalion (C?sis)
  • NG 31st Infantry Battalion (Al?ksne)
  • NG 54th Engineer Battalion (Ogre)

National Guard 3rd Brigade (R?zekne HQ):

  • NG 32nd Infantry Battalion (R?zekne)
  • NG 34th Infantry Battalion (Daugavpils)
  • NG 35th Infantry Battalion (Prei?i)
  • NG 36th Combat Support Battalion (R?zekne)
  • NG 55th Infantry Battalion (Aizkraukle)
  • NG 56th Combat Service Support Battalion (J?kabpils)

National Guard 4th Brigade (Liep?ja HQ):

  • NG 44th Infantry Battalion (Liep?ja)
  • NG 45th Combat Service Support Battalion (Kuld?ga)
  • NG 46th Infantry Battalion (Ventspils)
  • NG 51st Infantry Battalion (Dobele)
  • NG 52nd Combat Support Battalion (Jelgava)

Equipment

Weapons

Model Image Origin Type Caliber Notes
Pistols
Glock pistol GLOCK 17 Gen 4 Pistol MOD 45160305.jpg  Austria Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum Glock 17 variant.[7]
SIG Sauer P210 SIG 210-2 (6825677804).jpg   Switzerland Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum [7]
Submachine guns
Carl Gustav m/45 Kulsprutepistol m 45B The Swedish Navy Museum 001.jpg  Sweden Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum [7]
Rifles
Heckler & Koch G36 Latvian G36KV.JPG  Germany Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO Expected to replace the Ak 4 in the future, contract signed in February 2018.[8]
Heckler & Koch G3 AK4OR.jpg  Sweden Battle rifle 7.62×51mm NATO Ak4 variant used by National Guard.[7] Being replaced by G36.[9]
M14 rifle M14 Stand-off Munitions Disruptor (SMUD) (7414626342).jpg  United States Battle rifle 7.62×51mm NATO Large number of rifles were donated by USA after restoration of independence.[10] Modified M-14s used as sniper rifles.[11][12]
SIG Sauer SSG 3000 SIG Sauer SSG 3000.jpg  Germany Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm NATO [12]
Machine guns
RPK RPK Machine Gun 7.62 x 39.jpg  Soviet Union Light machine gun 7.62×39mm [13]
Heckler & Koch HK21 HK 21 LMG RIGHT SIDE.jpg  Germany General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO [7]
Rheinmetall MG3 BundeswehrMG3 noBG.png  Germany General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO [7]
FN MAG Kulspruta 58 001.jpg  Sweden General-purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO Kulspruta 58 B variant.[7]
M2 Browning M2 Browning, Musée de l'Armée.jpg  United States Heavy machine gun .50 BMG [12]
Anti-tank weapons
AT4 AT-4Launcher.jpeg  Sweden Recoilless rifle 84 mm [13]
Carl Gustav Carl Gustav M3 Kokonaisturvallisuus 2015 noBG.jpg  Sweden Recoilless rifle 84 mm M2 variant used by the National Guard.[7]
Pvpj 1110 LT PV1110.jpg  Sweden Recoilless rifle 90 mm 130 units, some on motorized platforms.[7][14]
100 mm vz. 53 Latvian Independence Day military parade 054 (26169130374).jpg  Czechoslovakia Field gun 100 mm 23 guns in inventory. [14]
Anti-aircraft weapons
Bofors 40 mm gun Latvian Independence Day military parade 053 (26749554896).jpg  Sweden Anti-aircraft autocannon 40 mm 24 guns in inventory.[7][14]
Mortars
L16 81mm mortar 81mmMORT L16.png  United Kingdom
 Norway
Mortar 81 mm 28 mortars in inventory.[14]
120-PM-43 mortar 120 mm regimental mortar M1943.jpg  Soviet Union Mortar 120 mm 25 mortars in inventory.[14] Received from Czechia in 1995.[15]

Military vehicles

Model Image Origin Type Quantity Notes
Trucks
Scania 3-series Scania 93M Norwegian military.jpg  Sweden Truck 50 Model P93M. Purchased from Norway between 2014-2015.[16][17]
Mercedes-Benz Unimog Latvian Army Unimog.jpg  Germany Truck Model 416.[17][18]
Light vehicles
Volvo C303 Latvian Army Volvo C303.jpg  Sweden SUV Model Tgb 11 and Tgb 211A.[18]
Mercedes-Benz G-Class Latvian Independence Day military parade 366 (26774630085).jpg  Germany SUV Model 240GD and 290GD.[17]
Volkswagen Iltis Latvian Independence Day military parade 374 (26707406971).jpg  Germany SUV [18]
CUCV Latvian Independence Day military parade 371 (26774591885).jpg  United States SUV Model M1008.[17][18]
Special vehicles
Bv 206 Latvian Independence Day military parade 412 (26749484086).jpg  Sweden Amphibious tracked vehicle Model Bv 206 and PvBv 2062.[17][19]
Husky VMMD Bombs Away, EOD Disposes of Explosive Threats 141213-M-TA826-206.jpg  United States Route clearance vehicle 3 Three Husky 2G vehicles provided to the 54th Engineers Battalion by the US in 2019.[20]

Cooperation

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.[21]

References

  1. ^ "Par Zemessardzi". www.zs.mil.lv.
  2. ^ "Egils Leinskis". zs.mil.lv.
  3. ^ Balti?a, Sarm?te (2014). "Dawn of the Restored Latvian National Armed Forces". Eesti Sõjaajaloo Aastaraamat / Estonian Yearbook of Military History. 4 (0): 62-79. ISSN 2228-0669.
  4. ^ "Par iest?di". Jaunsardzes un inform?cijas centrs (in Latvian). Retrieved .
  5. ^ Pike, John. "Latvian National Guard - Zemessardze". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "ZS vien?bas" (in Latvian). LR Zemessardze. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Jones, Bruce (6 February 2018). "Latvia orders infantry small arms". IHS Jane's 360. London. Archived from the original on 7 February 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "Latvia's National Guard receives G36 rifles". www.shephardmeida.com. 31 May 2017.
  10. ^ Emerson, Lee. "M14 Rifle History and Development" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-02-22. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "POTD: Latvian National Guard with M14 Rifles". thefirearmblog.com. 16 September 2019.
  12. ^ a b c "Zemessargs vairs lupatas nelasa". diena.lv (in Latvian). 29 March 2019.
  13. ^ a b "ZEMESSARDZES 1. R?GAS BRIG?DE". zs.mil.lv (in Latvian).
  14. ^ a b c d e The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The Military Balance 2018. Routledge. p. 123. ISBN 978-1857439557.
  15. ^ "SIPRI Arms Transfers Database". sipri.org.
  16. ^ "National Guard loads up with anti-tank weapons, trucks". eng.lsm.lv. 20 March 2015.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Zemessardzes 3. Latgales Brigade" (PDF).
  18. ^ a b c d "Skrundas novad? atkl?s milit?r?s tehnikas ekspoz?ciju" (in Latvian). 18 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Visurg?j?ju BandVagn apkalpju apm?c?ba J?kabpils apkaim?". sargs.lv (in Latvian). 12 May 2011.
  20. ^ "US provides Husky mine clearing equipment to Latvia". www.armyrecognition.com. 22 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Michigan Guard and Latvia celebrate 25-year partnership". www.army.mil. Retrieved .

External links


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