Military of Latvia

From Academic Kids

The Latvian National Armed Forces (Latvian: Nacionalie Brunotie Speki) consist of 5910 personnel in uniform.

Latvian National Armed Forces
Military manpower
Military age19 years of age
Availabilitymales age 15-49: 594,596 (2004 est.)
Fit for military servicemales age 15-49: 466,659 (2004 est.)
Reaching military age annuallymales: 19,209 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures
Dollar figure$87 million (FY01)
Percent of GDP1.2% (FY99)

Latvia's defense concept is based upon the Swedish-Finnish model of a rapid response force composed of a mobilization base and a small group of career professionals. The armed forces consists of mobile riflemen, an air force, and a navy. The army, navy, and air force comprise 5,864 personnel. The "zemessardze," or home guard, is an autonomous 13,890 man-strong volunteer paramilitary organization which also performs traditional national guard duties. There is a mandatory one-year draft period of active duty, and alternative conscription for conscientious objectors is available. Latvia is switching to a professional army - it has announced that the last draft will take place in 2005, with the last drafted soldiers leaving mandatory service in autumn 2006. From January 1st, 2007, the Latvian army will be fully professional. Defense spending has risen in recent years, and in 2000 comprised 1.5% of budget spending.

Latvia cooperates with Estonia and Lithuania in the joint infantry battalion BALTBAT and naval squadron BALTRON which are available for peacekeeping operations.

As of March 29, 2004, Latvia officially joined NATO.

Contents

Organisation

  • Latvian Army
    • National Guard (Zemessardze)
  • Latvian Navy
  • Latvian Air Force
  • Border Guards

Latvian Army

The Army has 2134 personnel including 305 civilians. The regular component of the Army consists of the LATBAT light infantry battalion and training centers. The reserve component consists of the National Guard and is made up of 32 light infantry battalions.

Equipment:

Latvian Navy

The Navy has 797 personnel and consists of a combat ship flotilla in Liepaja and a coast guard flotilla in Riga.

Latvian Air Force

The Air Force has 247 personnel and operates three Mi-2s and two Mi-8s.

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