Latvian National Guard

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National Guard of the Republic of Latvia
Latvijas Republikas Zemessardze
Latvian National Guard emblem.svg
Emblem of the Latvian National Guard
Founded23 August 1991; 31 years ago (1991-08-23)
Country Latvia 22
Size8,800 personnel[1]
Part ofLatvian National Armed Forces
Garrison/HQMaiznīcas iela 5, Rīga, LV-1001
Anniversaries23 August
Brigadier general Egils Leščinskis[2]
RoundelRoundel of Latvia - National Guard.svg
Military unit

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.


National Guard troops firing artillery

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.[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.


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]


A soldier from the Latvian National Guard's 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Battalion aims at targets during tactical training at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Mich., during Northern Strike 19.

(as of April 20, 2021:)[6] National Guard (NG) Headquarters (Rīga)

National Guard 1st Brigade (Rīga HQ):

National Guard 2nd Brigade (Valmiera HQ):

National Guard 3rd Brigade (Rēzekne HQ):

National Guard 4th Brigade (Liepāja HQ):



Model Image Origin Type Caliber Notes
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]
Heckler & Koch MP5 Heckler & Koch MP5-1.jpg  Germany MP5A3 9×19mm Parabellum [8][9]
Heckler & Koch G36 Latvian G36KV.JPG  Germany Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO Main service rifle. Has mostly replaced the Ak4, first contract signed in February 2018.[10]
Heckler & Koch G3 AK4OR.jpg  Sweden Battle rifle 7.62×51mm NATO Ak4 variant, donated from Sweden.[7] Being replaced by G36.[11] Used mostly as a reserve weapon.
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.[12] Modified M-14s used as sniper rifles.[13][14]
SIG Sauer SSG 3000 SIG Sauer SSG 3000.jpg  Germany Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm NATO [14]
Machine guns
RPK RPK Machine Gun 7.62 x 39.jpg  Soviet Union Light machine gun 7.62×39mm [15]
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 [14]
Anti-tank weapons
AT4  Sweden Recoilless rifle 84 mm [15]
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][16]
100 mm vz. 53 Latvian Independence Day military parade 054 (26169130374).jpg  Czechoslovakia Field gun 100 mm 23 guns in inventory.[16]
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][16] Used with CIG-790 fire control system.[17]
L16 81mm mortar 81mmMORT L16.png  United Kingdom
Mortar 81 mm 28 mortars in inventory.[16]
120-PM-43 mortar 120 mm regimental mortar M1943.jpg  Soviet Union Mortar 120 mm 25 mortars in inventory.[16] Received from Czechia in 1995.[18]

Military vehicles

Model Image Origin Type Quantity Notes
Scania 3-series Scania 93M Norwegian military.jpg  Sweden Truck 50 Model P93M. Purchased from Norway between 2014 and 2015.[19][20]
Mercedes-Benz Unimog Latvian Army Unimog.jpg  Germany Truck Model 416.[20][21]
Volvo C303 Latvian Army Volvo C303.jpg  Sweden Truck Model Tgb 11, Tgb 13 and Tgb 211A.[21]
Light vehicles
Mercedes-Benz G-Class Latvian Independence Day military parade 366 (26774630085).jpg  Germany SUV Model 240GD and 290GD.[20]
Volkswagen Iltis Latvian Independence Day military parade 374 (26707406971).jpg  Germany SUV [21]
CUCV Latvian Independence Day military parade 371 (26774591885).jpg  United States SUV Model M1008.[20][21]
Special vehicles
Bv 206 Latvian Independence Day military parade 412 (26749484086).jpg  Sweden Amphibious tracked vehicle Model Bv 206 and PvBv 2062.[20][22]
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.[23]
PTS PTS-M VS4.JPG  Soviet Union Amphibious tracked transporter In reserve in the 54th Engineers Battalion[24]


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.[25]


  1. ^ "Par Zemessardzi".
  2. ^ "Egils Leščinskis".
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Par iestādi". Jaunsardzes un informācijas centrs (in Latvian). Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  5. ^ Pike, John. "Latvian National Guard - Zemessardze". Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  6. ^ "ZS vienības" (in Latvian). LR Zemessardze. Retrieved December 22, 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. ^ "AM sagatavojusi jaunus armijas ieroču standartus". (in Latvian). LETA. 12 July 2018.
  9. ^ Latvijas Republikas Nacionālie Bruņotie Spēki. 1991 – 1994 – 2019 (PDF) (in Latvian). Rīga: Latvijas Republikas Aizsardzības ministrijas Nacionālo bruņoto spēku Apvienotais štābs. 2019. p. 85.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Latvia's National Guard receives G36 rifles". 31 May 2017.
  12. ^ Emerson, Lee. "M14 Rifle History and Development" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-02-22. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  13. ^ "POTD: Latvian National Guard with M14 Rifles". 16 September 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "Zemessargs vairs lupatas nelasa". (in Latvian). 29 March 2019.
  15. ^ a b "ZEMESSARDZES 1. RĪGAS BRIGĀDE". (in Latvian).
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Latvijas valsts armija gadu griežos". (in Latvian). 9 November 2012.
  18. ^ "SIPRI Arms Transfers Database".
  19. ^ "National Guard loads up with anti-tank weapons, trucks". 20 March 2015.
  20. ^ a b c d e "Zemessardzes 3. Latgales Brigade" (PDF).
  21. ^ a b c d "Skrundas novadā atklās militārās tehnikas ekspozīciju" (in Latvian). 18 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Visurgājēju BandVagn apkalpju apmācība Jēkabpils apkaimē". (in Latvian). 12 May 2011.
  23. ^ "US provides Husky mine clearing equipment to Latvia". 22 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Zemessardzes 54. inženiertehniskā bataljona amfībiju vadītāji aizvadījuši mācības Koknesē". (in Latvian). Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  25. ^ "Michigan Guard and Latvia celebrate 25-year partnership". Retrieved 2018-09-17.

External links

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