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Latvian Land Forces (LF) / Sauszemes speki

According to the new NAF structure, the main units of the Land Forces will be the Special Task Unit and the Infantry Brigade. The Infantry Brigade will be a unit, which will provide a comprehensive combat training for the national battalions and combat support and logistics units. The above units will be NATO-compliant and ready to operate within the NATO High Readiness Forces. A working group was established in 2003 with a purpose to plan the development of the Brigade and elaborate the personnel and equipment schemes for it. The 2nd Infantry Battalion was established in 2002 and since 2004 has been a part of the LF. The mission of the Battalion is to prepare the soldiers of professional military service for participation in the international missions. At the same time, the Battalion must provide the training of the conscript service soldiers.

In order to successfully defend Latvia, National Armed Forces must make full use of Latvia’s unique terrain, stoping any advances of the enemy, inflicting maximum damage to its personnel and equipment, disabling and destroying the command, control and supply chains, and ensuring host nation support for allied forces.

Rapid response is one of the key capabilities of National Armed Forces and National Guard, and in time of war also State Border Guard and the Central Bank. To be able to efficiently defend itself, Latvia needs to maintain a certain number of highly prepared rapid response units. These units are primarily made up of Land Forces Mechanised Infantry Brigade and National Guard brigades. National Guard battalions are required to maintain company-size high readiness units with all necessary support elements, such as indirect fire support, anti-armour capability, air defence capability. National Armed Forces as well as the responsible state security services and law enforcement services need to be able to respond to any threat immediately.

State Border Guard and Central Bank’s Security Department are required to join NAF in case of a military attack as a primary reinforcement. Closer integration and improved compatibility of State Border Guard and Central Bank’s Security Department with NAF will enhance the ability of these units to contribute to state defence. NATO certification and basic military training is the most appropriate way of ensuring that these units meet the applicable defence capability standards.

Regular snap combat readiness drills must be organised for testing unit training, preparedness, combat readiness and capability levels. These drills should give a better understanding of unit response plans, readiness of military personnel to respond to national level threats and readiness of units to get fully operational and engage in military operations at short notice.

Development of counter-mobility systems is a peacetime activity, which involves finding the right cooperation partners, proactive infrastructure adjustments, identification of human resource and training needs and delivery of specific military exercise. NAF should continue to enhance its counter-mobility cooperation with private sector, conduct regular counter-mobility execution operations, including mobilisation of required resources, during regular military training. NAF should build a system that allows constructing reinforcing obstacles in early stages of conflict or even peacetime. In case of a military conflict, defence minister may decide to remove specific civil infrastructure and substitute it with necessary operational counter-mobility solutions.

Extremely high density of former Soviet military units and institutions in Latvia (approx.700) caused the situation that a lot of dangerous explosives, anti-personnel mines, different emissions, damaged and defected ammunition, other hazardous materials were polluting vast Latvian rural territories the clearance and neutralisation of which challenged the Government being unable to allocate resources sufficient to these needs. Also problems concerning polluted water and soil in former Soviet military sites were not solved, then the storage and neutralisation of hazardous waste including dangerous chemicals, petroleum based compounds,rocket fuel, huge stocks of municipal waste left by Soviet army units, polluted sites in Liepaja former military seaport area etc.

One of the first multinational embedded training teams in Afghanistan – in late 2008- was an effort between the Latvian Army and the Michigan National Guard as part of the U.S. State Partnership Program. For three months, Latvian soldiers and U.S. soldiers training in preparation for the OMLT mission, to mentor and advise the Afghan National Army. Beyond the training, multinational exercises such as Saber Strike, Bagram, Nemesis Sword, Immediate Response, Austere Challenge, Anaconda, and Rapid Trident also help spread the new TTPs, and the exchange of doctrinal advances.

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Page last modified: 06-06-2021 18:20:07 ZULU