Latvian Naval Forces
|Latvian Naval Forces|
|Role||To defend Latvian territorial sea from external threats, conduct military and rescue operations.|
|Commander in Chief flotiles admirālis Ingus Vizulis|
Latvian Naval Forces (Latvian: Latvijas Jūras Spēki) is a branch of the National Armed Forces tasked with conducting military and rescue operations at sea. The NF perform mine and explosive sweeping on the Baltic Sea, as well as search and rescue operations and ecological monitoring activities. The Naval Forces have participated in international NATO/Partnership for Peace operations and various exercises with great success. The main development priorities of the NF are to expand their activities within the Baltic States’ Ship Squadron BALTRON and to develop a Sea Surveillance System. They pay a great deal of attention to professionally specialized training and English-language teaching. One of the key tasks facing the NF is to develop its infrastructure.
When Latvia regained its independence in 1991, it began recreating the Latvian Naval Forces under the command of Admiral (then Captain) Gaidis Zeibots. In 1994 the Naval Forces were composed of the Southern Region (in Liepāja), the Central Region (in Riga), the Coastal Defense Battalion (in Ventspils) and the Training Center (in Liepāja). The most important naval event of these early days of the re-established Latvian Republic occurred on April 11, 1991 when the Latvian flag was hoisted on the re-established Navy's first ship "SAMS." This date is now recognized as the rebirth of the Latvian Naval Forces.
In 1999 the Baltic Naval Squadron (BALTRON) was created with ships from the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian Navies. Latvian Navy Captain Ilmars Lesinskis, then the Commander of the Southern District, was appointed to serve as the first commander of this multi-national force.
On July 1, 1999 Latvian Naval Forces were reorganized. The present structure was established on the basis of previous regional units – the War Ships Flotilla (HQ is in Liepāja), the Coast Guard Ships Flotilla in Riga (subunits are in Liepāja and Ventspils), the Coastal Defense Battalion in Ventspils (subunits are along the coast of the Baltic Sea and Riga Bay), the Training Center in Liepāja, the Logistic Base in Liepāja (subunits are in Riga and Ventspils).
On July 1, 2004 Latvian Naval Forces were reorganized again and since that time they consist of the Naval Forces Headquarters, Naval Forces Flotilla HQ with subunits, and the Coast Guard Service. The new structure make possible to organize personnel training and specialization better than before, as well as to share out responsibility between commanders.
As part of the program to equip the Naval Forces with modern assets, the first of a new generation of nationally made patrol vessels, made with German assistance, was launched in 2011.
The Naval Force provides defense of the national territorial waters, carries out explosive ordnance disposal activities at sea and harbors, co-ordinates and carries out human search and rescue operations at sea within the national responsibility area. Warships of the Republic of Latvia have repeatedly made visits to foreign countries and have supported the visits of foreign warships and naval representatives in Latvia.
The warships of the Latvian Naval Forces Southern Region have participated in numerous international exercises (U.S. BALTOPS, COOPERATIVE JAGUAR, AMBER SEA, OPEN SPIRIT, etc.). These exercises have been conducted to NATO standards, which Latvian ships have successfully met.
The main tasks of Naval Forces are to:
- Ensure the defense of the territorial sea and internal waters of the State (except rivers and lakes);
- Perform a guarding of the coast and control the territorial sea and internal waters, as well as the exclusive economic zone;
- Ensure the readiness of units for mobilization and combat;
- Participate in ecological surveillance and search and rescue operations at sea, as well as take part in elimination of consequences of emergencies occurring at sea;
- Search for explosives at sea and destroy them;
- Secure for the State Border Guard according to the procedures specified by the Cabinet, with the technical means and vessels for the performance of their functions at sea.
Structure of Naval Forces
Naval Forces Headquarters
Naval Forces Flotilla Headquarters
- MCM Squadron (Mine Counter Measure)
- Patrol Boat Squadron
- Sea Surveillance and Communication Service
- MCM Equipment Maintenance and Repair Center
- Coast Guard Service
Ships in the Naval Forces
|Name||Picture||Origin||Class||Type||Built||Entered service (LNF)||Notes|
|Staff and support (Auxiliary)|
|A-53 Virsaitis||Norway||Vidar-class minelayer||Minelayer||1978||2003|
|A-90 Varonis||Netherlands||Buyskes class||Hydrographic survey vessel||1973||2004|
|P-05 Skrunda||Germany||Skrunda||Patrol boat||2011||2011|
|P-06 Cēsis||Germany||Skrunda||Patrol boat||2011||2011|
|P-07 Viesīte||Latvia||Skrunda||Patrol boat||2011||2012|
|P-08 Jelgava||Latvia||Skrunda||Patrol boat||2013||2013|
|P-09 Rēzekne||Latvia||Skrunda||Patrol boat||2013||2014|
|KA-01 Kristaps||Sweden||KBV||Coastal patrol boat||1964||1993|
|KA-06 Gaisma||Sweden||KBV||Coastal patrol boat||1963||1994|
|KA-07 Ausma||Sweden||KBV||Coastal patrol boat||1963||1994|
|KA-08 Saule||Sweden||KBV||Coastal patrol boat||1963||1994|
|KA-09 Klints||Sweden||KBV||Coastal patrol boat||1963||1994|
|KA-14 Astra||Finland||KBV||Coastal patrol boat||1996||2001|
|Name||Picture||Origin||Class||Type||Built||Entered service (LNF)||Left service (LNF)||Notes|
|Staff and support (Auxiliary)|
|M-01 Viesturs||GDR||Kondor II||Minehunter||1971||1994||2008|
|M-02 Imanta||GDR||Kondor II||Minehunter||1971||1994||2008|
|P-03 Linga||Norway||Storm||Patrol boat||1968||2012|
|P-04 Bulta||Norway||Storm||Patrol boat||1967||2011|
|P-01 Zibens||Norway||Storm||Patrol boat||1967||2013|
|P-02 Lode||Norway||Storm||Patrol boat||1967||2013|
|KA-02 Spulga||USSR||Ribnadzor||Coastal patrol boat||1964||1992||2000||Crashed|
|KA-03 Komēta||USSR||Ribnadzor||Coastal patrol boat||1964||1992||2007|
|KA-04 Sams||Unknown||Unknown||Coastal patrol boat||1974||1992||1998|
Ranks and ratings
|Rear Admiral (lower half)
|Commander Junior grade
|Lieutenant (junior grade)|
|Ratings||Fleet chief petty officer|
|Master chief petty officer|
|Senior chief petty officer
|Chief petty officer|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Navy of Latvia.|