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Latvia Military
 
 
 
 
 

General

National Armed Forces (Nacionālie Bruņotie Spēki) are the unified armed forces of the Republic of Latvia. Latvia's defence concept is based upon the Swedish-Finnish model of a rapid response force composed of a mobilisation base and a small group of career professionals. The armed forces consists of mobile riflemen, an air force and a navy. Latvia cooperates with Estonia and Lithuania in the joint infantry battalion BALTBAT and naval squadron BALTRON which are available for peacekeeping operations. Latvia has switched to a professional army, the last draft was in 2005. From January 1, 2007, the Latvian army is fully contract-based.

The mission of the National Armed Forces (NAF) is to guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation and to defend its population against aggression. In order to implement these tasks, the NAF provide for the defence of the nation, its air space and national territorial waters, participate in large scale crisis response operations, perform emergency rescue operations, and participate in international peacekeeping operations.

As of March 29, 2004, Latvia officially joined NATO. Currently, NATO is involved in the patrolling and protection of the Latvian air space as the Latvian army does not have the means to do so effectively. For this goal a rotating force of four NATO fighters, which comes from different nations and switches at two or three month intervals, is based in Lithuania to cover all three Baltic states.

Overview

Military branches :
National Armed Forces (Nacionalo Brunoto Speku): Ground Forces, Navy (Latvijas Juras Speki; includes Coast Guard (Latvijas Kara Flotes)), Latvian Air Force (Latvijas Gaisa Speki), Border Guard, Latvian Home Guard (Latvijas Zemessardze) (2009)

Military service age and obligation :
18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; conscription abolished January 2007; under current law, every citizen is entitled to serve in the armed forces for life (2009)

Manpower available for military service :
males age 16-49: 568,683
females age 16-49: 565,826 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service :
males age 16-49: 410,374
females age 16-49: 463,144 (2009 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually :
male: 12,901
female: 12,497 (2009 est.)

Military expenditures :
1.2% of GDP (2005 est.)