|Latvian Naval Forces|
|Latvijas Jūras Spēki|
Emblem of the Latvian Naval Forces
|Active||10 August 1919 - 17 June 1940; 1991 - present|
|Part of||Latvian National Armed Forces|
|Motto(s)||"Mūs vieno Latvijas svētais vārds!'" (English: "Holy name of Latvia unites us!"), (official)|
|Engagements||War of Independence|
Latvian Mercantile Marine during World War II
|Captain Kaspars Zelčs|
Latvian Naval Forces (Latvian: Latvijas Jūras Spēki) is the naval warfare branch of the National Armed Forces. It is tasked with conducting military, search and rescue operations, mine and explosive sweeping on the Baltic Sea, as well as 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 Naval Forces 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.
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 organizes personnel training and specialization better than before, as well as shares greater 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:
|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)|
|A-18 Pērkons||Poland||Goliat||Tugboat||1960||1993||2011||Sold to civilian buyers.|
|M-01 Viesturs||GDR||Kondor II||Minesweeper||1971||1994||2008||Scrapped in 2016.|
|M-02 Imanta||GDR||Kondor II||Minesweeper||1971||1994||2008||Scrapped in 2013.|
|M-03 Namejs||FRG||Lindau||Minehunter||1959||1999||2008||Received from Germany in 1999. Handed over to Liepaja Maritime College in 2008.|
|P-03 Linga||Norway||Storm||Patrol boat||1968||2012||Awaiting deconstruction in scrapyard.|
|P-04 Bulta||Norway||Storm||Patrol boat||1967||2011||Scrapped in 2016|
|P-01 Zibens||Norway||Storm||Patrol boat||1967||2013||Scrapped in 2016|
|P-02 Lode||Norway||Storm||Patrol boat||1967||2013||Scrapped in 2018|
|KA-02 Spulga||Soviet Union||Ribnadzor||Coastal patrol boat||1964||1992||2000||Crashed at Swedish coast, scrapped in 2005.|
|KA-03 Komēta||Soviet Union||Ribnadzor||Coastal patrol boat||1964||1992||2007||Sold to independent researchers in 2011.|
|KA-04 Sams||Soviet Union||728A Selga||Coastal patrol boat||1974||1992||1998||Scrapped in 2009.|
|Officers of the Latvian Navy|
|NATO code||OF-10||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6||OF-5||OF-4||OF-3||OF-2||OF-1||OF(D)||Student officer|
Commander Senior Grade
Commander Junior Grade
|Non-Commissioned Officers of the Latvian Navy|
|Latvia(Edit)||No insignia||No equivalent|
Master Chief Petty Officer
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
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