Latvia's national guard numbers exceed 10,000

The largest annual National Guard training “Namejs”, which is usually held in September and October, has ended, but also over the weekend in many places in Latvia, the public could see national guards in action. Intense training is needed as many new recruits have joined the ranks, Latvian Radio reported Saturday.

As National Guard Commander Kaspars Pudāns said, currently, there is National Guard training in some forests of Latvia nearly every weekend. The intensity has increased because the number of newly enrolled national guards has grown. It has tripled or quadrupled in relation to the years before the Russian war in Ukraine.

Therefore, there are many more new national guards to be trained, and basic training is held in all regions, but especially around Rīga.

In total, the number of national guards in Latvia has already exceeded 10,000.

"In the National Guard, I have 9,800 under my command, but at least 300 are in other units of the armed forces. Several hundred are candidates who will be admitted in the near future."

More than 20% of national guards are women. Last year women's initiative to join the National Guard was particularly high. This year, interest in joining the National Guard has generally decreased compared to last year, however, its ranks continue to top up.

"We already have more than 800 new national guards admitted this year. Using this interest, we leave those who are no longer active in reserve. This is also why the number has not increased as rapidly as last year,” said Pudāns.

According to the State Defense Concept, the National Guard must have 10,000 people by 2024 and 12,000 by 2027. Last year, Latvia had about 8,100 active national guards.

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