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NBS veidos jaunus karavīru bataljonus

Latvian army to create seven new battalions

In order to strengthen Latvia's security, it is planned to create seven new battalions – five reserves and two high-tech battalions – in the National Armed Forces in the coming years. Commander Leonīds Kalniņš has already signed the order to create three new battalions, Latvian Television reported on April 29.

“The first battalion is a battalion of high-readiness reserve soldiers as part of the Mechanized Brigade, which in principle will be operational as early as June to ensure retired soldiers from the National Defense Service are included in this reserve battalion,” explained NBS Commander, Lieutenant General Leonīds Kalniņš.

There will be a total of five such battalions of high-readiness reserve soldiers. Two high-tech battalions will still be formed – one will be targeted toward electronic warfare and the other will be a dedicated support technology battalion. They will focus on obtaining intelligence so that the right decisions can be made in time.

The technology battalion, which will be set up as part of the National Guard, will pool the National Guard's capabilities in cyber defense.

Kalniņš said that "until now, the system predicted that reserve soldiers fill the kind of gaps that are needed to secure the units. On the other hand, we can't plan any operations unless we have a stockpiled reserve unit. And it is a process that will end with the creation of five battalions per brigade.”

About 1,000 to 1,400 troops are planned for each battalion, Kalniņš said. But high-tech battalions will have between 300 and 600 troops each.

The high-readiness reserve soldier is involved in exercises every year over five years, unlike the permanent reserve soldier. "And he has additional requirements for a quick arrival to carry out tasks. Permanent reserve soldiers are allowed by law to be conscripted only once every four years for exercises to refresh their skills,” Kalniņš noted.

Defence Minister Andris Sprūds (Progressives) said: “Latvia is protected. Latvia is strengthening its capabilities both in the conventional military and unconventionally so that we are prepared for any crises.”

The land mechanized infantry brigade currently has five battalions, while four National Guard brigades have five to six battalions each.

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