In her statement congratulating the service on its 95th year, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma expressed thanks to the Border Guard for ensuring the security not just of Latvia’s, but also Europe’s outer borders.
Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis wished to each and every member of the Border Guard service “that there may always be peace in Latvia and that the power of our forces may never have to be deployed in action!”
To honor the host city’s significance as a border zone town as well as commemorate the day when the Border Guard was first ordered to form by Latvian army commander Janis Balodis to protect Latvia’s sovereign borders in 1919, the state Border Guard service held a parade of Interior Ministry and National Armed Forces units followed by a public demonstration of its canine units, technical equipment and weapons.
Counterparts from neighboring Estonia and Lithuania, members of Latvia’s Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD), State Police and Home Guard volunteer service also took part in the parade.
Earlier Friday, Border Guard commander Normunds Garbars called for additional resources for the Border Guard service, not least of which is the need for more personnel, including 230 border guard officers. Despite the lack of budget resources for a swift development of the service, gradual upgrades of staff and equipment will begin next year, Garbars told LSM.