Lithuanian National Guard (Post-WW2)

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

A part-time volunteer defence force was re-established in 1991, along the lines of a similar organisation from the 1930s. A small aviation unit was formed in 1992. Initially it operated a mix of single-engined aircraft and gliders from two ex-Soviet DOSAAF airfields. The aviation unit mainly provided air experience flights and parachuting platforms, much like the former-Soviet DOSAAF organisation, but in 1998 the gliders were sold off to civilian owners.

After 1998 KASPAR worked more closely with the Air Force (KOP). It’s duties included policing, border patrol, and anti-smuggling operations. KASPAR came under the direct command of the Ministry of National Defence rather than the Air Force. In 2009 the aviation assets of KASPAR were transferred to the Air Force. KASPAR still retains an Aviation Unit, but this is now a pool of part-time personnel and not a separate flying unit.

Key Dates

Key Dates:
17 January 1991    Voluntary National Defence Service (SKAT) officially established
1992    Aviation Group established
1998    SKAT reorganised as the National Defence Volunteer Forces, KASP
2003    KASP ground units incorporated into the Army
2009    Aviation assets transferred to the Air Force

Current Status

All National Guard aircraft were transferred to the Air Force in 2009. The National Guard Aviation Unit continues as a pool of reserve personnel for supplementing the Air Force.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

National Insignia

Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Lithuanian military aircraft carry two-digit numerical codes similar to Soviet-era ‘bort’ numbers, e.g. PZL-104 ’53’ (black). These numbers are not sequential or unique.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable – disbanded in 2009.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Vilnius.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were based at Kyviskes.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air base was Kyviskes.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

In addition to the main base, here are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are sometimes used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information

Books

Lithuanian Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Magazines

World Air Power Journal No.32
Air International June 1998
Air Forces Research No.9 & No.10

Websites

wikipedia: Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces

The Lithuanian Border Guard (sic)

Flickr.com

Air-Britain Photos: Lithuanian National Guard

Scramble: Lithuanian Armed Forces

Lietuvos Sparnai (2)

Aviation-related Magazines Guide

In 1968 the Lithuanian Federation of Aviation (LASF) launched an official journal called ‘Sparnai’ (The Wings). Sometime after 1987 (1990?) it was renamed ‘Lietuvos Sparnai’ (Lithuanian Wings). Subtitled ‘Aviacijos ir kosmonautikos zurnalas’ (aviation and space journal). General aviation and spaceflight magazine with about 24 pages per issue. Feature articles cover both current and historical topics, concerning national and international aviation/spaceflight. Published quarterly. Issues published until the late 1990s were printed on newspaper type paper of varying quality. Issue 203 was 1992 #4 and issue 206 1993 #3.

Further information: Lietuvos Sparnai, Polocko g. 16, 2007 – Vilnius, LITUANIA

Aviation (3)

Aviation-related Magazines Guide

Research Journal of Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. Initially published under the title ‘Aviacija’, annually, from 1996 (Vol.1). In 2003 (Vol.VII) it became a quarterly journal under the present title. Covers a very wide range of topics from Lithuanian aviation history to aerospace materials science.

Further information: Aviation

Lithuania

Country Profile

The Country

Geography

Lithuania is located in northern Europe, on the eastern side of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south east, and Poland and the Kaliningrad area of Russia to the south west. To the west lies the Baltic Sea. The terrain is mostly flat, with only a few areas near the eastern border higher than 200 m (656 ft) above sea level. There are many lakes, moors and bogs but plenty of fertile soil has resulted in a large agricultural industry. The total land area is 65,200 sq km (25,174 sq miles).
The Population of 3.7 million (2000 figure) comprises 80% of Lithuanian origin, 9% Russian, 7% Polish, 2% Belorussian and 2% other ethnic groups. The capital city is Vilnius.

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National History

Summary Narrative History

Timeline – Key Dates in Lithuanian History

Further National Information

BBC News Profile: Lithuania
Yahoo Lithuania page
wikipedia: Lithuania
wikipedia: History of Lithuania

Aviation

Text to be added on the development of aviation in Lithuania.

Markings

Civil Aircraft Registrations

Lithuanian civil aircraft were registered in the series Z-LAAA onwards 1919-1929 and LY-AAA onwards 1929-1939, although the prefix RY- seems to have been used on occasion. The LY-xxx series was reintroduced in 1991.

All-time Lithuania – civil aircraft register (R-Zaa Z-Laa RY-aaa LY-aaa).
[Get involved with the Aeroflight Cloud.]

Aircraft Operators

Military Air Arms

Current military air arms-
Air Force (Karinés Oro Pajégos)

Historical military air arms-
Army Aviation (Karo Aviacijos) [1918-1940]
National Guard (Sauliai Sajungos Aviacija) [1938-1940]

Central Government Agencies

Government [1994-2000]
Border Guard (VSAT)
National Guard (KASPAR) [1992-2009]

Public Service Aviation

Medical Aviation – no EMS/Rescue helicopter service available.
Police – no aviation branch. Air support is provided by the Border Guard.

Commercial Aviation

Air Lithuania [1991-2005]
FlyLAL

wikipedia: Airlines of Lithuania
The World’s Airlines: Lithuania

Private Aviation

To be added

Industry

Aircraft Manufacturers

Lithuanian Aircraft
Anbo
Avia Baltika
Dobkevicius
Karo
Kensgaila
LAK
Vilnius

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.

Airfields

Civil Airports & Airfields

Airports in Lithuania

Military Air Bases & Airfields

Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

On Show

Aviation Museums

Lietuvos Aviacijos Muziejus

Airshow Dates

Key Airshow Dates

More Information

Aviation-Related Magazines

Magazines Guide for Lithuania

Aviation Bibliography

Lithuanian Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Web Links

Anabaras – Aerobatics in Lithuania

Vytautus Lapenas Flight School

Termikas Ltd

Aeroclub of Lithuania

Ministry of National Defence

EuroDemobbed

Abandoned and little known Airfields

VGC

Lithuania Key Dates

1386    Polish-Lithuanian Union created by royal marriage
1795    Lithuania divided between Prussia and Imperial Russia
December 1915    German Army occupies Lithuania
16 February 1918    Lithuania declares independence from Russia
3 March 1918    Treaty of Brest-Litovsk recognises Lithuanian independence
11 November 1918    Germany surrenders and withdraws from Lithuania
22 November 1918    Soviet Army attacks Lithuania
5 January 1919    Vilnius captured by Soviet Army
1919    Polish forces help eject Soviet Army from Lithuania
12 July 1920    Treaty of Moscow – Soviet Union recognises Lithuanian independence
7 October 1920    Treaty with Poland over Lithuanian borders
11 January 1923    Seaport of Memel seized from League of Nations control
17 December 1926    Military coup overthrows government
Spring 1939    Nazi Germany annexes Memel
15 June 1940    Soviet Union invades and occupies Lithuania
17 June 1940    Soviet Union invades and occupies Estonia
1941    Advance of the German Army into the USSR reaches Lithuania
1944    Soviet Army re-occupies Lithuania
January 1945    Soviet Army restores Memel to Lithuanian control
May 1989    Lithuanian Supreme Soviet declares sovereignty
11 March 1990    Lithuanian parliament declares independence from Soviet Union
13 January 1991    14 people killed by Soviet troops in Lithuania
February 1991    Lithuanian referendum approves move to independence
6 September 1991    Soviet Union recognises independence of Lithuania
31 August 1993    Last Soviet troops leave Lithuania
2 April 2004    Lithuania joins NATO

Lithuania National History


During the Middle Ages, Lithuania was transformed from a small duchy into the largest state in Europe. In 1386 a union with Poland was formed by royal marriage, but the 1795 partition of Poland resulted in the division of Lithuania between Russia and Prussia. From 1915 the territory was occupied by the German army fighting the Russians.

The Russian-German truce of 15 December 1917 followed the Russian Revolution of November 1917. During this period of peace on the Eastern Front, Lithuania proclaimed independence from Russia on 16 February 1918. The Bolsheviks immediately attempted to invade, but were repulsed by German forces. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk of 3 March 1918 formally ended the fighting. With the German surrender on 11 November 1918, German forces began to withdraw from Lithuania and another Bolshevik invasion was mounted. The poorly trained and ill-equipped Lithuanian army was unable to prevent the capture of the capital city, Vilnius, on 5 January 1919.

The capture of Vilnius by the Bolsheviks brought Poland into the war on the Lithuanian side – the Poles also had claims on the city. With Polish help the Russians were driven from the country. The USSR recognised Lithuania by the Treaty of Moscow on 12 July 1920, which also ceded Vilnius to Lithuania. The Lithuanians took control of Vilnius on 26 August 1920, but they were now fighting Poland for control of the city. On 7 October 1920 fighting ceased when a treaty was signed giving Vilnius to Lithuania. Two days later the Poles reneged on the treaty and seized the city and it’s surrounding area – about one third of Lithuanian territory. A cold war existed between Lithuania and Poland until December 1927.

On 11 January 1923 the predominantly German seaport of Memel (Klaipeda in Lithuanian) was occupied by Lithuanian troops, after being under League of Nations control since 1919. The democratic constitution adopted in 1922 was overthrown in a military coup on 17 December 1926. In the Spring of 1939, Memel and the surrounding territory was annexed by the resurgent Nazi Germany.

Under the 23 August 1939 Russian-German Non-Aggression Pact, Lithuania was initially assigned to German control, but this was later changed to Russia. Following the defeat of Poland by Germany in September 1939, Lithuania was forced to accept a mutual assistance treaty with the USSR, which allowed for the stationing of Soviet troops on Lithuanian territory. On 15 June 1940 Lithuania was invaded and occupied by Soviet troops. Soviet-style elections were organised and the resulting communist parliament applied for membership of the Soviet Union. This was granted on 3 August 1940 as the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic.

On 22 June 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Lithuania was occupied by Nazi Germany 1941-44, during which time almost a quarter of a million people were killed. In 1944 the Soviet Red Army retook the territory and re-imposed control. Many thousands of nationalist sympathisers were deported or killed. In January 1945 Memel was captured by Soviet troops and re-incorporated into Lithuanian territory.

During the post-war years the country was industrialised, but opposition groups later took advantage of increased openness, under Soviet leader M. Gorbachev to press for independence. The Lithuanian Supreme Soviet proclaimed sovereignty in May 1989, and on 11 March 1990 declared full independence and adopted the country’s current name. Soviet Interior Ministry troops were ordered to occupy communist party buildings, and a trade embargo was imposed by the USSR.

The Lithuanians postponed the implementation of independence in favour of talks with Moscow.
When the talks broke down, on 13 January 1991 Soviet troops began attacking and occupying further buildings in Vilnius – resulting in at least 14 people being killed. A referendum on independence was overwhelmingly approved in February 1991, and continued clashes with Soviet troops led to more deaths.

After the failure of the Soviet coup in August, the USSR recognised Lithuanian independence on 6 September 1991. The withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country began in March 1992 and was completed by 31 August 1993. In November 2002 Lithuania was invited to join NATO, and it formally joined on 2 April 2004.