“TheCeļotājs”
"Latvia" Former Soviet Union Military Bases
 
 "Latvija" bijušās Padomju Savienības militārajās bāzēs — "Латвия" Бывший Советский Союз военных баз
 
 
   
Libciems Soviet Missile Base –
Lat: N57.27490, Lon: E021.46640
 
Bārta II Soviet Missile Base –
Lat: N56.38164, Lon: E021.28883
 
Soviet Military Bombing Range –
Lat: N56.55051, Lon: E022.60887
 
Vaiņode Soviet IRBM Missile Base –
Lat: N56.47321, Lon: E021.83453 


   

 
Through these pages "TheCeļotājs" will take you on the latest excursion to a few of the many abandoned Soviet Union era Military Bases that can be found in the Republic of Latvija "Latvia" and the Kurzeme Region. Today these former military bases set in ruins and have been stripped of anything and everything of value down to the bricks and concrete from the floors. Besides all this, these former Soviet Union Military Bases are well worth exploring.
 
Traveling to Mitti, Lībciems, which is north of  Užava and located out in the countryside, is the remnants of the Libciems Missile Base, which was home to the S-200 SA-5 Gammon  Medium to High Altitude Missile – The S-200 [NATO designation SA-5 "Gammon"] is a medium- to high-altitude mobile surface-to-air missile designed, manufactured, and deployed by the Russians. Its principal purpose is to track, target, and destroy aircraft and cruise missiles. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has proliferated, the S-200 throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East as a means of financing its ailing economy.
 
Leaving Libciems Missile Base and driving to the remnants of Bārta I and Bārta II Missile Bases – which is locates outside Paplaka, in Bārta parish which was the home of the “R-5 and R-5M” [NATO designation SS-3  "Shyster"], R-12 [NATO designation SS-4 "Sandal"] and Soviet Mobile Rockets the “TR-1 ” [NATO designation SS-12] surface launch pad complexes. Bārta I and Bārta II denominated the area. Each complex had two launch pads. The "R-5 and R-5M" [NATO designation SS-3 Shyster] was the first nuclear missile to be deployed by the Soviets. It could deliver approximately 1,435kg payload in a detachable reentry vehicle to a range of 1,200 kilometer. It was the first rocket to be fully designed and produced at the Dnepropetrovsk Ukraine facility, and was the last extension of the German V2 "A4" technology.
 
As we leave Bārta Missile Bases and drive to the Soviet Prang Tower and Bombing Range. The Prang Tower was an Observation and Control Tower for the bombing range. The Prang Tower sets in top of a very high hill top which has a command view of the countryside around it.
 
Leaving Prang Tower and driving to Vaiņode and the former Vaiņode Air Force Base, which after the end of World War II it became a first line Soviet Air base, tasked with Air Defense and Nuclear Missiles and was the front line to the Soviet Baltic Sea defenses and is located only 4 kilometers "2 miles” from the border with Lithuania. The Vainode Air Field dates back to pre World War I and where the German Army had Airships station there. It was  abandoned in 1993. Vaiņode was home to the 54th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment “54 Gv IAP”, in 1967 flying some of the first Sukhoi Su-15 aircraft ever fielded. These planes were upgraded to Su-27 aircraft in the 1980s, and there is some evidence that MiG-23 aircraft were flown. The 54th Regiment was withdrawn to Savasleyka in the Moscow Military District after 1990. Vaiņode Air Base was unique in the Baltic area, because it had two “parallel” paved runways, instead of the more common single runway. 
 
Leaving Vaiņode Air Force Base and driving a short distance north, some 8.7km, we come to remnants of what was once the Vaiņode Former Soviet
Union IRBM “Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile” R-14U [NATO designation “SS-5 Mod 2 Skean”] Deployment Base “Chusovaya" type Silo Complex with 3 Underground Launch Silos. As of the end of October 2012 it has been completely destroyed. 
 
The R-14 Chusovaya, Russian: "Чусовая" was a theatre ballistic missile developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was given the [NATO reporting name "SS-5 Skean"] and was known by GRAU Index Number 8K65. It was designed by Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel. Chusovaya is the name of a river in Russia. Line production was undertaken by facility No 1001 in Krasnoyarsk. The R-14U had a Nuclear Fusion Warhead with a Airburst Detonation Mechanism and with a Blast Yield of 1-2 Megatons. The Operational Range of 3,700km "2299 Miles" from Vaiņode, Latvia. Lat: N56.47321, Lon: E021.83453.
 
Their reported targets where the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
 
"TheCeļotājs" highly recommends that if you want to visit any of these former Soviet Union Military Bases, either have a good "GPS Unit" or "Contract a Guide" that know the area and these bases. For it is very easy for one to get lost while exploring them. They are located out in the countryside off secondary roads and Latvia is very short on road signs and there are no road signs once you are on one of these bases.
 
Ir drošs un Priecīga laiks
 
Есть сейф и радостное время
 
"TheCeļotājs"


 
Bārta I Soviet Missile Base –
Lat: N56.41506, Lon: E021.23507
 
Soviet Military Prang Tower –
Lat: N56.59365, Lon: E022.55429
 
Vaiņode Soviet Air Base
Lat: N56.41104, Lon: E021.89177
 
Vaiņode Soviet IRBM Missile Base –
Lat: N56.47321, Lon: E021.83453