After the first week of studies, the Command Senior Enlisted Leaders’ Course (CSELC) jumped onto the bus and explored Narva and Ida-Viru County. The aim of the trip was to learn more about Estonian culture and history. Such a trip serves multiple purposes. On the one hand, it is about raising the cultural awareness of the class. On the other hand, the trip offers the perfect opportunity to socialise, demonstrate presentation skills, and learn from each other. Thus, some volunteers collected data about specific topics and presented the findings to fellow Course participants.
In the early morning, a bus took its direction to Kuremäe, where the Pühtitsa Dormition Convent is located. The Convent was built in the late 1800s but it has grown into the largest orthodox community in the Baltic countries. During the visit, the Course participants received a thorough briefing about the history of the Convent and some other religious minorities in Estonia.
After the sunny walk in the Convent Church and its surroundings, the trip headed to Jõhvi. The second stop was made at the Viru Infantry Battalion, which is part of the 1st Infantry Brigade. The main task of the unit is to train the infantry and antitank units’ enlisted command personnel of the wartime formations of the Defence Forces. Our delegation received an overview of the Estonian conscripts’ service and the history of the Battalion, which was followed by a walk in the garrison area.
After the lunch break and approximately 40km later, the bus stopped in Narva-Jõesuu close to the river and the T-34 monument. The place resembles the location where a part of the battle of Narva took place in 1944.
The last stop was at the well preserved historical Narva Castle, where the Course received a good overview of the history of Narva and its evolution close to neighbouring Russia. It was a really fascinating story that gave a broader understanding of the past and its impact even on the situation today.
The study trip was very appreciated by the Course participants being an interesting education and networking event allowing to better understand Estonia, as the host nation, and its history also in the context of current security implications.
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