Baltic Defence Study Trip for Higher Command and Studies Course
From 30th May to 3rd June 2022, the Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC) of
the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) conducted the Baltic Defence Study
BDST allowed the students to visit Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to discuss
security matters, deterrence posture and recognize challenges as well as
their regional cooperation potential. Moreover, to be updated about
resilience and resistance related planning and practical solutions. By
meeting national security, defence, and communication planners and experts,
participants had the opportunity to discuss together the significance and
utility of new knowledge for solving the research task.
On the first two days, the students and faculty members visited the Estonian
Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Tallinn for a series of informational briefings
from various MoD officials and Estonian Authorities. The students engaged
with high-level representatives such as Mr Mikk Marran, the Director General
of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service and Ambassador Jonatan Vseviov,
the Secretary General of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs who
briefed the HCSC. During the briefings topics such as co-operation with
NATO, EU, and other strategic partners and Estonian defence policy and
planning were discussed. Any study trip will not pass without cultural
activities. The BDST delegation had a guided tour in Tallinn Old Town
exploring and discovering over 800 years of history of Tallinn.
On the 1st of June, the students had the privilege of visiting the
Lithuanian Ministry of Defence. During the briefings, the department heads
of MoD informed the audience about such topics as co-operation within NATO,
EU, and other strategic partners; Lithuanian defence policy and planning;
and cyber and information security. After the enjoyed lunch hosted by Dr
Arvydas Anušauskas, the Minister of National Defence continued by visiting
the Lithuanian Presidential Palace. It created an opportunity to meet with
Mr Tomas Godliauskas, the Adviser to the President to discuss the national
security aspects. Finally, the discussions on military capability
development took place in the Lithuanian Defence Staff.
For the next stage of BDST, the students arrived in Latvia, where Dr. Artis
Pabriks, Deputy Prime Minister/ Minister of Defence of Latvia welcomed the
HSCS participants (photos below by Latvian Mod).
It was followed by several engagements with MoD department heads covering
such topics such policy planning and crisis management. Afterwards, LTG
Raimonds Graube, former Commander of Latvian National Armed Forces met with
students during the hosted lunch. The Latvian leg of the BDST ended with an
interactive presentation provided by a speaker from the NATO Strategic
Communication (STRATCOM) Centre of Excellence.
The last day was dedicated to the Latvian highest national representatives.
In the morning, the students visited the Rīga Castle (President’s Palace)
and had a meeting with Mr Jānis Kažociņš, National Security Adviser to the
President of Latvia, Secretary of the National Security Council.
This Baltic Defence Study Trip supports the learning objectives of the
course through interaction with practitioners involved in defence security
and strategy development and implementation, as well as allows for the
first-hand experience with the defence management challenges that the Baltic
states face. It reinforces the learning objectives of the HCSC as it
includes discussions on trends in the security environment and Russia
through professional discussions related to deterrence requirements and
The Baltic Defence College is extremely grateful to all the experts,
officials, and high-level representatives for dedicating their time and
sharing their knowledge with our students.