The students of the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC) and members of the College management staff visited the Republic of Georgia and the Kingdom of Belgium on 8-14 October as part of their studies.
“BALTDEFCOL is growing into a recognised military education institution receiving students not only from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia but also from countries all over Europe and beyond; field study tours like this are a great opportunity to enrich the studies programme and contribute to the high quality of the studies,” commented Course Director Col Andrej Boičišin.
In Georgia, BALTDEFCOL delegation met with the Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council, Mr Batu Kutelia, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Nikoloz Vašakidze, also the Deputy Ministers, Mr Nodar Kharšiladze, and Mr Andro Barnovi from the Georgian Ministry of Defence. The HCSC visited the Krtsanisi National Training Centre that is responsible for pre-deployment training for the Georgia’s troops to the NATO-led ISAF operation in Afghanistan, and also paid a visit to the newly established National Defence Academy in Gori, which will officially open its doors to cadets on October 26. The Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between BALTDEFCOL and the Georgian National Defence Academy was signed by the commandants of the two academic institutions.
“This is a historical visit to Georgia as it is the first one. It is vital for us to study Georgia’s defence system as this is a country which has undergone a recent military conflict and has fresh experience and lessons identified that are a really valuable knowledge for high-ranking military and civilian students of BALTDEFCOL to get,” said BALTDEFCOL Commandant Brig Gen Meelis Kiili.
The second part of the Field Study Trip took the HCSC to Brussels. The students had the opportunity to discuss the primary issues related to the Alliance’s political agenda, defence policy and planning as well as operations in the light of up-coming NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012.
While visiting the Belgian Defence Staff the students were briefed about the national security and defence policies as well as transformation of the Belgian defence forces. The final day of the trip was focused on the developments in the field of security and defence in the European Union. The students had a discussion with the representatives of the European Union Military Staff and European Defence Agency about the recent developments with regard to the CSDP and capabilities planning.
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