Baltic Defence College commandant visits the US

General Meelis Kiili, BALTDEFCOL commandant, accompanied by the College Dean, Dr. James Corum and military assistant Sergeant Major Viljar Hallik, visited several military commands and institutions in the United States from 11-21 April. The purpose of the trip was to further develop the already strong cooperation the BALTDEFCOL enjoys with the US military and with several leading American military staff colleges.

A high point of the trip was the Commandant´s visit to the commanders of both the Maryland and Pennsylvania National Guard forces. Both of these state National Guards are partnered with Baltic States—Maryland with Estonia and Pennsylvania with Lithuania—and both states are very involved with training with their Baltic counterparts. The Commandant also visited the US National guard training headquarters in Washington to discuss opportunities for National Guard members to study at the Baltic Defence College. The National Guard, virtually a fourth US military service, is heavily engaged in many multinational operations and is very interested in opportunities for further cooperation with the Baltic Defence College.

The Commandant also visited the Pentagon and briefed the US officials on the evolution of BALTDEFCOL`s courses. Another part of the visit included a visit to the National Defence University in Washington and the Marine Corps University in Quantico Virginia. Both institutions have long had a close relationship with the Baltic Defence College in cooperating in academic programs. Both the Marine Corps University and the National Defence University are eager to deepen and extend the current partnership with the Baltic Defence College and discussions were held concerning further cooperation in faculty exchanges, joint research projects, cooperation in publications, sharing course materials, developing case studies, supporting guest lecturers, and participation in BALTDEFCOL academic events.

The Commandant ended up the US trip with a visit to the UN in New York. From America the Commandant proceeded to Sweden to participate in the SWEDEX exercise in which the BALTDEFCOL students and faculty played a major role.
The result of the trip is a strong commitment by some of the top American military institutions to engage with the BALTDEFCOL as an academic partner to the benefit of all concerned. The US can share expertise in many fields and BALTDEFCOL, for its part, can offer the Americans a superb multinational training and education opportunity.


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