On 19 June 2020, the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) Change of Command Ceremony took place in Tartu. The event was honoured by the presence of high level representatives of the Defence Ministries and Defence Forces of the Baltic states, former BALTDEFCOL Commandants Estonian Major General Meelis Kiili and Lithuanian Major General (ret) Vitalijus Vaikšnoras as well as Ambassadors, Defence Attachés, heads of partner professional military education institutions and other high level officials.
At the ceremony, the command of the College was officially handed over to Brigadier General Ilmar Tamm (EST Army) by receiving the Colours of the College from the outgoing Commandant Major General Andis Dilāns (LVA Army).
Before the official handover, representatives of the Defence Ministries and Defence Forces used the opportunity to thank the outgoing Commandant MG Andis Dilans and welcome the incoming Commandant, BG Ilmar Tamm.
In his speech, Estonian Minister of Defense, Mr Jüri Luik thanked MG Andis Dilans for his excellent work as the Commandant of the Baltic Defence College and wished success to the new Commandant, Brigadier General Ilmar Tamm. "In four years, MG Dilans has made great efforts to develop the college, making it modern, responsive and flexible," Luik noted. He added that under Dilans' leadership, the college has initiated the NATO institutional accreditation and developed a series of joint initiatives including Baltic-Polish regional military exercise.
Luik welcomed BG Tamm saying he will lead the BALTDEFCOL with the highest quality and commitment. "I am confident that the progress and prosperity of the college will continue under his leadership," said Luik. He continued that the BALTDEFCOL offers high-quality education to the defence structures of the Baltic states as well as its allies and partners, which is valued among the allies and outstandingly fulfils its mission.
Latvian and Lithuanian representatives spoke the same language. They all highlighted College contribution to enhancing Baltic nations defence and their appreciation towards MG Dilans as outstanding leader.
During the ceremony, Major General Dilans was awarded with the Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit Gold for his outstanding contribution to the enhancement of the reputation of the College throughout the Baltic states and beyond as well as selfless advancing and promoting the security requirements of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Mayor of Tartu, Mr Urmas Klaas recognise the importance of cooperation between BALTDEFCOL and City of Good Thoughts by awarding MG Dilans with Medal of Tartu.
Chief of Defence of Estonia Major General Martin Herem and the Chief of Defence Staff of Lithuanian Armed Forces both noted the merits of Major General Dilans by presenting medals.
In his farewell speech, Major General Dilans expressed his gratitude to all the parties who are contributing to Professional Military Education and professional development of military officers and civil servants. Among listed accomplishments, outgoing Commandant stressed the importance of professional team efforts. “I have learned from you and I have also learned from Framework Nations how to take a direction. Not only College has grown, but me personally as well” he said and thanked all the faculty and staff members who have served with him.
Incoming Commandant, BG Ilmar Tamm expressed in his speech the importance of quality of education within the multinational environment as key constituent of College mission.
As a new tradition, after the tour, each Commandant will nail BALTDEFCOL new flag.
BALTDEFCOL family wishes all the best to Major General Andis Dilans in his new endeavours and welcomes our new Commandant, Brigadier General Ilmar Tamm!