The students of the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) visited the capitals of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as part of their annual Baltic Defence Study Trip. This annual Study Trip has been an integral and important part of the course curriculum, providing the students with an opportunity to stay connected to realities of regional security and defence matters. Unfortunately, in the light of COVID-19 pandemic, this year the study trip was conducted virtually.
Students were divided into three groups, which each was tackling one capital of the Baltic Defence College' Framework Nations. The aim was to deepen the course participants knowledge about respective countries defence policy, decision-making principles and defence planning priorities. To enhance the common perception of the nations, all the groups will share the knowledge acquired during back-brief presentations to others after the virtual trip.
Students in "Estonian" group had an opportunity to listen of numerous briefings across the whole range of defence policy domains - for example about Estonian Navy, 1st Infantry Brigade or Defence League.
During the three days of briefings for "Latvian" group, multiple speakers addressed the students. Similar to other groups, speakers from both civilian and military sides of Ministry of Defence, as well as from different ministries, provided briefings in the sessions. On top of that, speakers from Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee of Latvian parliament spoke about broader sectoral implications for defence policy.
Finally, the "Lithuanian" group had a unique privilege to be welcomed by Minister of National Defence Mr Raimundas Karoblis, followed by thematic speeches in respect to security matters.
In addition to formal briefings, students also had an opportunity to visit the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. Students enjoyed the museum's exhibitions ranging from the Stone Age to the Soviet Union and modern times. They became acquainted with the life, fashion, art and folklore of Estonia. It was a great cultural and scientific experience and one of the unique opportunity of multinational team building.