Higher Command Studies Course’s second field study trip

Higher Command Studies Course´s second field study trip led to the Netherlands and Belgium. It aimed to expand students’ understanding of these countries’ security and defence policies as well as of the functioning of NATO and the EEAS in general.

The trip started in The Hague by visiting the Ministry of Defence on Tuesday afternoon, 18 April, where HCSC received a valuable briefing on Dutch defence policy and planning. This was followed by a visit to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons. Especially the briefings and Q&A sessions chaired by Vice Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff Operations were very topical and candid, which was appreciated by HCSC students in particular. The final session at the NATO Special Operations HQ offered a unique opportunity to get more information about organisation and procedures of this very special organisation within NATO that was established by the memorandum of understanding between 26 NATO members and three non-NATO partners.


The third day of the trip started at the Belgian Defence HQ in Brussels, where HCSC group received very professional briefings on Belgian security strategy and Benelux defence cooperation. This proved to be probably the most valuable session during the trip. It was followed by visit to NATO HQ across the road and a hosted lunch with national Military Representatives. Very useful was especially briefing together with Q&A session chaired by Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence.

The last day visit to European External Action Service of the European Union was a positive surprise thanks to Director of Operations of the European Union Military Staff in particular, who was willing to engage with students on topics of their specific interest. The last place on agenda was a provocative briefing given by Sven Biscop at the prestigious Belgian think tank, the Egmont Institute, on Friday afternoon.

HCSC second field study trip was a constituent part of Module 4 on Generating National Security and it proved to be important and valuable element of the education supporting theoretical consideration in the BDC by receiving practical insights from respective countries and institutions. The trip would not have been possible without the hospitality of the Belgian officials as well as without all the organisational efforts of Mr Hannes Möllits, Lecturer in International Relations.


Email again:


Chief of Defence of Latvia, Major General Kalniņš became a member of BALTDEFCOL´s Hall of Fame


Commandant's visit to NATO Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway

Share this article