The Baltic Study Tour

The Baltic Study Tour

Students of the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL), the officers and civilians are currently attending the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) and the Civil Servants Course (CSC), conducted a study tour in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius from 25 May – 30 May 2014. 

This study tour was designed to broaden the understanding of the students and participating faculty members to understand the policies, current concerns and viewpoints of the Baltic military and civilian leaders. 


The students met with senior leaders and had briefings on the military capabilities and polices of each Baltic nation, they had the chance to visit key military units and installations in the region. The students visited the Lithuanian SOF headquarters and were briefed by the commander and his staff on current exercises.

In Latvia, the students were given a tour of the Lielvarde Air Force Base hosted by the base commander. Lielvarde is a new capability for the Baltic States and will soon meet all the NATO standards to host an Allied fighter squadron.

In Estonia, the students and officers met with Mr. Mati Raidma (Chairman of National Defence Committee, Parliament of the Republic of Estonia) who gave an insider’s point of view of politics in Estonia. In Estonia the students and faculty members visited the main training center of the Estonian Army at Tapa.

The students received an in-depth view of how each of the three Baltic nations is developing its forces over the next decade and are cooperating militarily with each other. Of particular interest to many was the thoughtful and direct insight given by the CHOD of Lithuania LTG Arvydas Pocius, CHOD of Estonia MG Riho Terras and the retired CHOD of Estonia GEN (ret.) Ants Laaneots. This type of exposure to the highest levels of government is one of the success stories for the College as the trip briefings tied together many of the theories and topics covered throughout the year by the lecturers and briefers at the Baltic Defence College.

As civil military relations are a key factor in modern military operations, the study tour gave the students good “hands on” insights into the process. The mix of meeting with civilian leaders and visiting major military centers in the three countries provided the students a lasting impression of the region and a thorough understanding of the military policies and capabilities of the Baltic States.


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