Baltic Defence College

The Baltic Defence College was founded in 1998 to provide a Western-style military education to officers from the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). It has evolved into a multi-national facility of military educational excellence, graduating around seventy students from three different courses each year.

Mission: BALTDEFCOL’s mission is to:  Educate military and security related civilian personnel of the Baltic States, Allies and partners;  Promote international cooperation and encourage networking;  Contribute to security and defence policy related research.

On the second day of the IST, HCSC delegation was welcomed at the Ministry of Defense Kaitseministeerium by Permanent Secretary Mr Kristjan Prikk. During the visit, students had the opportunity to discuss the Estonian defence planning at the strategic level, the whole Government approach to National Defence and challenges for the alignment with NATO and EU force planning. After Estonian MoD, HCSC delegation had its last visit in Tallinn at the Estonian Defence Forces HQs Kaitsevägi, where COL Leon Meier, Head of Analysis and Planning Department, delivered an interesting brief about strategic development of military capabilities, force structures, National Defence Development Plan 2017-2026 and National Defence Action Plan 2020-2023.

Today, on 3rd of June, Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC) students began their second International Study Trip to the capitals of three Baltic states. Intergrated into Modul 6 "Enhancing Deterrence through Cooperation", this study trip gives the students opportunities to meet and discuss with security, defence and communication planners and experts, and collect necessary information to improve deterrence and resilience within the Baltic states in the context of the renewed focus on deterrence by NATO.
First capital - Tallinn. After arriving in Tallinn, the HCSC students visited ICDS-International Centre for Defence and Security, the leading think-tank in Estonia specialising in foreign policy, security and defence issues, where security matters affecting Nordic-Baltic region and innovative policies were addressed. In the afternoon, at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Välisministeerium, Mr Eerik Marmei, General Director of Policy Planning Department, welcomed HCSC delegation and gave a brief about "Baltic Security Challenges ", the implications for NATO and the Baltic states, Baltic defence development, and history and future prospects of Baltic Cooperation.

The 48th NATO Defense College (NDC) Conference of Commandants titled "Leadership in NATO - Challenges for the Future" currently held in Rome is one of the key academic events of the Alliance shaping strategic level education with the focus on NATO senior leadership and the role of Professional Military Education organisations in that important domain. BALTDEFCOL is represented by Commandant Major General Andis Dilāns and Dean Dr Zdzislaw Sliwa who participate in plenary sessions and syndicate discussions.
We are pleased to announce that next year, the 49th Conference of Commandants will be co-organised by NDC, BALTDEFCOL and Latvian National Defence Academy (LNDA) in the premises of the LNDA in Riga.


Throwback to the Exercise Joint Resolve-19 🎥.
Well done everyone!

Studenci Bałtyckiej Akademii Obrony i Akademii Sztuki Wojennej zakończyli ćwiczenia Joint Resolve-19! To pierwsze w historii ćwiczenie organizowane wspólnie ...

The 1st Combined Joint Staff Exercise Joint Resolve 2019 conducted by Baltic Defence College and Akademia Sztuki Wojennej is now successfully completed 👌.
In total, more than 2️⃣5️⃣0️⃣ participants from 1️⃣9️⃣ countries were involved in the exercise, including staff and students of BALTDEFCOL and WSU, Senior Mentors and external Subject Matter Experts.
We would like to express our immense gratitude to all the individuals, organisations and institutions for their support and contribution. It is the high level of cooperation and collaboration of all participating nations that helps to ensure that the set training objectives are met.

On the last day of Combined Joint Staff Exercise #JointResolve19, Mr Tomasz Szatkowski, Deputy Minister - Under-Secretary of State of the Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej, visited the exercise site and received an overview of the exercise during the Commander's Update Brief.

It was a pleasure to host LTG Tim Radford, Commander of Allied Rapid Reaction Corps at BALTDEFCOL again. The aim of the visit was to strengthen #cooperation with the College and to contribute to the #education of BALTDEFCOL students.

Last weekend took the students of Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC) to Ida-Viru County where they explored the history and culture of mostly Narva area. During the Staff Ride, HCSC students had the opportunity to discuss and better understand the strategical and operational importance of military operations within the area.

Baltic Defence College's cover photo

During his attendance at the Exercise Joint Resolve 19, Commandant of BALTDEFCOL MG Andis Dilāns stressed the importance of Exercise #JointResolve as a common effort to face real world hybrid threats and preserve regional security. He expressed his gratitude to Akademia Sztuki Wojennej for their superb host nation support and assistance in conducting the Exercise and thanked Senior Mentors, Officers Conducting the Exercise, and Subject Matter Experts for their hard work and dedication.

The 1st Combined Joint Staff Exercise Joint Resolve 1️⃣9️⃣ conducted by BALTDEFCOL and WSU is half-way complete.
During today’s Distinguished Visitors’ Day, several high-level guests from the participating countries, including Ambassadors, Commanders and Commandants, observed the multinational 🌐 exercise.

Great talks with Mr Sven Sakkov, Director of ICDS-International Centre for Defence and Security yesterday. BALTDEFCOL and ICDS will continue close cooperation, including mutual research projects, contribution to publications, participation in a variety of seminars and conferences and ICDS’s support to BALTDEFCOL’s courses.

[05/08/19]   We are pleased to announce that an agreement between Defence Command Denmark 🇩🇰 Forsvaret and BALTDEFCOL about Danish sponsorship of Ukrainian 🇺🇦 students 2019-21 was signed today.
As an effect of the agreement, more Ukrainian students will be able to attend BALTDEFCOL courses 👏.


Check out the video of the very first Combined Joint Staff Exercise Joint Resolve 2019 conducted by BALTDEFCOL and WSU in Warsaw, Poland.

Bałtycka Akademia Obrony (Baltic Defence College − BALTDEFCOL) i Akademia Sztuki Wojennej prowadzą wspólnie pierwsze ćwiczenia pod kryptonimem Joint Resolve-...

Baltic Defence College - Lecturer in International Relations

🧐 Check out our newest job offer @Baltic Defence College: JOB TITLE: Lecturer in International RelationsJOB CODE: DPS09DEPARTMENT: Department of Political and Strategic StudiesSUPERVISOR: Director of Department of Political and Strategic StudiesLOCATION: Tartu, EstoniaSALARY: 2200-2850 month/grossCONTRACT: Indefinite durationDeadline for applications: 9 Ju...

Baltic Defence College - Combined Joint Staff Exercise Joint Resolve 2019

The Baltic Defence College and the Polish War Studies University Akademia Sztuki Wojennej conduct the 1st Combined Joint Staff Exercise Joint Resolve 2019 (JR19).
Joint Resolve 19 takes place between 6th and 25th of May 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. This is the 1st common operational level exercise orchestrated by the two Professional Military Education institutions of Estonia 🇪🇪, Latvia 🇱🇻, Lithuania 🇱🇹 and Poland 🇵🇱 to train and test their military and civilian students.
Read More: The Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) and the Polish War Studies University (WSU) conduct the 1st Combined Joint Staff Exercise Joint Resolve 2019 (JR19).

On 4 May 1990, the Supreme Council of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Latvia exercised the will of the people and adopted the Declaration on the Restoration of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia 🇱🇻. The Declaration restored the Republic of Latvia and initiated a transition to complete renewal of independence.
Learn more about this historic day from the infographic below.

Today we hosted Major General Flemming Mathiasen, Commander of the newly established Headquarters Multinational Division North at the Baltic Defence College. The visit served as a good opportunity to mutually acknowledge the strategic perspectives and working methods of both institutions and discuss areas of possible future cooperation.

Tu Quoque in Russian Foreign and Military Policy: Venezuela as a Representative Case

3 MIN READ: Tu Quoque in Russian Foreign and Military Policy: Venezuela as a Representative
#baltdefcolblog (Photo Credits: Federico Parra—AFP/Getty Images By George Spencer Terry, Visiting Fellow, Baltic Defence College 29 April 2019 On 25 March, two Russian military planes landed in Caracas, sporting 1…

Baltic Defence College - Our Legacy and Heroes

Commodore (retired) Hans Helseth of the Royal Norwegian Navy has been Senior Mentor at our Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC) for the last two years. In a discussion with a Latvian student of the current HCSC, Colonel Ilmārs Lejiņš, Commodore Helseth mentioned that his grandfather had received a Latvian medal for saving a ship’s crew, sometime before the Second World War. This led to a road of many discoveries for both our Latvian colleagues and for Commodore Helseth himself. It turned out that his grandfather had received the Order of the Three Stars from the President of Latvia and that a dramatic rescue action had taken place, none of which anyone knew much about. To find out what exactly happened and why the Senior Mentor’s grandfather received the highest state award in Latvia, Major Rozenberga invited Commodore Helseth to share his memories and knowledge.
Read more on BALTDEFCOL's website: Commodore (retired) Hans Helseth of the Royal Norwegian Navy has been Senior Mentor at our Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC) for the last two years. In a discussion with a Latvian student of the current HCSC, Colonel Ilmārs Lejiņš, Commodore Helseth mentioned that his grandfather had received ...

MG Genadi Tavaratsyan, Commandant of the National Defence Research University of Defence Ministry of Armenia, is visiting the Baltic Defence College in order to share experiences related to Professional Military Education at operational and strategic levels.

23th of April marks the Veterans' Day in Estonia. It is celebrated to express gratitude and recognition to the men and women, as well as their loved ones, who have participated in international military and peacekeeping operations far from home.
The “Let us Salute!” campaign, organised in each spring, invites people to wear Blue Hepatica flower pins in recognition and support of veterans and their family members.
Let us Salute!

Photo by Siim Verner Teder / Estonian Defence Forces

Have a very happy Easter! 🐰🌸🐣

We had the pleasure to host a delegation of staff and students from the U.S. Army War College Advanced Regional Studies Programme today. The delegation learned about the College's mission, tasks and courses and participated in the educational activities of the Higher Command Studies Course.

The HCSC 2019 has had an intensive day as their schedule today included several high-level guest speakers.
The day started with GEN (ret) Petr Pavel's lecture on "Current challenges and developments in NATO defence policy and planning". In the afternoon, the HCSC students had a round table discussion with representatives of the United State Army War College and students of their Advanced Regional Studies Programme. The round table was followed by a lecture „Lithuanian defence adaptation to the dynamics of the current security environment“ delivered by BG Gintautas Zenkevičius, Lithuanian TRADOC Commander.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael F. Alexander, Commander of the 3rd Regional Security Assistance Command, which is responsible for the European and African areas of responsibility under the U.S. Army Security Assistance Training Management Organization (USA-SATMO) visited BALTDEFCOL today to gain a better understanding of BALTDEFCOL’s structure, mission, capabilities and future initiatives.

The ICDS-International Centre for Defence and Security presented their latest report ‘To the Seas Again: Maritime Defence and Deterrence in the Baltic Region’ today. The report is written in cooperation with Capt. US Navy (ret) Bill Combes from the Baltic Defence College. It studies some of the issues related to maritime defence and deterrence in the Baltic Sea region and makes recommendations for NATO and for the states that surround the Baltic Sea.
Click on the link below to 📖 more.

Today we bid farewell to the Civil Servants' Course (CSC) 2019. The official Joint Graduation of HCSC 2019, JCGSC 2018-2019 and CSC 2019 will take place on 20th of June. Commandant of BALTDEFCOL Major General Andis Dilāns handed over diplomas to two students not be able to join the graduation ceremony in June.
Farewell dear civil servants, till we meet again!

From 9th to 11th of April, President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis paid a state visit to Estonia.
As part of his extensive programme, the President met with representatives of the Latvian diaspora in Estonia, including representatives from BALTDEFCOL on 10th of April.
Today, President Vējonis delivered a public speech on “Defending Our Freedoms: the Role of Knowledge” at the Main Hall of the University of Tartu. After the public speech, President Vējonis paid his respects to the soldiers of the Latvian Riflemen Regiment and Latvian war refugees killed in the First World War at Uus-Jaani Cemetery in Raadi. The state visit was concluded at the Estonian National Museum with a reception hosted by the Ambassador of Latvia to Estonia attended by BALTDEFCOL Latvian staff and students and an official farewell ceremony of the Presidents of Latvia and Estonia.

H.E. Mr Timo Kantola, Ambassador of 🇫🇮 to 🇪🇪 Soome suursaatkond Tallinnas - Suomen suurlähetystö Tallinna, visited BALTDEFCOL today and had discussions with the College leadership about BALTDEFCOL and Professional Military Education. Finland is one of the countries that has supported BALTDEFCOL since it was established.

A delegation of College of Europe in Natolin staff and students visited BALTDFEFCOL today for briefings and discussions as part of their study trip to the Baltics.

Last weekend, syndicate Põdder was introduced to Estonian hunting culture. Syndicate members had a sightseeing tour in Halliste Hunting House, tested their knowledge about recognising Estonian wild animals by skulls and horns, practiced their petanque and air weapons skills and last but not least - tasted delicacies provided by Halliste Hunting Society. Major Raigo Paimla - member and founder of the hunting society - kindly hosted and prepared the venue.
Thank you, Raigo, for the memorable day!

From 9th to 11th of April, BALTDEFCOL is hosting Civil-Military Interaction Seminar organised by Multinational Corps Northeast. The opening remarks of the seminar were delivered by MG Andis Dilāns, Commandant of BALTDEFCOL. The seminar serves as a good example of close cooperation between BALTDEFCOL and HQ MNC NE.

On Friday the 5th of April, HCSC delegation started the day at the European Defence Agency (EDA - the intergovernmental agency and central coordinator of EU funds) with an overview of its structure, role and responsibilities, followed by presentations and discussions on Capability Development Plan (CDP), Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD). Defence Innovation with Key Disruptive Technologies and Military Mobility and related Action Plan were also addressed. The study visit was concluded at the Belgian MOD where the Chairman of European Military Committee, General Claudio Graziano welcomed the HCSC delegation and provided a brief on "Military Aspects of the EU Global Strategy". A special emphasis was given to the history of the EU Security and Defence Policy, EU Missions and Operations, EU Strategic Autonomy and NATO/EU Cooperation.

This was the last day of the first International Study Trip for HCSC 2019 Class, a very useful and mind-opening trip with many takeaways and lessons learned. As the HCSC 2019 Class motto says, "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imaginations"(Einstein), the students deepened their knowledge to use them for critical and reflective thinking, brainstorming and ultimately, imagination.

As part of the Joint Command and General Staff Course and Civil Servants' Course Module 9 competition, Syndicate Radzins presented the following Facebook post. As promised, the Syndicate voted for the best recommendation to add to our reading list and decided Mr. Aivar Toom's recommendation of "What's Next?" to be the winner. Mr. Toom will be provided with a signed copy of the Baltic Defence College's 20 years history book.

Thank you for all of the contributions and here's to the BALTDEFCOL's next 20 years!

Syndicate Radzins

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Baltic Defence College - #BALTDEFCOL20!

20 years of reading, learning, reflecting, and developing.

Syndicate Radziņš picked 20 books we are reading this year. What would you add to this list?

LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT your selection(s) and we will choose one person to receive the Baltic Defence College 20 years history book.

#BALTDEFCOL #M9SocialMediaTask #ReadtoLead #PME #NATO #Tartu #JCGSC #HCSC

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Videos (show all)

Syndicate Laidoner
Syndicate Gediminas
BALTDEFCOL 20th Anniversary Ball
Happy birthday, Estonia!





Riia 12

General information

Welcome to the official website of the Baltic Defence College, an English-speaking international institution of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania providing professional military education at the operational and strategic level for military and civilian leaders of the Baltic states, their allies and partners. The college conducts applied research, hosts and co-hosts conferences and seminars and offers a fellowship programme.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 14:30
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