Baltic Defence College
| Balti Kaitsekolledž
Baltijas Aizsardzības koledža
Baltijos gynybos koledžas
Official emblem of the Baltic Defence College
|Established||25 February 1999|
|Rector||Maj. Gen. Vitalijus Vaikšnoras|
|Dean||Mr. James Rogers|
The Baltic Defence College (official acronym BALTDEFCOL) is a multinational military college, established by the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – in 1999. It acts as a centre of strategic and operational research and provides professional military education to intermediate- and senior-level officers and government officials from the three Baltic states and from NATO and EU countries, as well as other European nations like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine.
The Baltic Defence College hosts roundtable seminars and major conferences annually, including a Cyber Conference and a Conference on Russian 'Power Projection'. The college's academic faculty also engage in personal research, generating a range of different articles, books and commentaries each year.
The Baltic Defence College runs two main courses, the largest of which is the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC) – similar to other one-year general staff courses. In 2004, the college established a Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC), which provides senior officers and government officials with a thorough understanding of the strategic environment. A Civil Servants Course (CSC) is also run to prepare junior government officials for national security and defence-policy work.
The first commandant of the Baltic Defence College was the Danish Brig. Gen. Michael Hesselholt Clemmesen (Danish Army), who retired from his position in December 2004. The post now rotates between the three Baltic states:
- 2012- Maj. Gen. Vitalijus Vaikšnoras (Lithuania);
- 2010-2012 Brig. Gen. Meelis Kiili (Estonia);
- 2007-2010 Brig. Gen. Gundars Ābols (Latvia);
- 2004-2007 Brig. Gen. Algis Vaičeliūnas (Lithuania).
In May 2005, the Danish Military Society awarded Brig. Gen. Michael Clemmesen with the St. Germain Gold Medal, the citation also mentioning his initiative and work in establishing and running the college.
The Baltic Defence College's most senior member of academic staff is a dean. The current dean is James Rogers, and expert in European Security and a Doctoral Candidate of the University of Cambridge.
Previous deans have included:
- 2014-2016 Dr. Augustine Meaher, a historian who formerly taught at the University of Melbourne.
- 2008-2014 Dr. James Corum – an American scholar of warfare and air power history;
- 2004-2008 Tomas Jermalavicius – a Lithuanian researcher of strategic resiliency.
Other Academic Staff
Other prominent academic staff at the Baltic Defence College include Lt. Col. (rtd.) Ugis Romanovs and Col. (rtd.) Dr. Zdzislaw Sliwa.
The Baltic Defence College was criticized by a former employee in February 2016 as having no strategic direction and purpose.
In May 2014 Tartu County Court found Baltic Defence College staff members, Comptroller Jana Lundblad and Chief of Support Lt. Col. Indrek Paul - Rajamäe -Volmer guilty of misappropriation of funds, both received suspended prison sentences.
- Baltic Defence College. "Facts about the courses". Baltic Defence College. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- Baltic Defence College. "International Conference on Russian 'Power Projection'". Russian 'Power Projection' in the Twenty-first Century. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- Baltic Defence College. "Faculty Publications". Baltic Defence College. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- Rogers, James. "Personal Page". Academia. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- Jermalavicius, Tomas. "Institutional Page". International Centre for Defence Studies. Retrieved 12 November 2014.