The Ministers of Defence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding on the creation of the Baltic Combined Joint Staff Element.
Ms. Līga Lakuča’s, Director of Military Information Department,
Republic of Latvia Recruitment and Youth Guard Centre, Chief Editor of Military Magazine Tēvijas Sargs (Guard of Fatherland); President of the European Military Press Association (EMPA) Interview with Commandant of the Baltic Defence College Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras
The Baltic states have developed their armed forces and defence systems over a very short period of time following the principle of ‘learning by doing’. This chapter examines one aspect of this process: supreme command and control of the armed forces in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It aims to identify the major factors influencing the development of the democratic control of the armed forces of the Baltic states during the last 20 years. To do so, it explores how the chain of command at the strategic level (including the president, parliament, government, minister of defence and chief of defence) was established in the 1990s and how it has developed in the years since.
The Commandant of the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras paid a visit to Riga on 1 March. During his meeting with the Republic of Latvia Minister of Defence PhD Artis Pabriks and Latvian Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube, Major General Vaikšnoras introduced his vision for the BALTDEFCOL development; the Latvian position on the progress of the BALTDEFCOL Higher Command Studies Course and the Civil Servants Course was also being discussed.
On January 31 the Chiefs of Defence of Nordic and Baltic countries’ met at the Headquarters of the Lithuanian Navy in Klaipeda. At their two days meeting issues of regional security, joint military projects, such as organizing joint military exercises in the Baltic Sea region, contribution to NATO and the EU-led operations, military capabilities in multinational operations as well as modern security challenges – energy and cyber defence, and their influence on overall security as well as on defence and military capabilities were discussed.
NATO’s air policing mission in the Baltics was launched in 2004 after Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia joined NATO. Since then air force fighters from 14 countries have performed air policing. There are countries that have fulfilled this mission only once but others, like Germany, have fulfilled the mission already five times. Poland has participated in this mission four times, the United States, France and Denmark three times, Belgium, Norway and the Czech Republic twice. Air policing mission has experienced a number of extensions, the latest being at NATO Chicago Summit this summer where it was extended for indefinite period of time which surely should be regarded as an excellent result of the three Baltic States’ diplomatic performance and cooperation.
January 20-21, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius will attend the meeting of the Chiefs of Defence (CHODs) of the Nordic and Baltic countries in Estonia where his Danish, Estonian, Latvian, Norwegian and Swedish counterparts will also be present.