The long-time trilateral co-operation between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is undergoing changes in line with the new goals and challenges emanating from NATO membership. Some trilateral co-operation projects that began many years ago have lasted up to the present, with others having been terminated upon attaining goals (for example BALTBAT, BALTSEA). The most important ongoing long-term projects in the trilateral co-operation of the Baltic states are BALTRON, BALTNET and BALTDEFCOL.
BALTRON, or the Baltic countermining squad, is an example of successful Baltic naval co-operation.
BALTNET, or the Baltic Airspace Surveillance Network, is a system established in 1998 for the acquisition, co-ordination, distribution and display of air surveillance data within the three Baltic states. The Regional Airspace Surveillance Co-ordination Centre (RASCC) is based in Lithuania.
BALTDEFCOL, or the Baltic Defence College, was established in 1998 to provide the officers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and partner countries with a higher military education. The core function of the college is to conduct NATO-level Joint Command and General Staff Courses for mid-career officers of the defence forces of the Baltic states and other countries. In 2004, the college also began to conduct a Higher Command Studies Course (HCSC).Officers and civil servants from nearly 20 nations study at BALTDEFCOL. The quality of instruction is ensured by the active participation of foreign instructors.
The NATO air-policing mission in the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is one of the most noteworthy manifestations of NATO solidarity. The three nations cover some of the cost of the mission and also contribute by developing on-the-ground air surveillance and control systems that are necessary for the air policing, along with fulfilling other practical tasks. In order to improve its state capabilities, Estonia is actively co-operating with NATO to develop the Ämari Air Base.
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