Estonian naval officer to take helm of NATO unit for first time
Cmdr. Johan-Elias Seljamaa, who is to take command of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) this week, will be the first Estonian naval officer entrusted with leading a naval unit of the alliance.
German Cmdr. Martin Schwarz, who was at the helm of the unit since January, will hand command of the unit off to Seljamaa at a change of command ceremony in Kiel, Germany on June 22, spokespeople for the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces said.
Seljamaa will head a multinational staff including three Estonian officers as well as seamen from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The German Navy’s support ship FGS Elbe (A511) will serve as the staff ship.
The number of Estonian seamen participating in the work of the staff will increase in January 2017, when the diving and support ship of the Estonian Navy, EML Tasuja (A432), will become the staff ship.
Estonians will hand over the command of SNMCMG1 in summer 2017.