Colorado Springs-Trained Officer to Head Air Force

Lt. Col. Jaak Tarien Defense Forces General Staff
8/8/2012 9:08 AM

Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu has appointed a young US-educated officer as the new commander of the Air Force.

Proposed by Defense Forces commander-in-chief Riho Terras, Lt. Col. Jaak Tarien, 38, takes the helm of the branch of the Defense Forces on August 15.

His predecessor Gen. Valeri Saar will continue with a post as Estonia's military representative at NATO, the Defense Ministry said.

At a meeting with Saar and Tarien yesterday, Reinsalu emphasized the importance of the air defenses to Estonian national defense.

"The Air Force has worked effectively in developing national defense, and today we have a superb air base at Ämari and an air policing mission that has been extended indefinitely," said Reinsalu.

Tarien, 38, is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and defended a master's degree at the Air Force's Air Command and Staff college. He has also completed a stint at the Baltic Defense College.

Tarien served in a variety of leading roles at the BALTNET regional air policing coordination center in Lithuania, and as staff officer assigned to the commander of the NATO's development division.

In 2008-2009, Tarien was commander of the operational, planning and training department on the Air Force staff, and from 2009, chief of staff of the Air Force.


Kristopher Rikken

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