Gallery: Army chief joins naval counterpart on visit at sea

Chief of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Maj. Gen. Martin Herem visited the Estonian Navy's (Merevägi) flagship the Admiral Cowan, on Monday, in the Väinameri, the strait separating the two largest Estonia islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa.

Maj. Gen. Herem stayed overnight aboard the Admiral Cowan, a minesweeper, together with the Navy's commanding officer, Cdre. Jüri Saska.

As President Kersti Kaljulaid had done last week, Maj. Gen. Herem was treated to being spectator at the destruction of a sea mine (see gallery); thousands of submerged sea mines and other explosives, principally from World War Two but from other conflicts and the Soviet era as well.

Well over 1,000 items of ordnance have been found in Estonian waters in the past two decades, often on the sea bed, which in stretches such as the Väinameri can be as shallow as less than 20 meters.

Such operations naturally make Estonia's waters safer for civilians and military alike.

The EDF chief is to get an overview of minesweeper activities, as well as the cooperation and joint maneuvers with allied navies.

He is also set to meet the commander of NATO's 1st Permanent Mine Rescue Team (SNMCMG1).

The Estonian Navy's main function is protecting Estonian's territorial integrity and interests via mine clearance and maintaining awareness of the maritime situation.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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