Lieutenant Senior Grade (Vanemleitnant) Märt Uuemaa is new commander of the Estonian Navy's flagship, the ENS Admiral Cowan, the navy (Merevägi) has announced. Lieutenant Uuemaa replaces Captain Tanel Kangro, who has finished his two-year service in the role.
A change of command ceremony took place at the mine harbor (Miinisadam) in Tallinn, the navy's main base (see gallery).
Lieutenant Uuemaa has served in the navy since 2008 and has passed a junior officers' course at the UK.'s Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. He was the ENS Sakala's navigation officer 2011-2014 and has served on ENS Admiral Cowan since 2017.
ENS Admiral Cowan (M313) and ENS Sakala (M314) are both British-built Sandown-class minesweepers, together with ENS Ugandi (M315).
The navy's main strategic role is minesweeping and related activities in Estonian waters, but it also contributes to the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1, where ENS Ugandi is currently serving.
The navy is organizationally a part of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) rather than being a separate service, and recently celebrated its 102nd birthday.
Aging sea mines dating primarily from World War Two and the ensuing Soviet era litter Estonia's waters, and are often disposed of by the navy.
ENS Admiral Cowan is named after Admiral Sir Walter Cowan (1871-1956), a British commander (at the time a Rear Admiral) of a Royal Navy light cruiser squadron dispatched to Estonia's aid during the 1918-1920 independence war.
Editor: Andrew Whyte