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Maj Gen Martin Herem takes over as Estonia's defense chief (expands)
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    Topics - Defence Matters ENG - News

    Maj Gen Martin Herem takes over as Estonia's defense chief (expands)

    TALLINN, Dec 04, BNS - Gen. Riho Terras on Tuesday handed over the position of commander of the Estonian defense forces to Maj. Gen. Martin Herem.

    Terras handed over the command and flag of the defense forces to Herem at a formal ceremony held in the territory of the headquarters of the defense forces Tuesday afternoon, spokespeople at the headquarters of the defense forces said.

    Prime Minister Juri Ratas, taking part in the ceremony, thanked the outgoing defense chief for his contribution to strengthening the defense forces and the security of Estonia as a whole.

    "Looking at our own security and the security of the whole world, these were groundbreaking seven years. At the same time, the security of Estonia has been strengthened, and the role of Gen. Terras has been one of the most fundamental in this," the head of government said.

    Ratas said that Terras worked consistently and unyieldingly towards increasing the actual fighting capability of the defense forces and the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps. He said that as a straightforward and courageous defense diplomat, Terras helped our allies understand Estonia's security needs and increase their presence here. He also put improving the service conditions of both the conscripts and active-service personnel in the first place and stood for the veterans.

    "I am proud to have had the opportunity to work together with so dignified and professional a commander of the defense forces," Ratas said, wishing the new commander of the defense forces strength, determination, and cooperation-mindedness. 

    Terras said in his speech that he considers the opportunity provided to him to serve the Estonian people a great honor.

    "From the very start, starting from day one in service, and all of the remaining 27 years have affirmed my conviction that Estonia can be defended and deserves our commitment, efforts, and when necessary, also our life," Terras said. "The development of the defense forces in the past seven years has been aimed towards building up a real, tangible military capability. These years have meant ample and strenuous work for all of us," he said.

    The ceremony was attended also by former Estonian president Arnold Ruutel, speaker of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor, Defense Minister Juri Luik, former ministers of defense Mart Laar and Jaak Aaviksoo, foreign diplomats and defense attaches, heads of the services of the armed forces and senior officers. 

    Herem started service in the defense forces in 1992 and his latest position before assuming command was that of the chief of staff. Herem has served at the National Defense College and in several positions in the defense forces. He has also taken part in the multi-national operation in Iraq and was one of the refounders of the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps.

    Terras was appointed to office by the government in October 2011. The government in December 2015 decided to extend the term of office of the commander of the defense forces by two years until Dec. 4, 2018.

    The length of the term of office of the commander of the defense forces is five years, but the government is entitled to extend it by two years.

    Tallinn newsroom, +372 610 8814,

    Baltic News Service

    • Published: 04.12.2018 17:28
    • LETA, BNS
    • © The given news may not be republished in any way or amount, or otherwise used by the mass media or Internet websites, without written permission of LETA. If this provision is not observed, the matter will be taken to court pursuant to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia.