Colonel Jaak Tarien assumes command of NATO CCDCOE

Colonel Jaak Tarien, until recently the long-term Commander of Estonian Air Force, assumed today from Merle Maigre the role of Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence based in Tallinn.

“NATO cyber defence hub in Tallinn is well-known and respected in the international defence community thanks to its capable leadership, talented experts from 21 nations and several flagship initiatives. It is a privilege to join a team that I have so much to learn from in the years to come,” said Colonel Tarien, the new Director of the NATO CCDCOE. “The demand for high-quality research, training and exercises based on most prominent trends in cyber is growing. My aim at CCDCOE is to continue the good work done, strengthen ties with the industry and to develop further practical deliverables for the militaries of our member nations. Cyber defence skills should be elementary for military service in all ranks and domains,” added Colonel Tarien.

“Cyber security is a rapidly evolving domain, where we always need to prepare for what comes next. Working at CCDCOE has been a challenging and rewarding experience that I am most grateful for,” said Merle Maigre. “Thank you to all my bright colleagues, the member nations and valuable partners of the Centre for this exceptional journey,” added Maigre.

Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, General Riho Terras recognised Merle Maigre for her accomplishments as the Director: “Merle Maigre, with her extensive knowledge and leadership skills, has upheld a very positive image of the Centre in NATO and broader defence community. She expanded the international reach and posture of CCDCOE as the hub of cyber defence expertise.”

Colonel Tarien served as Commander of Estonian Air Force from August 2012 to July 2018.

Colonel Tarien, a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, earned his Master’s degree from the Air Command and Staff College of the USAF Air University. He recently also acquired Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy at the U.S. National Defence University.

Colonel Tarien has also served as Staff Officer with NATO’s Supreme Allied Command Transformation (ACT), as Deputy Director of the Regional Airspace Surveillance Coordination Centre and as Commander of the Estonian team at the BALTNET Regional Airspace Surveillance Co-ordination Centre in Lithuania.

NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) is a NATO-accredited cyber defence hub focusing on research, training and exercises. The international military organisation based in Estonia is a community of currently 21 nations providing a 360-degree look at cyber defence, with expertise in the areas of technology, strategy, operations and law.

CCDCOE is home of the Tallinn Manual 2.0, the most comprehensive guide on how International Law applies to cyber operations. The Centre also organises the world’s largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defence exercise Locked Shields. CCDCOE hosts annually the International Conference on Cyber Conflict, a unique event bringing together key experts and decision-makers of the global cyber defence community.

Photos of the change of command enclosed. More photos available here (credits to Estonian Defence Forces)