TALLINN - Commander of the NATO command element Col. Aron Kalmus is to hand over command and flag of the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) in Estonia to Col. Mart Vendla at a ceremony to take place at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
The ceremony, which is to be held on the territory of the headquarters of the defense forces, will also be attended by Maj. Gen. Ulrich Hellebjerg, deputy commander of the NATO Multinational Corps Northeast.
Col. Aron Kalmus took over command of the NFIU in August 2018, when it was handed over by Col. Urmas Nigul.
The decision to establish the NATO command elements was adopted at NATO's Wales summit in 2014. The first members of the Estonian defense forces started service on June 15, 2005. Estonia fills half of the 40 positions, while allies from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, Poland, the UK and the United States are serving in the rest of the positions at the NATO command element in Tallinn.
In addition to Estonia, similar command elements are located in seven NATO countries. The command elements holding the status of international military headquarters located in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary answer to NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast located in Szczecin, Poland, while the command elements of Romania and Bulgaria answer to NATO's Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy.