Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet appointed Magnus-Valdemar Saar as the next Director of the Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI).
Saar will take office on 17 May, when the two-year term of the director Kusti Salm ends. Salm will continues as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence.
According to Minister of Defence Laanet, the work of the Director of the ECDI comes with great responsibility and is extremely important because the Director is responsible for supplying servicemen and the Defence Forces with equipment. “Being equipped and manned creates a real military force, because a soldier cannot go into battle without boots, a helmet and a weapon, and cannot deter the enemy,” said Laanet. He added that Kusti Salm performed his job outstandingly and effectively, as he thanked him and wished him success in his new position.
Laanet wanted the new director to embody strength and determination. “The shoes of the current director are big, but I am sure they will be just as well filled,” he said.
According to Kusti Salm, Magnus is without a doubt the most qualified expert in defence logistics and supply chain management in Estonia. “I am happy and feel secure in handing over the management of the Centre to him,” he said.
Magnus-Valdemar Saar joined the ECDI in 2017 as a planning manager. From 2018 to 2020, he worked as a project manager in the field of material accounting at the Defence Investments Department of the Ministry of Defence, and from 2020 until today he worked as the Head of the Procurement Department of the ECDI.
Magnus-Valdemar Saar noted that the ECDI is tasked with ensuring the material combat readiness of national defence and providing the necessary support services to agencies associated with national defence by returning the maximum defence capability for each euro invested.
“It is a pleasure to take over an agency from the future Permanent Secretary that is in excellent condition, and it is an honour to begin leading such a great team,” said Saar.
Saar began his career in the Basic Officer Training Course at the Estonian National Defence College and has 18 years of experience as a logistics officer in the Defence Forces. Among other things, he has participated in logistics planning in both training exercises and operations, trained logistics officers and logistics teams for international military operations.
In 2009, Saar served as the commander of the national support element in the international military operation in Afghanistan. In 2015, he served in the Baltic Battalion (BALTBAT), the joint infantry battalion of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as the commander of the Estonian national support element.
Saar has completed courses in military logistics at the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics School and the United States Army Logistics University. He obtained a Master’s level degree in engineering from Tallinn University of Technology, where he graduated cum laude in the field of supply chain management.
The Centre for Defence Investment began operating on 1 January 2017. The Centre’s role is to carry out procurements in the field of defence and to plan, develop and manage infrastructure. The creation of the Centre freed the Defence Forces from non-military tasks and brought all procurement activity, as well as property development and administration, under a single command.
The current volume of procurements being carried out by the Centre is more than EUR 300 million per year, and the Centre is also one of the largest property managers among Estonian state agencies. The Centre has 172 employees.
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