Jaak Tarien, the new Programme Manager for Military Mobility: where long-term defence experience and secure cyber developments meet

Jaak Tarien

VP of Sales and Business Development for Defence Technologies

Jaak playing golf

“Hello everyone, I'm the dumbest person in this room right now, please explain to me how things work here, because now I have to start leading you!”

In September, I joined Cybernetica as the Programme Manager for Military Mobility. I will be leading the project Secure Digital Military Mobility System (SDMMS) which is funded by the European Defence Fund and co-financed by the participating 10 nations’ Ministries of Defence.
The aim of this project is to develop a secure IT-solution that facilitates direct and secure information exchange between countries requesting military mobility. The plan also includes the development of a unified software platform that ensures a secure environment for the exchange of information with the movement of military units between countries, as well as the request and approval of border crossing permits.
Read more about the project here.

Prior to joining Cybernetica I served in the Estonian Defence Forces for 28 years, since 1994. My last position was the director of NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), where I served from 2018 to 2022. My main defence experience comes from the Estonian Air Force, where I served from 1998-2018 at all levels, from air surveillance officer to the Commander of the Estonian Air Force. In 2005-2008 I was posted at NATO Allied Command Transformation in the USA.
My higher education includes studies at the United States Air Force Academy (Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science), Air Command and Staff College (Master of Science degree in Military Operational Art and Science) and The Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy (Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy, with an elective in Cyber Security Leadership Concentration Program). Additionally I am a graduate of the Higher Command Studies Course at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu.

In the Defence Forces, everyone quickly learns that the key to success is teamwork. I am very happy to be able to work again with very smart professionals in an international environment. In 2007, when I was serving at the NATO Command Transformation in the USA, I had an opportunity to see how the legendary General James Mattis came to lead that organization. He opened with: "Hello everyone, I'm the dumbest person in this room right now, please explain to me how things work here, because now I have to start leading you!", this message has always stuck with me and has helped me many times. I feel pretty much the same when I start with the SDMMS project here at Cybernetica.