Canada, an important ally of the US in its war against terrorism, on Friday appointed Lt-Gen Walter Natynczyk as the new chief of its defence forces.
He succeeds Gen Rick Hillier who has been outspoken in his views of the country's military mission in Afghanistan.
Lt Gen Natynczyk,who has been the vice chief of defence forces since 2006, is reportedly well liked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Welcoming the new chief, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said, ``Lt-Gen Natynczyk assumes the position at a very important time for the Canadian forces. His leadership and experience will be invaluable as we continue to move forward with the Canada First Defence Strategy and our mission in Afghanistan.''
Lt Gen Natynczyk said he was deeply honoured on his appointment as the chief of the defence forces. ``It is truly a privilege to lead the men and women of the Canadian forces who give so much to their country.'''
The outgoing defence chief, General Hillier said, ``I have never worked with a finer officer than Lt-Gen Natynczyk. He has all the skills, experience and values to command the Canadian forces and will have my full support.
``I will hand over to him with the full knowledge that he will continue to adapt, and improve our Forces to accomplish the tasks Canadians need us to perform.''