OTTAWA -- An international veteran with the Canadian military was named chief of defense staff in Ottawa Friday by the Conservative government.
Lt. Gen. Walter Natynczyk will replace outgoing Gen. Rick Hillier, whose resignation takes effect July 1, CTV News reported.
In 2006, Natynczyk traveled with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Afghanistan and CTV said they developed a close bond.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., reported Natynczyk also has "close associations" with the United States, having attended the U.S. Army War College and spent time in Iraq on an exchange posting.
Natynczyk told reporters the Iraq posting taught him "techniques and procedures are exactly the same and the risks are identical" to those Canadian troops in the NATO mission face in Afghanistan.
He also served with U.N. forces in Bosnia and Croatia in the 1990s, the reports said.
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