Canadian General Takes Command of NATO-Led International Security Force in Afghanistan
General Takes Command of NATO-Led ISAF in Afghanistan
Source: NR–04.008 - February 9, 2004
Ottawa, Canada -- (ND)
-- Lieutenant General (LGen)
Rick Hillier assumed command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance
Force (ISAF) today in Kabul, Afghanistan, succeeding German Army
Lieutenant-General Götz Gliemeroth as the Commander.
LGen Hillier will command the force of more than 5,500
soldiers from 33 nations for the next six months. The mission of ISAF is to help
maintain security in Kabul and the surrounding area so that the Afghan
Transitional Authority and United Nations agencies can function.
“Canada remains committed to working with our NATO partners
in order to help create and maintain stability and security in Afghanistan,”
said the Honourable David Pratt, Minister of National Defence. “LGen Hillier's
appointment as Commander of ISAF is yet another example of our commitment and I
am confident that ISAF and NATO will be well served by him.”
“The leadership of ISAF is in good hands with LGen Hillier as
commander,” said General Ray Henault, Chief of the Defence Staff. “His considerable experience, which includes command of a multinational division in
Bosnia and the Commander of the Canadian Army, make him an ideal choice for the
leader of this very important international mission.”
Concurrent with the transfer of overall command of ISAF, the
Canadian Contingent also received a new commander. Major General Andrew Leslie
completed his six month-long tour as Deputy Commander of ISAF and Commander of
Task Force Kabul (TFK). He handed over his duties as the Commander TFK to
Colonel Alain Tremblay.
Canada's military contribution to ISAF is called Operation
ATHENA and consists of two six-month rotations of about 2,000 CF personnel,
lasting until August 2004.