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Australia appoints new Defense Force chief

06-01-2011 11:49 BJT

CANBERRA, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Australian Defense Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal Houston will be replaced by the current Vice Chief of Defense, Lieutenant General David Hurley, when Houston retires on July 4 this year, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on Wednesday.

The announcement was made by Gillard at a press conference with Defense Minister Stephen Smith, Air Chief Marshal Houston and Lieutenant-General Hurley at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.

Gillard said the change was coming at a "very testing time ... a time of sorrow, of loss", as the ADF is mourning for the loss of two soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan on Monday.

"I'm absolutely confident the new leadership team will meet these challenges," she told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

While General Hurley has been land commander Australia, chief of the capability and development group and chief of operations, Gillard praised General Hurley, saying he would bring a wealth of experience to the job.

Meanwhile, Air Marshall Mark Binskin will take over as the new vice chief.

Rear Admiral Ray Griggs will be the new Chief of Navy, taking over from Vice Admiral Russ Crane.

Major General David Morrison will be Chief of Army. He replaces the retiring Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie.

Air Vice Marshall Geoff Brown will be Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), taking over from Air Marshall Binskin.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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