Brig.-Gen Dean Milner takes over 0
English/AnglaisAR2010-0273-2309 September 2010Kandahar, AfghanistanBrigadier General Dean J. Milner, the new Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-A) Commander, addresses the crowd at New Canada House in Kandahar on 09 September 2010.JTF-Afg is CanadaÕs military contribution to Afghanistan. Canadian operations focus on working with Afghan authorities to improve security, governance, and economic development in the country. Photo by Cpl Keith Wazny, Joint Task Force Kandahar, Afghanistan. Image Tech Roto 9© 2010 DND-MDN Canada
Brig.-Gen. Dean Milner, the former commander of Petawawa's 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, took charge of all Canadian troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan during a ceremony Thursday.
The new Joint Task Force Afghanistan commander took over Brig.-Gen. Jonathan Vance, who was sent into the theatre of operations after Brig.-Gen. Daniel Menard was dismissed in May.
"I am proud to have been chosen to lead this task force as we work with our Afghan and NATO partners to ensure a brighter future for all Afghans," said Brig.-Gen. Milner following the transfer of command ceremony at Kandahar Airfield that was attended by key Afghan leaders and officers from the NATO coalition partners.
Currently more than 2,500 Canadian soldiers, most of them deployed from CFB Petawawa, are in Afghanistan's southern region.
A graduate of Royal Roads Military College, Brig.-Gen. Milner served with the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Germany, Gagetown and Petawawa.
In 2002, he took command of the unit and he led a battle group to Bosnia. He then commanded 2 Brigade from August 2007 to June 2009.
In a statement, General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff, called Brig.-Gen. Milner, a fellow armoured officer, the perfect choice to lead the mission in the coming months.
"Canadian soldiers will confront unique challenges as the combat mission in Afghanistan begins its final year. I have no doubt that Brig.-Gen. Milner is the perfect choice to guide our forces through this period of transition," said General Natynczyk. "Brig.-Gen. Milner's exemplary track record and motivation to succeed will ensure a strong handover to our Afghan, NATO, and coalition partners, ensuring the mission continues in the positive direction set by Canadians."
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer reporter