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Armed forces get new chiefs

The cabinet named a head for its armed forces on Wednesday, officially handing the reins to André Blattmann, who has served as interim chief since August 2008.

The government also appointed Markus Gygax to lead the country's air force.

Blattmann took over as the defacto chief last summer after his predecessor, Roland Nef, was forced to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment and questions over his integrity.

The 52-year-old from canton Lucerne, is a Zurich University graduate and has served as an army instructor and commando. Blattmann was one of more than 50 senior officers eligible to become head of the armed forces after Nef stepped down.

Gygax, 58, hails from canton Bern, and is a long-time fighter pilot who trained in the United States and France. He has been serving as interim air force chief since August 20, 2008.

His predecessor, Walter Knutti, resigned under pressure eight days after a rafting accident killed five soldiers in June.

Both men take up their positions on March 1.


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