The Canadian Forces says it is now in the position to act swiftly to remove convicted sex murderer Col. Russell Williams from its ranks.

However, the military says it does not have the legal power to remove Williams' generous pension.

The chief of the air staff, Lt. Gen. Andres Deschamps, said the Canadian Forces is now moving to kick Williams out of the military, remove all of his honours and take away "all other measures available to us."

Speaking to reporters at, CFB Trenton, Deschamps said there was no way for the military to see Williams for what he really was.

"The truth is, we didn't miss anything that was visible," he said. "I don't think we will ever get an answer to (why he did it.) We would like to understand because we would like to learn what we can from this tragedy."

Canadian Forces spokesperson Cmdr. Hubert Genest outlined the measures that will be enacted.

"He's going to lose all his decorations, honours, he's going to return the pay he has been receiving since he was arrested . . . and severance pay is another thing that he will not receive," Genest told on Thursday.

However, Williams is legally entitled to his pension because he put his own money into it. His pension is worth about $60,000 a year, Genest said.

"He paid into his own pension with the salary of a colonel," Genest said.

A member contributes about 30 to 40 per cent of their pension, with the government investing the rest.

The pension benefit is based on the last five best years of pay. Genest said Williams' pension would be about $60,000 a year.

Williams was making about $10,000 a month prior to his arrest.

Earlier, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the military would take all the necessary steps to take away all possible benefits for Williams.

"I know Defence Minister (Peter) MacKay has made clear the Forces will undertake all necessary actions to ensure that all sanctions possible and all benefits possible that can be withdrawn will be withdrawn from the former commander," Harper said at a military funding announcement in St. John's, N.L.

The prime minister also extended his condolences to Williams' victims.

"Our thoughts, our prayers, our hearts obviously go out to the victims and their families. This is just a horrific series of events," he said.

"Also, our thoughts go out to all the members of the Canadian Forces who knew the commander and have been very badly wounded and betrayed by all of this."

Williams commanded Canada's largest air force base at the time of his arrest in February.

He pleaded guilty to all charges, including two counts of first-degree murder, two sexual assaults and 82 fetish break and enters, earlier this week.

Williams was sentenced today to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

Genest said the military will not be trying Williams for the murders or sex crimes under a court martial because of double jeopardy law.

"This was committed in Canada, we have no jurisdiction, there simply cannot be a military court martial," Genest added.

While the military is not currently planning a court martial for any offences, an investigation is ongoing into Williams' past actions as a member of the Canadian Forces.

"It's not complete yet, we are trying to see if there is evidence of anything that has happened, but we have found nothing so far," Genest said.