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SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2007
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Riley names White acting commander of state Guard

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Maj. Gen. John White assumed command Friday of the Alabama National Guard until Gov. Bob Riley can find a permanent replacement for Maj. Gen. Mark Bowen, who resigned Thursday.

White, a Delta Airlines pilot, is currently commander of the Alabama Air National Guard and is the ranking Guard officer in Alabama, Riley said. White, 53, lives in Orange Beach.

"I spoke with General White this morning about his assumption of command and I am confident that he will do an excellent job in leading the men and women of Alabama's National Guard," Riley said.

Bowen resigned Thursday, a day after the Army released a report that Bowen had an improper relationship with a female officer in his command.

Riley said Bowen told him that he planned to resign several months ago and that he had already started a search for a replacement.

The governor said White was assuming command until a new commander is appointed, according to military regulations, which call for the next ranking military officer to take over when there is an unexpected vacancy in a command position.

White is a graduate of Auburn University and is former commander of the Air Guard's 187th Fighter Wing in Montgomery. As a pilot he has flown more than 5,000 hours in T-37, T-38 and F-16 aircraft.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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