Riley Names National Guard Head

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Governor-elect Bob Riley has picked a long-time friend to head Alabama's National Guard. Riley announced the appointment Monday of retired Major General Mark Bowen of Lineville as the state's next adjutant general.

Riley and his Cabinet will take office Jan. 20.

The 62-year-old Bowen spent 44 years in the Alabama National Guard. He retired in 2000 while serving as commander of the 167th Logistical Support Command, which is based in Birmingham.

Riley and Bowen both come from Clay County and they said they've known each other many years.

Riley said it's important to have strong, experienced leadership at the helm of the Alabama National Guard because the war on terrorism is continuing to escalate and Guard units are playing an important role.