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Gates Praises Outgoing CENTCOM Commander

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2008 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates praised Navy Adm. William J. Fallon at his relinquishment-of-command ceremony in Tampa, Fla., today. Gates said Fallon led  U.S. Central Command through a period of great progress in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Video

The Middle East as a whole benefited from Fallon’s leadership as he applied the same strategic thinking and diplomatic skills he has exhibited throughout his military career, most recently at the helm of U.S. Pacific Command, Gates said.

A retirement ceremony in Washington in May also will honor Fallon.

The secretary thanked Army Lt. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey for taking on the critical CENTCOM mission until a new commander is named.

(More comprehensive coverage to follow from American Forces Press Service.)

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Robert M. Gates
Adm. William J. Fallon, USN

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