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Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Relinquishes Top Navy Post

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29, 2005 – Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England has relinquished his post as secretary of the Navy, Defense Department officials announced today.

He will continue to serve as acting deputy secretary of defense, officials said.

England has served as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's deputy since May, when former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz left the Pentagon to head up the World Bank.

Over two terms as Navy secretary, England served a total of 48 months. His terms were separated by his service as the first deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department. For the past eight months, he has served in both the Navy post and as acting deputy secretary of defense.

"It has been a profound honor to serve with the magnificent men and women of the United States Navy and Marine Corps," England said in a statement issued by the Pentagon. "I am most privileged to be able to continue serving our armed forces as the deputy to Secretary Rumsfeld."

Navy Undersecretary Dionel M. Aviles will serve as acting Navy secretary effective today. Donald Winter, who was confirmed by the Senate last month, will be sworn in as the 74th secretary of the Navy on Jan. 3.

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