Alaska Guard to get new commander

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The Alaska Army National Guard is getting a new commander.

Col. Leon M. "Mike" Bridges will take command at a ceremony Saturday at the Alaska National Guard armory, located at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

Bridges replaces Brig. Gen. Julio R. "Randy" Banez, who is retiring Feb. 1.

Guard officials say Bridges has served in the National Guard more than 31 years, serving in Alaska, Washington and Oregon National Guards.

Officials say Bridges is scheduled to be promoted Friday to brigadier general.