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Fallon Takes CENTCOM: Adm. William Fallon became the new commander of US Central Command at a Friday ceremony at MacDill AFB, Fla. (Fallon had just relinquished command of US Pacific Command.) He has replaced Army Gen. John Abizaid, who led CENTCOM for more than three years is retiring. Fallon, a naval aviator who began his career in 1967, is the first naval officer to lead CENTCOM since its creation in 1983. During the ceremony, Defense Secretary Robert Gates praised the work of Abizaid, saying he had “accepted enormous responsibility at a crucial time in history.” Gates has praised Fallon as one of the US military’s top strategic thinkers and, noting his long service, commented that “nobody would begrudge you if you asked for a well-deserved rest but me.”