Gov. Frank Murkowski today named Col. Craig Campbell as the new commissioner of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
The department oversees homeland security, state emergency services and military divisions such as the Army National Guard, Air National Guard and Naval Militia. The department employs about 4,000 people, including part-time reservists.
Campbell, 50, has served in the military for 27 years and is vice commander of the 168th Air Refueling Wing of the Alaska Air National Guard. He served on the Anchorage Assembly from 1986 to 1996 and is executive director of the Anchorage municipal Office of Planning, Development and Public Works.
Campbell also served as deputy commissioner of the department under Govs. Walter Hickel and Tony Knowles.
"As the department steps up to fulfill its new missions of homeland security and missile defense, we need a leader there who can inspire the confidence of those he leads," Murkowski said in a prepared statement. "Craig has demonstrated solid leadership abilities over a lengthy and dedicated career in service to the nation and Alaska."
Campbell will replace Maj. Gen. Phillip Oates as head of the department when he takes office Friday. Campbell will serve his term as commissioner in Anchorage.
Murkowski still must appoint commissioners to the departments of administration, community and economic development, natural resources, public safety, and transportation. Commissioners for the departments of fish and game, and education and early development, also must be chosen, but the selection process involves the departments' governing boards.
Along with Campbell, Murkowski appointed Roger Schnell, a retired colonel in the Army Air National Guard, as deputy commissioner of the department.
Murkowski also appointed Brig. Gen. Tim Scott as assistant adjutant general to the Alaska Air National Guard and Brig. Gen. Craig Christensen to serve as assistant adjutant general to the Alaska Army National Guard.
Scott will serve as commander of the Alaska Air National Guard, operating out of Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks. Christensen will serve as commander of the Alaska Army National Guard.
Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at email@example.com.