COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--Lt. Col. Gregory Bowen has been selected as the next commander of the nation's only missile defense brigade and is due to replace the current commander, Col. Michael Yowell, May 15 of next year.

Bowen is uniquely suited to lead the 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense) headquartered here since he has been with the unit from its beginning. He was the first commander of the system's battalion, based in Alaska, and helped to build that unit, the 49th Missile Defense Battalion, from the ground up.

One of the first of the now-growing field of Space Operations Officers, Bowen was born in Colorado but grew up in North Dakota, joining the National Guard there. An Air Defense Artillery officer, he became involved in the burgeoning space area of operations with a move to Colorado Springs in the year 2000.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the missile defense complex at Fort Greely, Alaska was held in June 2002, and the unit was formally activated in January 2004. Bowen commanded the battalion from May of 03 to May of 06, overseeing the emplacements of the first interceptors to guard the nation against ballistic missile attack.

"I am deeply honored and humbled to have been selected as the next commander of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade. After spending most of the past ten years working on strategic missile defense, this assignment will allow me to continue contributing to a mission area that I believe is very important to this nation. I am looking forward to working directly with Soldiers again, as well as with the staff at the U.S. Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Northern Command and the Colorado and Alaska Army National Guard," said Bowen.

He and his wife Kristen have a daughter, Carmen, and currently reside in the Springs.