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US military names new commander to run prison at US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

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MIAMI — A new commander has been selected to run the detention center at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Navy announced that Rear Adm. Fernandez Ponds will be the next commander of the task force in charge of the prison where the U.S. holds 122 men.

A statement released Friday said Ponds will replace Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad. Ponds will take command in July. He now serves as commander of an expeditionary strike group and an amphibious group in San Diego.

President Barack Obama sought to close the detention center but was thwarted by Congress. The administration has reduced the population by half by transferring prisoners to their homelands or other countries. Of those who remain, 56 have been approved for transfer.

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