After a three-year hiatus, 71 sharpshooters from Nevada’s National Guard and Air National Guard gathered at Hawthorne Army Depot’s Freedom Ranges Aug. 1-3 to compete for the privilege of wearing the “Governor’s 20” patch, signifying the 20 best marksmen in the Guard.
The contestants, including two women, competed in several events over the three-day match. Events included: Pistol Excellence in Competition, Pistol Reflexive Fire, Rifle Excellence in Competition and Rifle Reflexive Fire. After the three days of crackling gunfire, one man emerged victor: Staff Sgt. Frank Nash. With a score of 712 of a possible 800, Nash also won the event in 2010.
Nash did not win a single event, he won the contest by consistently placing high in each event. He attributed his shooting skills to the execution of proper shooting fundamentals. He also said he didn’t spend much of his spare time practicing.
Lt. Col. Gregory Gibbons, commander of the Hawthorne Army Depot, attended the Aug. 3 performance and came away impressed – and with a few ideas.
“What’s awesome is that we have these facilities for the Guard to utilize. I had an opportunity to talk to General Burks (The senior uniformed Nevada National Guard officer) about making the National Guard a tenant unit, and that would give them the opportunity to make this a permanent training facility rather than traveling to California,” Gibbons said.
The effort would involve using a number of channels, including the Pentagon, to get the ball rolling. Gibbons already approached Governor Sandoval and other officials about the project although the massive amount of paperwork required for the project is just beginning.
“It’s great we have these facilities. It’s good for the Guard, and great for the town of Hawthorne and its businesses,” Gibbons said.