Gibbons, easy and relaxed in a comfortable chair in his office, has a quick sense of humor, but one senses the resolve and command presence just underneath.
“Each weekend, whether it’s up on Mt. Grant, or last weekend in Yerington at the rodeo is good. We’re East Coasters, we’d never seen a rodeo. The kids loved it,” Gibbons said.
At a recent depot golf tournament, Gibbons and his daughter watched from a gazebo and passed out lemonade to weary golfers.
“As far as the command goes, it’s a vast depot with a lot to cover. From managing the water up on the mountain to our everyday mission of supply storage and demolition of am-munition, it’s a big breath of responsibility,” Gibbons said.
One of the high points of Gibbons’ stay here was meeting John Stroud, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander-in-chief. Gibbons signed up for a lifetime membership in the organization.
Another opportunity for Gibbons resulted in his attending the Nevada Gold Star Families conference in Reno. Gold Star Families are families that lost a member to the war effort, “It was wonderful to recognize and show our support.”
Although born in Brooklyn, New York, Gibbons is from a military family and he spent time moving around. He attended ROTC at Virginia Tech. Gibbons met his wife, Shelli, while stationed in Germany. He also did several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Gibbons have two children, daughter Syla, and son Kevin.
Gibbons said that at the beginning of the year, the depot had some concern about funding for demilitarizing ammunition, but the concern proved unfounded. “We’re the premiere demil facility in the United States. We’re getting at least as much funding this year, if not a little more than last year,” Gibbons said.
The Department of Defense allocates a certain amount of money for demilitarizing ammunition and Hawthorne Army Depot get the lion’s share because of its exalted status as premiere facility.
Gibbons also mentioned that the depot will get more munitions as the military scales back its presence in the Middle East and Korea. He also said the depot already has enough munitions to demilitarize for the next year and then some.
The military has no plans for a base realignment and closure. “Currently, the military was told, ‘You shall not spend any money on research for BRAC,’ Gibbons said. He also mentioned that Hawthorne has the largest ammunition depot regarding capacity and space, and also has no encroachment issues with other communities.
Gibbons again repeated his assurances to Hawthorne citizens of the continued military presence in the area:
“Our relationship with the community is positive, and rightly so. Hawthorne’s motto is ‘America’s Patriotic Home’ and they live up to it. It is a great relationship and I expect it to continue well into the future,” Gibbons said.