Hawthorne Army Depot will soon be home to Pyro Spectacular, a firework manufacturing company that will be renting bunkers on the depot under the United States ARMS program.
The ARMS (Armament Retooling and Manufacturing Support) program is designed to encourage commercial use of the Army’s active ammunition plant and depots through various incentives for businesses willing to locate to a government facility, as stated on the Joint Munitions Command webpage.
Lt. Col. Gregory Gibbons, Hawthorne Army Depot, explained the program.
“There are bases just like this [Hawthorne] all over the country and in times of war they are in high demand and then there are times when the country goes into times when they are not in such high demand, but we still have to maintain them. We still have to pave the roads, maintain all of the buildings so that in 20 years from now, the next war kicks off, we have the industrial base. Which in this case, is munitions.”
One way the Army has decided to maintain depots such as Hawthorne is through agreements through ARMS.
“The ARMS program allows civilian companies to come in, in conjunction with the contractor here and use our facilities for a price,” he said.
Through the program, the company is allowed to continue to operate even if a new contractor is awarded the contract.
“Generally, these contracts are long term agreements and will continue with the base,” he explains.
Pyro Spectacular is not the only company currently in agreements with the Army.
Corner Stone Concrete, a Hawthorne-based company, is currently using the ARMS program by using the gravel pit located on government land. With the agreement, Corner Stone uses the land and some equipment, which allows the equipment to be utilized and not parked for long periods of time.
Currently, Gibbons explains that there are many ARMS agreements that the base is looking into but is unwilling to disclose the names until further agreements are made.
Besides large companies utilizing the base, smaller companies are also encouraged to look into the benefits of operating their business from the base. Not only will the companies use the buildings, bunkers or security, if needed, but also the use of the railway.
“Last year we signed an agreement with the Paiute tribe which leads into the ARMS agreement,” Gibbons said. “The tribe can work with those companies to use our rail line and through the ARMS agreement, the company can rent or pay for usage of the rail, specifically. By signing that, it opened up the opportunity of the ARMS agreement and the tribe has came back to us and they are working with a company that would like to use the rail line.”
Anyone can bring business ideas to Gibbons for use of the base. He also works with Shelley Hartmann with Mineral County Economic Development.
Hartmann, working with the Governor’s Economic Development Team has brought in a company that will be using the airspace over the base to fly unmanned aerial vehicle’s (UAV).
The first UAV has not yet been dispatched over the depot. The depot will provide them with storage and security.
“The great parts about the ARMS agreement are: one – it’s a great opportunity for the base for maintaining the operations of the base but also for the town. It brings in more business into town and the base. More use of our restaurants, our motels and all that. Clearly, that is why Shelley [Hartmann] is involved and she is the one who really helped us out with the UAV’s. We work hand in hand with SOC, who has an individual whose job it is to do ARMS, on the government staff, we have a business opportunity team of four of our employees that reach out to these companies and look for how we can bring business into the base and the community,” he concluded.