Lt. Col. Craig M. Short takes command
Lt. Col. Craig M. Short greets members of the community and his new command at today's change of command ceremony at Hawthorne Army Depot, Hawthorne, Nev. Lt. Col. William C. Johnson, Jr. transfered command to Short.

HAWTHORNE, Nev. -- Under a sunny sky with Mount Grant and Walker Lake as the backdrop, the world's largest ammunition storage depot installed a new leader Tuesday morning.

Lt. Col. Craig M. Short became the 39th commander of Hawthorne Army Depot, replacing Lt. Col. William C. Johnson, Jr. Short became the 20th Army officer to command the installation, following its transfer from the Navy in 1977.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Brig. Gen. William Burks, adjutant general of the Nevada National Guard, led the ranks of distinguished visitors who attended the ceremony.

Prior to the ceremony, Johnson presented the governor with a shadow box containing a flag that had flown over the depot and replicas of the medals and awards earned by Eddie Gallegos, the governor's maternal grandfather. Gallegos earned the bronze star medal for heroic action as a combat engineer in World War II.

Short comes to his new command following service with the 43rd Sustainment Brigade in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He is no stranger to Nevada, having begun college at the University of Nevada, Reno, before transferring to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Johnson, who served as Hawthorne's commander the past two years, is heading for an assignment on the staff of U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla.

Col. Christopher Mohan, commander of Tooele Army Depot, Utah, presided over the change of command. Both Tooele and Hawthorne are subordinates of the Joint Munitions Command, headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.

The ceremony featured a color guard from the Nevada Army National Guard and a quintet of the 59th Army Band, California Army National Guard.

Hawthorne Army Depot provides war reserve ammunition storage for all military services, and has the most robust conventional ammunition demilitarization capacity in the Defense Department.

Page last updated Tue June 26th, 2012 at 00:00