HAWTHORNE ARMY DEPOT, Nev.-- Rep. Steven Horsford, sworn into office Jan. 3, 2013, as the first representative from Nevada's fourth congressional district, visited Hawthorne Army Depot Jan. 26, 2013, as part of his tour of the newly formed district. Accompanying Horsford was his entire nine-member staff from his Washington, D.C. and North Las Vegas district offices. Horsford wanted his entire team to experience first-hand the issues, needs and concerns of the district in order to be responsive to them.

To provide local information to Horsford's team were Jerrie Tipton, Cliff Cichowlaz and Paul MacBeth, Mineral County commissioners; Shelley Hartmann, executive director, Mineral County Economic Development Authority; Mark Nixon, chairman, Mineral County Planning Commission; Lt. Col. Craig Short, HWAD commander; Kirk Bausman, HWAD deputy to the commander; and George Gram, general manager, SOC Nevada LLC.

Short provided a comprehensive briefing which included an overview showing Hawthorne Army Depot as a critical and essential component of Joint Munitions Command, which, in turn, is part of Army Materiel Command.

"Team Hawthorne is not just a Department of Defense activity; it is a team of government, contractor and local community members working together," said Short.

In addition, Short emphasized that the depot is a conscientious steward of the environment including natural resources and renewable energy.

Tipton related efforts to explore development of geothermal resources within Mineral County and highlighted challenges of hooking into transmission corridors to relay the energy into a marketable utility.

Horsford expressed keen interest in renewable energy as well as environmental and natural resources related to depot operations, the town of Hawthorne and Mineral County.

Gram talked about the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Certifications that the depot has achieved in the management of Quality (9001), Environment (14001), Safety (18001), and Energy (50001). He informed Horsford that the annual adjustment to the SOC workforce is driven by the next year's workload. Gram acknowledged the workload is tied to funding levels.

Hartmann emphasized that the depot impacts 75 percent of the county's economy and was an issue the Base Realignment and Closure Commission had strongly taken into consideration in 2005.

"Between now and March we will have a debate. If sequestration goes into effect, we want to know what it looks like in this district, what the fiscal impact would be," said Horsford.

He further stated that he wanted to be able to articulate local input and "first and foremost fight for Nevada."

Following the briefing, the depot staff took the congressional visitors to Black Beauty Reservoir for a breath-taking view of the depot and the Hawthorne community. Horsford and his staff were impressed by the sheer size of the depot, as well as the sight of antelope grazing below them.

Hawthorne Army Depot is an archive site for storing slow-moving ammunition and stocks awaiting demilitarization. HWAD provides high desert training facilities for military units. As the designated site for long-term storage of reused Industrial Plant Equipment, Hawthorne receives, stores and accounts for all IPE.

JMC operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed. JMC's customers are U.S. forces of all military services, other U.S. government agencies and allied nations.