Nevada Governor Recalls Desert Shield, Desert Storm Duty

RENO, Nev. — It was Pearl Har­bor Day 1990 when the Neva­da Air Nation­al Guard was called up to serve in oper­a­tions Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

One of the air­men called to duty in 1990 was a young lieu­tenant colonel and Neva­da state leg­is­la­tor, who would go on to be award­ed the Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Cross for his extra­or­di­nary achieve­ments as a flight leader dur­ing the conflict. 

Today, he’s rec­og­nized across the nation as Neva­da Gov. Jim Gibbons. 

The Neva­da air­men were deployed to Shaikh Isa Air Base in Bahrain, where they flew their RF-4C Phan­toms in extreme heat on demand­ing mis­sions and often encoun­tered ene­my fire. 

Twen­ty years after the con­flict, Gib­bons recent­ly recount­ed his expe­ri­ences, includ­ing his time serv­ing under Army Gens. Nor­man Schwarzkopf and Col­in Pow­ell, and the friend­ship he devel­oped with anoth­er young offi­cer, who would even­tu­al­ly become the cur­rent Neva­da adju­tant gen­er­al, Bill Burks. 

Gib­bons said the lead­er­ship of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Ron Bath, now the vice-chair­man of the Neva­da Mil­i­tary Sup­port Alliance, stands out in his mem­o­ry the most. 

“Ron took charge when things weren’t going well, or if some­one had a prob­lem,” he said. “Ron was the indi­vid­ual whom every­body turned toward to help solve a crit­i­cal prob­lem … a guy I grew up with, went to war with, a great friend and some­one I admire tremendously.” 

Gib­bons said he applied many of his mil­i­tary lessons learned to his civil­ian career. He served in the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 1997–2006 before becom­ing the Neva­da governor. 

“Mil­i­tary expe­ri­ence allows you to cre­ate great friend­ships in addi­tion to learn­ing many things you would nev­er get to learn as a civil­ian, includ­ing lead­er­ship skills and team­work,” Gib­bons said. “Most impor­tant­ly, the mil­i­tary chal­lenges you as an indi­vid­ual to dis­cov­er your great­est abil­i­ties, espe­cial­ly in try­ing times.” 

Gib­bons began his Air Force career with an active-duty stint from 1967–1971.

He grad­u­at­ed from the Air Com­mand and Staff Col­lege and the Air War Col­lege and even­tu­al­ly attained the rank of colonel before retir­ing as the vice com­man­der of the Neva­da Air Guard’s 152nd Recon­nais­sance Group in 1996. 

“As gov­er­nor, there are times I look back on my years in the Air Force and appre­ci­ate the abil­i­ty I gained to forge ahead dur­ing chal­leng­ing times when sit­u­a­tions seemed impos­si­ble,” he said. 

Gib­bons said the intan­gi­ble val­ue of friend­ships estab­lished dur­ing com­bat are some of the most valu­able and longest-last­ing rela­tion­ships of one’s life. 

“Those indi­vid­u­als you see reg­u­lar­ly, you train with, you trust implic­it­ly: those are the great­est friends you can ever have,” Gib­bons said. “Those friends you make while in the mil­i­tary are prob­a­bly the most valu­able, endur­ing rela­tion­ships you will ever have.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →