CARSON CITY — Gov. Jim Gibbons has left the state on a weeklong trip overseas — likely Afghanistan, although aides wouldn’t confirm that.
“The governor is out of the state and the lieutenant governor has been notified,” said Gail Powell, interim press secretary for Gibbons. “At this point, at the request of the Department of Defense, that’s all I can share with you.”
Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki confirmed that he is acting governor until Gibbons’ scheduled return July 23 . “I know where he is going, but it is not for me to share,” Krolicki added.
If the Republican governor goes to Afghanistan, he’d have a chance to meet with some of the more than 800 Nevada National Guard members stationed there, and be briefed by U.S. military officers. Meetings with home-state troops and briefings are the usual routine for U.S. governors who make such tours.
Besides the Guard members in Afghanistan, about 150 Nevada National Guard members are in Iraq, where Gibbons went in May 2008 on a similar trip.
While he’s a politician, Gibbons has extensive military experience. He was a combat pilot during the Vietnam War and a reconnaissance pilot during the first Gulf War. He retired from the Nevada Air Guard in late 1994.
While in Congress in 2004, Gibbons made another trip to Iraq. In 2006, then-Gov. Kenny Guinn also made a Pentagon-sponsored trip to Iraq. Guinn also made stops in Afghanistan and Kuwait.