Camp Roberts is used for ARNG and USAR unit collective training and unit schools. Camp Roberts is located on U.S. Highway 101, which follows the old Mission Trail. Maneuver Training Center (MTC) Camp Roberts is a 42,361-acre site that is the largest and most capable training area under the control of the California Army National Guard (CAARNG). MTC Camp Roberts supports light and heavy maneuver (mounted and dismounted), live-fire training, aerial gunnery, drop zones, and limited airfield capabilities on two airfields. It also supports the Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-M), the Camp Roberts MATES, and an organizational maintenance shop (OMS). The installation provides all training support including billeting, dining, administration, and community support. The Camp Roberts Western Regional Maintenance School has classes in the repair and maintenance of generators and vehicles.
With the onset of World War II, San Luis Obispo County's transportation links and open land areas were deemed useful by the US War Department, which located training camps in the area: Camp Roberts and Camp San Luis Obispo, as well as a naval training base at Morro Bay and a Coast Guard station near Cambria. These camps brought into the County nearly 100,000 military personnel, some with their families. Many liked the area so much that they returned to settle here after the war. Even some movie people were stationed here. Van Heflin was at Camp San Luis and Red Skelton was stationed at Camp Roberts.
During the Vietnam era, Camp Roberts supported a variety of operation, including the construction of a satellite communications station as part of a worldwide strategic communications network (the first station of its kind in the world).
Camp Roberts was officially closed by the Army in April 1970. On 2 April 1971, the California Army National Guard received control of the site, under a license from the Army, to establish a Reserve Component Training Center.
The CAARNG has access to the following training facilities at Camp Roberts:
- 11 basic marksmanship ranges.
- 2 collective live fire ranges.
- 4 direct fire gunnery ranges.
- 3 mortar firing points.
- 39 artillery firing points (11 of which are dry fire only).
- 5 special live fire areas.
- 28 light maneuver areas.
- 7 heavy maneuver areas.
- 20 other nonlive fire facilities.
Camp Roberts has 173 square kilometers (km2)(42,814 acres) within the installation boundary. There are 130 km2 (32,194 acres) available for maneuver, of which 81 km2 (19,881 acres) are available for heavy maneuver. Approximately 21 km2 (5,069 acres) of heavy maneuver area are contiguous on the East Garrison, and 60 km2 (19,881 acres) of heavy maneuver area are contiguous on the Main Cantonment.
The site is the largest and most capable training area under the control of the California Army National Guard (CAARNG). Camp Roberts supports light and heavy maneuver (mounted and dismounted), livefire training, aerial gunnery, drop zones, and limited airfield capabilities on two airfields. It also supports the Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-M), the Camp Roberts Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (MATES), and an organizational maintenance shop (OMS). The installation provides all training support including billeting, dining, administration, and community support.
Maneuver Training Center (MTC) Camp Roberts provides training support (billeting, classrooms, unit administration / storage, vehicle maintenance, personnel support, and recreation) within the main cantonment area of the installation. The Camp Roberts cantonment is divided into blocks (1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, and 7000) that define the functional training support compounds. The number blocks form an essentially modular development pattern throughout much of the cantonment. The blocks contain the basic training facilities including battalion headquarters (HQ), company HQ, unit supply, billets, dining, and unaccompanied personnel housing (UPH). In addition to the battalion blocks, the main cantonment also contains the Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-M) campus, the Directorate of Logistics (DOL) warehousing complex, the Post Headquarters buildings, miscellaneous installation support capabilities, and the community support core facilities that are located near the main gate.
The East Garrison contains training areas, the remnants of a small cantonment area, the Camp Roberts Army Airfield, and the Camp Roberts Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (MATES). The airfield supports several small, temporary facilities that provide rudimentary support to the aviation units training at Camp Roberts. The MATES complex constitutes a highly capable and modern group of maintenance facilities that will support the Camp Roberts training mission well into the future.
The Mobilization and Training Equipment Site (MATES) mission is to provide organizational, direct, and general support maintenance on all Army National Guard equipment positioned at the MATES, in accordance with prescribed US Army and National Guard Bureau standards and directives. In addition, the MATES performs all modification work orders on equipment positioned at the sites, including full tracked combat vehicles such as tanks, howitzers, mortar carriers, personnel carriers, combat engineer vehicles, armored vehicle launched bridge (AVLB), recovery vehicles, and cargo carriers, and artillery material such as fire control, communications and electronics equipment, basic issue items, and other equipment required to support training.
MATES capabilities include the following:
- Administration of the MATES to include personnel time and attendance records, administrative files, administrative library, technical library, equipment logbooks, production control records, property records, and general supply and shop supervision.
- Organizational and support maintenance on the automotive portion of all equipment positioned at MATES. This includes combat, tactical, commercial, support, engineer, and special purpose vehicles and equipment (diesel, gasoline, and multifuel).
- Organizational and support maintenance on the artillery, small arms, and fire control systems mounted on combat equipment positioned at the MATES.
- Organizational and support maintenance on all communication-electronic components, systems, and test equipment that is associated with, or a component of, equipment positioned at the MATES.
- Provides welding, machine shop, painting, auto body repair, and fabric and leather support.
- Quality control of the MATES maintenance program through initial, in-process, and final inspection of all organizational maintenance, direct and general support maintenance, and modifications. Inspects all equipment scheduled for issue to units to ensure proper and efficient operation. Also provides for inspection of wrecked or damaged equipment, classification inspection, and limited technical inspection.
- Performance of all scheduled and unscheduled organizational maintenance on equipment and basic issue items positioned at the MATES. Also plans and prepares equipment for use by units during weekend and annual training period.
- Provide technical and maintenance inspections during issue, use, and turn-in of MATES equipment.
The CAARNG has a METL-based requirement to conduct convoy operations. CAARNG combat service support units have shown a special interest in training in this type of operation. During war, these units are constantly moving through rear, intermediate, and at times, front line areas in the conduct of their mission. Convoy live fire training is one manner in which to meet this training requirement.
Heavy maneuver training areas on Camp Roberts are not sufficient to meet the mechanized infantry's war critical tasks of attack and defend and allow for land reclamation. Armor, Bradley, and cavalry units have requirements to fire Tank Table (TT) VI and screening / zero live fire training events annually. Range N15 is designated as an SGR but lacks the appropriate targetry.
The Department of Fish and Game has offered assistance to the National Guard in an effort to restore public hunting and fishing programs at Camp Roberts. Legal issues restrict the use of Camp Roberts for hunting and fishing activities.
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