Camp Roberts

Issues & Ideas: Camp Roberts distancing, the Noriega closes and past vigilantes

May 12, 2020

On this episode of Issues and Ideas, we learn more of the history behind Bakersfield's Noriega Hotel, which recent closed its doors for good. A Bakersfield institution, it was the oldest Basque restaurant in town and a winner of the prestigious James Beard Award. Also, Camp Roberts’ garrison commander has a conversation with correspondent Tom Wilmer about modified training and adjustments made to daily life at the National Guard base due to social distancing. We speak with Avila Beach resident and author Pete Kelley about his new local history book. And we’ll take a look at the 2020 census, and some new strategies used to get the word out to undercounted communities. Finally, we'll hear from San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre managing artistic director Kevin Harris about keeping a theater company alive during a pandemic.

Jason Sweeney

Garrison commander Colonel Robert Horvath talks with correspondent Tom Wilmer about modified training and adjustments to daily life due to social distancing at California National Guard base Camp Roberts.

Camp Roberts Historical Museum

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Camp Roberts, the U.S. Army training base located 16 miles north of Paso Robles, where he visits with Gary McMaster, chairman and curator at the Camp Roberts Historical Museum.

Thomas Wilmer

Camp Roberts—located on the San Luis Obispo/Monterey county line—was America’s largest Army training base during World War II. Close to half a million infantry and artillery troops went through basic training at the base during the war.

Greta Mart

Military officials say Central Coast residents can expect to see increased activity around the California National Guard post that straddles the border of Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties, adjacent to Highway 101. Camp Roberts officials said over the next few months, there will be more soldiers on the base and more military vehicles on the roads. 

UPDATE: Camp Roberts brush fire now in 'mop-up' mode

May 18, 2016
Camp Roberts Facebook Page

UPDATE: Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 3:54 p.m.

The Comander of Camp Roberts says crews are mostly in the mop-up stage of controlling a roughly 3500 acre fire on installation grounds.

Dennis Lee, ODF

Roughly 240 members of the California National Guard arrived at Camp Roberts Monday to being four days of intensive training on line-crew firefighting.

The guard supports the state's fire suppression efforts on an annual basis but not since 2007 has the need been great enough to warrant this level of training, said Captain Kara Siepmann.

"So that's about two days of classroom and two days in the field wearing their full protective equipment that Cal Fire issues them, and then they're ready to be deployed should the fire spark large enough to need them," said Siepmann.

California Army National Guard

A staff sergeant with the California Army National Guard died following symptoms of a heart attack that came on during a training exercise Wednesday at Camp Roberts in San Luis Obispo County.

Forty-one-year-old Raul Escobedo was with the Guard’s 40th Infantry Division and was pronounced dead at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo Wednesday night.