Some unique military operations are now coming out of Camp Roberts. The military post unveiled three brand new facilities today, one of which is attracting widespread interest from law enforcement who want to use it for training.
The National Guard post first showed off its brand new, $2.6-million dining facility. But that was just the appetizer. The other two facilities were more like the main course.
An $11-million combat training facility was built right on the base. Fourteen different buildings make up what’s supposed to be a makeshift town. Inside the buildings is a simulated combat situation, complete with the sights and sounds of the real thing.
Master Sgt. Chad Rickard with the U.S. Army said, "Having all the sounds and the sights and the screaming and the gunfire, it definitely enhances and gives you that full dimension around you what you would encounter in combat operations."
Each session is recorded on multiple cameras, so when the training is done they can review the tape.
"You can literally watch your entire operation from the start to the finish and then take the tapes back and review them and go over everything and get a realistic overview of what you accomplished," said Master Sgt. Rickard.
Many local and federal law enforcement agencies have contacted Camp Roberts to use their combat training facility. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s SWAT Team is among those interested in using it.
The final facility deals specifically with unmanned aircraft operations, more specifically, drones. It’s the only one of its kind in the Army, also providing a flight simulator for drone pilots. Its primary use is for overseas operations, but it has its uses back home.
"In any kind of catastrophic environment, depending on what the governor needs and the interagency customer, and then approved by the Secretary of Defense, the asset could be used for floods, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes," said Col. Jeff Smiley of the U.S. Army.
In all, the 3 facilities total about $18.1-million. It’s a part of 5-year $102-million renovation project at Camp Roberts.