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    New Commander Takes Charge at Camp Roberts

    New Commander Takes Charge at Camp Roberts

    Photo By Maj. Jason Sweeney | Lt. Col. Robert Horvath is the new garrison commander at Camp Roberts. Over his career...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Jason Sweeney 

    California National Guard Primary   

    CAMP ROBERTS, Calif. – The new commander of Camp Roberts knows his installation from the ground up.

    “I’ve been in the maneuver community for the entirety of my military career, from field artillery forward observer, through armor and infantry, so I’m a maneuver person, and I’ve traversed all of the training areas here at Camp Roberts,” Lt. Col. Robert Horvath said. “I’m excited to be selected as the garrison commander and support all the great training that occurs across our formations.”

    Horvath took command of Camp Roberts on Jan. 5. As garrison commander, he’s responsible for managing the camp’s daily operations and its 150 full-time personnel. At over 43,000 acres, Camp Roberts is the California Army National Guard’s largest installation, capable of accommodating multiple brigade-level elements through training and garrison activities.

    “I want to work with Joint and Army directors at state level to identify where Camp Roberts fits into the strategic plan, and plan how to shape Camp Roberts to meet future training requirements as weapons systems and technology advances across our formations and platforms,” Horvath said.

    He said one of his priorities is maintaining and building upon the relationships previous commanders have made with leaders in surrounding communities.

    Army National Guardsmen from units across the state and country train throughout the year at Camp Roberts, as do service members from all branches of the U.S. military, as well as foreign military units. In addition, the camp’s location on the rolling hills of California’s Central Coast provides a critical training and staging platform for Governor-directed state emergencies, such as wildfires and floods.

    Horvath is no stranger to the Central Coast. In 2015, he was assigned as the deputy brigade commander of the 223rd Regional Training Institute (RTI) at Camp San Luis Obispo, then served as the 3rd Battalion, 223rd RTI commander, also at Camp San Luis Obispo.

    On Jan. 5, during a change of command ceremony, Horvath assumed command of Camp Roberts from retiring garrison commander Lt. Col. Kevin Bender.

    “Camp Roberts continues to make significant improvements in its range capabilities, training areas, and infrastructure,” Horvath said in a speech during the ceremony. “Under Lt. Col. Bender’s watch, both as the deputy commander and recently as the garrison commander, Camp Roberts made significant progress in improving infrastructure, Soldier support and MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) opportunities. His efforts in these areas have had tremendous positive outcomes.”

    Bender served as the deputy commander of Camp Roberts for two years before taking command of the post in 2017. During his tenure, the camp saw a number of improvements, such as renovations to its barracks, training facilities and RV park. The base gym is currently being renovated and plans are in the works for a Soldier recreation area at the site of the old pool.

    Bender said when he was initially assigned to Camp Roberts, he wasn’t entirely enthusiastic. His impressions of the camp came from training as a Soldier in the field in the heat of summer long before any of the recent renovations. “You’re dirty, you’re hot, you’re sweaty,” he said. “And then you would come into barracks that, quite frankly, weren’t very nice. When I first was told that I was coming here, I was like, oh no.”

    But his impressions changed when he saw the improvements being made and got to know the camp on a day-to-day basis. “Spending your time around here, going all over, seeing the woods and hills and things of that nature, you see the actual beauty of this place. Working here full-time you’re not getting a two-week short snippet in the worst kind of conditions in a field environment.”

    Bender said his time at Camp Roberts was some of the most enjoyable of his career. In retirement, he plans to stay in nearby Paso Robles and enjoy spending time with his wife, Yana, and sons Nicholas, 13, and Nathan, 8. “I’m going to coach their baseball again and get back with my family. Right now I’m enjoying the time with my kids.”



    Date Taken: 01.29.2019
    Date Posted: 01.30.2019 20:17
    Story ID: 308895
    Location: CAMP ROBERTS, CA, US 

    Web Views: 1,916
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