By Roger Daniels
Special to the Hood Herald
FORT IRWIN, Calif. - While walking around Forward Operating Base Warrior at the National Training Center, Master Sgt. Kevin Robinson stops to answer his cell phone - it tends to ring often throughout the day.
After answering the phone, the person on the other end informs him a group of soldiers are arriving at the forward operating base, which is nestled in the middle of the California desert post.
"I'm on the other side of the (base)," he tells the caller. The caller informs him the soldiers will arrive in about 15 minutes.
"OK, I'll be there," he said. He calls one of his soldiers. "Print me out my speech and one of those new chapel schedules."
He then hustles across the forward operating base to brief the incoming soldiers - about 300 from two National Guard units from Michigan and Illinois.
The briefing is part of his job as forward operating base mayor.
So far, he has briefed almost every soldier who has entered the forward operating base. In all, more than 5,400 soldiers are present for the National Training Center rotation, mostly from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
Other active-duty Army units, Air Force, Marines, Army National Guard and Army Reserve units are also supporting the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which is scheduled to deploy to Iraq later this year.
Robinson is responsible for maintaining everyday situations on the forward operating base while supervising a crew of 125 soldiers.
The crew's daily tasks include keeping the forward operating base clean by picking up trash, cleaning the five restrooms at least twice a day, guarding several forward operating base buildings, manning the ammunition supply point and maintaining 87 generators.
Robinson was one of the first soldiers to arrive at the forward operating base May 4. An advance party followed him on May 8, and the bulk of the regiment arrived May 13 to 18.
"This is a 24-hour deal," Robinson said about maintaining the forward operating base.
Robinson, the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear noncommissioned officer in charge for Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, starts his day by waking up at 4:30 a.m. and heading to the gym around 5 a.m. His day ends between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.
He holds a formation at 7 a.m., meets with his noncommissioned officers at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., attends a meeting at 5 p.m. and holds a close-out formation at 7 p.m.
Between the meetings, he walks the entire forward operating base at least four times. He looks for trash, walks through the sleep tents and spot checks the generators and the water stations.
"The longer you are in a place, (the more) you should improve that place," he said.