Carson City native headed for Kuwait
Army Spc. Katherine Robinson, who grew up in a brown, two-story house on Goldfield Avenue and graduated from Carson High School in 2000, is scheduled to be deployed to Kuwait in January.
She’s not allowed to say exactly when.
Officially, her unit will operate in support of an Army training exercise which has been ongoing since the Gulf War.
“It’s the 3rd Infantry Division’s turn to do the rotation,” Robinson said.
When she worked at the Nevada Appeal before joining the Army in October 2000, everyone called her “Kathy.”
Things have changed a bit since she took her post at Fort Stewart, Ga., home of the 3rd Infantry Division (mechanized).
“I go by Katherine in print,” she says. “Everybody in Georgia calls me Kate.”
Robinson is a photojournalist with the 50th Public Affairs Detachment.
At Carson High, she worked on the Senator News. For the Appeal, she was a classified paginator and mentored high school newspaper students.
She is glad to be home for a holiday visit before her deployment.
“Carson City has never looked so lovely,” she said. “I have so many siblings — like a sister who’s not quite 3 years old — and it’s so good to see them all.”
Before she joined the Army, Robinson worked at the Appeal’s old Bath Street office.
Now, at Fort Stewart near Hinesville, she lays out her post’s newspaper pages. She also shoots photos with a Nikon F4, N65 or, preferably, a digital D1H.
“That’s the sweetest camera in the world. It’s gorgeous,” she said.
She also interviews sources, writes stories, answers phones — basically puts together the entire paper.
On Sept. 11, 2001, because many of her fellow soldiers from the public relations office were in Humvee driver training and the civilian who helps with the paper had trouble getting to the base, she and one other soldier handled the day’s news.
After the attacks, her base immediately went on a higher alert status, with all cars entering the base searched, ID’s checked all over the base, and vehicles required to park 25 meters from buildings.
“I think everybody who was in the service at the time kinda felt like ‘Oh, wow, this is the reason I joined,'” she said.
The 3rd Infantry Division, which is a part of the XVIII Airborne, prides itself on being extremely combat-ready.
“We are one of the most rapidly deployable divisions in the Army,” Robinson said.
They uphold fit-to-fight standards that are higher than the Army requires. Robinson and the rest of the 3rd Infantry Division must be able to run 4 miles in 36 minutes, qualify with M16 rifles regularly, and do 12-mile road marches while wearing Kevlar helmets, a load-bearing vest, rucksack and carrying a rifle.
“Those are all kinds of fun,” Robinson said.
In Kuwait, she expects to use her journalism background and training in a variety of ways, from creating a newsletter for troops in the field to escorting civilian media.
“We’ll do the same thing we do in garrison, only on a smaller scale,” she said.
The coming deployment has Robinson excited but a little scared.
“I want to see places that normal people don’t get to see,” she said. “I don’t think there are a lot of people who vacation in Kuwait. It’s going to be intense. It’s going to be educational.”