Marine artillery training causing quite a boom

Cumberland County residents have been introduced to the sound of earth-shaking booms, courtesy of the big howitzer gun.
October 22, 2013 5:08:38 PM PDT
The sound of freedom continues to rattle over Cumberland County.

For the past two weeks, Marines from Camp Lejeune have been in full combat training mode, and Cumberland County residents have been introduced to the sound of earth-shaking booms, courtesy of the big howitzer gun.

"If we could figure out a quiet way to do it, we would," said Commander of the 10th Marine Regiment Colonel Cliff Weinstein.

It's what you get when you gather more than a thousand Marines, over 2 and half weeks, for one simple goal.

"To keep our Marines alive, because the better trained we are, the more combat ready we are," said Weinstein.

The Marines say the training done in Fort Bragg is absolutely critical and that they do enjoy training with the Howitzer M777.

"I get to shoot 100 pound projectiles, way out there, and they explode on the other end. That's cool," said Sgt. Ryan Eaton.

"It's a good rush," added Lance Cpl. Jesus Mendoza.

Despite having artillery training at Fort Bragg all the time, the training is particularly intense because it is an entire regiment, 1,500 Marines, back to back firing two rounds, under less than 30 seconds.

"We do try to have some quiet hours, throughout the night," said Platoon Commander Chad Greene.

The booms have been going on for a couple of weeks but will be over Tuesday night. Marines say the blasts are crucial to their mission and that they are grateful for the public's patience.

"It's a beautiful thing in life knowing that I can be a Marine and a force of readiness for this country," said Mendoza.

"[Boom] Hey, that's the sound of freedom right there," added Greene.

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