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Loud but necessary training rocks Fort Bragg

Posted October 22, 2013
Updated October 23, 2013

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— Training for war is a noisy endeavor, as those who live in the vicinity of Fort Bragg have learned time and again. Over the last couple of weeks, the artillery training exercises of about 1,500 Marines on post have rumbled across the landscape.

The 10th Marine Regiment – the only artillery regiment on the East Coast – has been coming to Fort Bragg twice a year for over 20 years. This training period began Oct. 9 and ends Oct. 25.

The Marines leave their home turf of Camp Lejeune for the more wide open space at Fort Bragg. Lejeune is too small for an entire regiment to do mass exercises with 155 millimeter howitzers and machine guns. 

"There's also some restrictions for environmental reasons," said Col. Cliff Weinstein, commanding officer for the 10th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune.

They've got machines so powerful they can rattle a china cabinet two counties away, and full teams of Marines training to load, aim and fire them. Some can hit a target up to 4 miles away. Marines must know the terrain and the weather to prepare these weapons. It's serious business, but also a bit of fun.

"I get to shoot 100-pound projectiles way out there, and they explode on the other end. That's cool. I like it," said Sgt. Ryan Eaton. Artillery training rocks Fort Bragg neighbors Artillery training rocks Fort Bragg neighbors

He is the section chief, in charge of an M777 howitzer, and he said he can't imagine doing anything else.

"Basically, I'm in charge of everything that goes on with that gun, all the gear on that gun and surrounding that gun," he said. 

It's a feeling of great power and great pride.

Lance Corporal Jesus Mendoza, 19, joined the Marines just a year ago. He gets a thrill "just hearing that howitzer just fire, just hearing it fire and knowing that I put that round in there and it's going downrange," he said. 

"It's the sound of freedom right there," said 1st Lt. Chad Greene.

That sound can be disruptive, even frightening, for the neighbors.

"It can get quite loud," Weinstein said. "It's a hardship for a lot of people. We try to keep things to a minimum, but we really appreciate the support that Fayetteville has always given the military."

Most of the artillery work is done during daylight hours.

Weinstein pointed out that the training is essential for Marines who could be called at any time to protect the nation.

31 Comments

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  • icdumbpeople Oct 23, 2013

    I am not complaining... Been used to it for years!

  • disgusted2010 Oct 23, 2013

    One more pot stirring, make news, non-story by WRAL to appeal to their base.

  • disgusted2010 Oct 23, 2013

    Love how the anti gun liberal carpet baggers move into the Cumberland County area and immediately want the base closed because it hurts their sensibilities. I-95 still runs north.

  • k9sandQtrs Oct 23, 2013

    Okay! Glad to finally hear that the noise IS coming from Ft Bragg. I was hearing distant rumbles all last weekend and I'm up near the HWY 201 and HWY 40 intersection. It sounded like some sort of heavy equipment. I do feel bad for people living nearby. Wow.....

  • jenniegreen Oct 23, 2013

    Rather than complain that our houses are made noisy, we should rejoice in the fact we are in our houses, not somewhere in the Middle East wondering what noises we will hear next and if those noises will be our last heard.

  • icdumbpeople Oct 23, 2013

    It is rocking Broadway! wonder when they will cease fire? 11:00 at night and my walls are rocking!

  • mojaintsmall Oct 23, 2013

    "but doing something like that so late in the evening in such a populated area is ridiculous."

    The base and training were there long before the population was and the sole purpose for training is to do it right when it counts and when it counts doesn't always happen in the middle of the day when the ones manning the guns can see everything. Fire away boys!!! mojaintsmall

  • Bob3425 Oct 23, 2013

    I just wish they would not come during deer season or maybe finish up during bow. However I can't have everything in life.

  • GLFriday Oct 23, 2013

    I grew up less than a mile off Plank Road that runs through the base. It was crazy loud with a lot of vibration. We call it "Gunder" during trainging season. After the first few days its just background noise. The dogs and kids ignore it. Thanks to all our military for what they do.

  • Hanging On Oct 23, 2013

    We can hear it all the way in Clayton.

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