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Camp Lejeune Training Exercise Targets New Enemy

Posted October 31, 2001

— North Carolina Marines are sharpening their skills for the unknown enemy with drills focused on anti-terrorism training.

At Camp Lejeune, every Marine is trained to shoot, but during a training exercise Tuesday, they shot targets at close range, using real bullets.

"We're used to firing anywhere from 200 to 500 meters away, so now we're actually right up on the target. So it's a different opportunity, it's something better," one Marine said.

"Now it's more of a close quarters battle type of thing. It's just you and the enemy, one on one, and it's less time to react and more of whether it's you or him," another Marine said.

The 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade is adding another skill, because this group is set apart to battle a new generation of terrorists. Part of that training happens in a simulated city tucked away in Camp Lejeune.

It is here that Marines train to get inside or on the roof of tall buildings.

"Moving rooftop to rooftop has an inherent danger to it, but when you weigh it out to what danger could be lurking on the streets, it's a lot less dangerous," one Marine said.

The Marine Corp says that it has based the training ground on its experiences in Iraq and Somalia. From the narrow city streets to damaged buildings where the enemy can hide, it is all supposed to look just like a Third World country.

The 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade could end up anywhere in a few weeks, and the recent warnings for Americans to be alert make this training that much more important.

"It makes it more serious. We always take things seriously, but you really listen, you really learn to pay attention because you might be using it one day," a Marine said.


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