Local News

Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg Named Potential Sites For Navy Bombing Range

Posted July 26, 2001

— Angry protestors demanded that the United States close down the Vieques bombing range in Puerto Rico. Now Navy leaders are looking for another place to practice and they are targeting several locations, including Camp LeJeune and Fort Bragg.

Shirley Patrick has heard weapons go off near her Cliffdale West home for 24 years. The wife of a veteran refers to it as the sound of freedom.

"It's like living by an airport or the railroad track, but the difference is these people are trying to see that our country stays free," she says.

Practicing with live fire is nothing new at Fort Bragg. A study commissioned by the Navy says Fort Bragg could be part of a solution to move Navy training away from the controversial Vieques Island bombing ranges in Puerto Rico -- a move that could launch more noise in the neighborhood.

Kitty Griggs says the explosions already shake her walls or wake her up. She is aiming for a different alternative.

"I'd rather it be somewhere else. Maybe a more desolate place where it won't bother as many people," she says.

Veteran and city councilman Don Talbot supports the military, but says there must be limits.

"They don't need to be dropping 1,000-pound bombs on Fort Bragg when we have civilian housing so close to the ranges," he says.

The plan will be studied further by the Navy. In a statement issued by Fort Bragg, officials say the post supports joint training, but it is too early to comment on the recommendations of the study.


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