By Spc. Paul A. HolstonOctober 18, 2011
If you've recently heard thunderous booms and felt trembling shakes at your home, fear not for it is not an earthquake; it's the Marines from 10th Marine Regiment that are enhancing their artillery expertise at the Fort Bragg training grounds.
As part of their semi-annual fall artillery training, about 400 Marines from the 10th Marine Reg. have been firing their howitzers, as well as conducting missions as if they were in a real, deployed environment on Fort Bragg.
"We want to focus on our artillery and our mission," said Lt. Col. Robert Hallett, the battalion commander of 1st Bn., 10th Marine Reg. "We have a great relationship with Fort Bragg, they have been very accommodating to us in the past years, and the post and the range control understand what we do."
The Marines have been conducting this training for the past two weeks and will continue through Oct. 21 as they carry out numerous exercises and realistic scenarios.
"We do things out here that we're not able to do at Camp Lejune," said Lance Cpl. Armando C. Perez, an artillery cannoneer with the Battery C, 1st Bn., 10th Marine Reg. Perez said that the unit is able to be more mobile, fire more rounds and train better here on Bragg than their home base. "This training here helps us a lot for when we go to places like Afghanistan."
Additionally, Hallett expressed while being out there with the fellow Marines how it was beneficial to train in a different environment from Camp Lejune.
"It's a great opportunity to come here," said Hallett. "The training areas here are superior, not to say Camp Lejune is not, but Fort Bragg offers more than our home base as far as more ranges and the two impact areas that we can utilize. It's just nice to get the Marines away from Camp Lejune."
With challenges of fatigue, stress and keeping their awareness, the Marines are preparing themselves for staying on their feet when under pressure.
"We want to create the most realistic scenario as possible…we want to train the way we fight," said Hallett. "Artilery as a community is sort of a jack of all trades, it can pretty much do everything."
"It's important that they get the full package," said Capt. Christopher Warnagiris, the company commander of Battery C, 1st Bn., 10th Marine Reg.
Warnagiris said the artillery is suppose to operate independently, and therefore should be as much of a realistic scenario as possible. This will hone the unit's artillery skills even further, Warnagiris said.
So the next time in the Spring when those trees turn green again and you hear those spring showers, its just another friendly reminder that there is another chance of thunderous booms in your forecast, as the sound of artillery fill the skies.