Sights and sounds of artillery training aboard MCB Camp Lejeune

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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) – Training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is booming, quite literally.

Marines and Navy Sailors from the 2nd Battalion 10th Marine Regiment fired cannons and missiles Tuesday afternoon as part of an artillery exercise.

The idea is to practice hitting targets and hit them accurately using cannons to get marines ready for when they may enter combat.

But the 10-day exercise is about more than just firing the big guns. There are three steps that go into pulling the trigger. First Lieutenant Patrick McIver describes these steps as the eyes, the brain, and then the muscle.

To accurately aim at the target, Marines contact the eyes, otherwise known as the forward observer team.

“They call for fire, they tell us where the target is, give us a grid,” said McIver.

Then the fire direction center, the brains, process the information. McIver said, “So how far left or right, up or down we need to point the tube.”

Then it’s time for the muscle, the gun line, to fire away.

Communication and timelines are key for Cpl. Will Kramer, seeing that they have plenty of aircraft flying over the training areas daily.

It takes a team to load the ammo and the cannon can hit a target 18 miles away.

They’ve been used on enemies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.

Though this is just training, Cpl. Kramer describes this exercise as challenging, rewarding, and inspirational.

“We don’t always get the opportunity to do it, so when we do we always come out ready to shoot,” said Kramer.

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