CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Marines with 2nd Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company and the 10th Marine Regiment practiced calling for naval gunfire aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 27-28.
Seven Soldiers with the Army’s 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain Divisions, who are preparing for an upcoming deployment with the XVIII Airborne Corps, also took part in the training.
The training consisted of forward observers from each unit taking turns calling for naval gunfire provided by six ships with the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower Strike Group. The strike group is currently participating in its final exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment scheduled for this summer.
Each observer team conducted a fire support mission where they would call for indirect fire on an assigned target. After identifying the target’s coordinates, the order would get relayed to a fire support coordination center, where Marines would double-check to ensure the rounds would not land in an area that, in a real life situation, would harm friendly forces or civilians.
“This is real training,” said Lance Cpl. Jacob Earnhardt, a native of Richland, N.C. “In computer simulations, everything is perfect. You don’t have the wind blowing. On a computer, I can hit steel on steel 100 percent of the time if I do my theories right, but here, nothing. I can get close, I’m within 100 meters, but that’s not steel on steel.
“The more I practice (naval gunfire) the better I get. That’s why this is important. It saves lives down the road.”