A moment of calmness fell over Fort Hood’s impact training area last Thursday. Then, abruptly, a blusterous voice broke the silence commanding “Fire!”

Without hesitation, fellow troopers echoed his command as the assistant gunner slid the heavy 120 mm mortar round in the entrance of the tube and quickly released it, ducking for cover and grasping tightly to his ears. The thunderous sound of the round tore through the sky and was gone in an instant only to reveal itself again as a cloud of smoke and destruction several hundred meters away.

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