LEONARDO — If you seek relief from Tuesday's heat along the Jersey Shore in northern Monmouth County, it may look and sound like New Jersey is under attack.

Rest assured it is not. The firing of ammunition may be heard coming from Sandy Hook Bay on Tuesday afternoon, especially around Atlantic Highlands, Belford, Leonardo, Middletown, and Sandy Hook National Park, but they're blanks. They're being fired as part of Naval Weapons Station Earle harbor protection exercises on Tuesday afternoon.

The exercise should be done by 4:30 p.m.

The shots will be fired from U.S. Navy harbor patrol boats and sentry towers to enhance the training and readiness of harbor security forces, and are not in response to any specific threat.

Spokesman William Addison said that the area around the NWS Earle pier is restricted, so boaters should not go near the area.

Additional exercises are planned for May 22, May 29, and June 5, 12, and 19.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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