Many people were startled out of their sleep early Sunday morning in South Jersey by mortar fire. Yes, heavy weapons and ammunition.

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is conducting weapons testing this month and Sunday morning was the heavy stuff. Our own Bill Doyle warned us last week, but if you didn't happen to catch that, it was shocking and disturbing.

It could be heard 20 miles away in the Ramblewood section of Mount Laurel. In Medford and Marlton, it sounded like it was in our neighborhood. Our pastor even included it in his sermon at the 9 a.m. service.

It shook up a lot of people in a wide section of Ocean, Monmouth, Burlington counties. If you're an early riser, you know that sound carries a lot further before the rest of the world is awake, or late at night. The weapons they are testing currently are the big ones.

Joint base sign
Joint base sign (Townsquare Media NJ)

The military operations are now in the phase of testing live mortar fire, Howitzer fire, and cratering charges. The military has to conduct these exercises but maybe they could wait until a little later in the day when the sound doesn't travel as far and startle as much.

If you live close to the Joint Base, you're used to the noise. But 20 miles away on an early Sunday morning, it was unexpected shock and awe.

Imagine what the people of Ukraine are living through every week for the last few months, and there it's not a testing of weapons, but a test of will and resolve. Proof that it's always worse somewhere else in the world.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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