The boat Riverine Command Boat (RCB) 805
5 (Torrey W. Lee / U.S. Navy via AP)

💥 Expect the sound of loud gunfire in one part of NJ on Tuesday

💥 Navy harbor protection exercises with blank ammunition will commence around 1 p.m. in Sandy Hook Bay

💥 Officials stress the exercises are not in response to any threat


It should be a rather explosive afternoon in one part of New Jersey on Tuesday, but there’s no need to panic.

Naval Weapons Station Earle (NWS Earle) will be conducting harbor protection exercises from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the waters surrounding the Navy’s pier in Leonardo.

What exactly is going on?

Officials say the exercises are part of a regularly scheduled drill designed to enhance the training and readiness of harbor security forces, they are not in response to any specific threat or problem.

Authorities say U.S. Navy harbor patrol boats and sentry towers will be involved in firing blank ammunition exercises in Sandy Hook Bay, in the vicinity of the NWS Earle Waterfront Restricted Area.

When the blank ammunition is fired it may be quite loud, depending where you are, because sound can be amplified in areas of open water.

Sandy Hook Bay
Sandy Hook Bay (Bud McCormick)

Where to expect noise

Local communities which may be affected by noise from the blank ammo include Leonardo, Atlantic Highlands, Belford, Middletown and Sandy Hook National Park.

You are being asked to remember the waters surrounding the NWS Earle Pier are off limits to civilians. The Marine Security Zone is shown on navigational charts for Lower New York Harbor and are patrolled by armed Navy Security Forces.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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