Yes, Odds Are You’re Hearing Fort Sill
I don't know about you, but I still remember those first few loud months when I first moved to Lawton. I lived near downtown, but like most people those few days each season where Fort Sill gets active, I remember hearing the loud booms. Being Southwest Oklahoma and taking into consideration the reputation of the weather, I remember thinking it was random thunder from time to time even under a sunny sky. This was before social media provided a platform for Karen's to Karen, so if you remembered the next day, you'd just ask a coworker and they'd tell you "That's the sound of freedom."
I've been lulled to sleep by Fort Sill many nights over my twelve years in L-Town, and I'll ask you to trust me when I say, you get used to it... well, you get used to most of it. Occasionally they'll fire off something extreme and it will be deafeningly loud even here in downtown, but that's a rare thing I've only heard a handful of times living the SW life.
Of course, you can't please everybody with just one answer, this is no different. I hear and read complaints all the time about "Couldn't they do this some other time?" "Why can't they let Lawton sleep?" "Aren't there computer simulations for this nowadays?" blah blah blah... It's the military, they train how they fight and sometimes war happens at night. Like I said, you eventually get used to it the thumping.
In fact, it wasn't until they started firing off that C-RAM that I noticed the noise from Fort Sill again a few years ago. I was on Mount Scott and saw what I described as vivid glitter in the air. Turns out it was the anti-artillery defense weapon they train with out there. Several nights were spent last summer sitting in the front yard watching the fireworks show of this incredible thing. You'll see the red glow of tracers flying through the air, then comes the distinct "brrrrrrrrrrppp" of the report, then the crackling at the end. It's awesome to watch and I think it's way louder than the field artillery... but I have to remember, I'm so used to the artillery, I don't really hear it anymore. Just about the only thing I haven't heard or seen is the MLRS rocket trucks do their thing... Let's hope someone reads this that can make that happen lol.
So if you're new to Lawton or just forgetful, remember this when you hear things that go boom in the night... yes, it's probably just Fort Sill.