An entire Air Force base in New Mexico went into lockdown after an employee mistook the sounds of popping bubble wrap for gunfire.

After hearing 3 loud bangs at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, a civilian employee called 911. Base chiefs feared an active shooter was on the loose.

The Air Force base, its Veterans Affairs hospital, and 3 elementary schools were all placed on lockdown until 3:15 p.m., after security forces "could not substantiate the claims of gunfire."

As it turns out, the loud noice the civilian employee heard was actually another employee stepping on bubble wrap with "sandwich bag-size air pockets," according to base spokesman Eric Elliott.

"We got a good exercise out of it," Elliott added, saying it was best and important to be precautionary.