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Boca Chica Key is an island in the lower Florida Keys approximately 4.8 km east of the island of Key West, which itself is about 244 km south-west of Miami. The island is mainly composed of salt marshes and is the home to the largest Naval Air Station in south Florida.

The U.S. Navy's presence in Key West dates back to 1823 when a Naval Base was established to stop piracy in this area. The lower Keys were home to many wealthy shipping merchants whose fleets operated from these waters. This drew the interest of notorious pirates such as Blackbeard and Captain William Kidd, who used the Florida Keys as a base from which to prey on shipping lanes.

During World War I the base was expanded, and again during World War II at the end of which the Key West became home to submarines, destroyers and aircraft. After the war, the Naval Air Station on Key West was retained as a training facility and proved vital during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. The Navy still maintains presence on Key West and on Boca Chica, but large sections of the island are today lying vacant.

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