Navy dropping bombs on Ocala National Forest this week

These routine bombing runs have been taking place for 50 years

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer
Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Central Florida families shouldn’t be alarmed if they hear some explosions over the next few days. The U.S. Navy is dropping live bombs in Ocala National Forest as part of its routine target practice.

The Navy will be conducting live training at the nearly 6,000-acre Pinecastle Bombing Range from between noon and midnight through Saturday, according to a Lake County Sheriff’s Office advisory.

These bombing runs have been going on for five decades at the forest, the only site on the East Coast where this training can be done, the Navy said. Roughly 20,000 bombs are dropped each year there.

F-18 jet fighters and other aircraft take off from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, fly over the forest and then drop explosives on the range, which is done with special permission from the U.S. Forest Service.

Those living in Lake, Marion and Volusia counties are the most likely to hear the commotion. They’re asked to call 1-800-874-5059 if the noise gets too loud.

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