Bomb testing scheduled for Ocala National Forest

The Pinecastle Impact Range spans 5,698 acres of the Ocala National Forest and is the only location on the East Coast where the Navy trains with live bombs [Michael Warren].

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Posted March 15, 2024 | By Caroline Brauchler

The U.S. Navy will resume bomb testing in the Ocala National Forest next week.

Nearby residents can expect some extra noise coming from the Pinecastle Range Complex from 9:30 until 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Testing this week will be conducted with inert bombs, which are filled with concrete and do not explode like an active bomb would.

Bomb testing poses no risk or major disruption for those nearby, but commuters driving through the Ocala National Forest on Thursday should take extra caution for wildlife that have been temporarily displaced by the bombs dropping.

“Secure any items around your residence that could attract wildlife. Always be mindful of larger animals including black bears,” according to an NAS Jacksonville press release.

The Ocala National Forest has been used for Naval operations dating back to the 1940s. Today, this unique portion of the Ocala National Forest is used as a training location so military pilots can get real-life training in a realistic environment.

“The Pinecastle Range is the only U.S. East Coast training facility authorized for the release of explosive air-to-surface ordnance, including close air support, an essential factor in air warfare training,” according to NAS Jacksonville.

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