F-18 jet fighters drop bombs in Florida

US Navy conducts practice over Ocala National Forest

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager
Rob Lee

Ocala National Forest.

OCALA, Fla. - The U.S. Navy will once again conduct bombing exercises in the Ocala National Forest, prompting authorities to alert residents who live nearby.

The practice will take place at the Pinecastle Bombing Range, an unfenced 5,760-acre area, with the eastern edge of the range located about 2 miles west of State Road 19 and the Camp Ocala campgrounds, and half a mile west of the Farles Lake campground.

F-18 jet fighters and other aircraft take off from Jacksonville Naval Air Station and drop bombs in the middle of the range, according to MilitaryBases.US.

It's at least the third time this year that the Navy has conducted bombing practice at the forest.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office alerted residents via a Facebook post.

"We have been notified that the U.S. Navy will begin live ordinance bombing at the Pinecastle Bombing Range in the Ocala National Forest now through the 21st of September. Residents around Lake, Marion and Volusia counties can expect to hear loud explosions, usually between the hours of noon and midnight, for the next few days," the post said.

Noise complaints can be reported by calling 800-874-5059.

In the past, noise from the bombs has driven animals onto nearby roads and homes, officials said.

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