U.S. Navy to complete bombing exercises in Ocala National Forest this week

(Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Parts of the Ocala National Forest will be closed this coming week so that the U.S. Navy can complete bombing exercises over the area.

Florida National Forests tweeted that seven gates at the Ocala National Forest will close between Monday, August 17th and Thursday, August 20th because the U.S. Navy will complete a bombing exercise.

The gates will reportedly close to ensure public safety.

The Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, where the Navy training departs from, said the bombing exercises will take place during the following times:

  • August 17th: 9:30 a.m. to Noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • August 18th: 9 a.m. to Noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • August 19th: 9 a.m. to Noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • August 20th: 9 a.m. to Noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.    

They also warned that drivers should "use extra caution when driving through the Ocala National Forest and surrounding areas. Secure any items around your residence that could attract wildlife. Always be mindful of larger animals including black bears and practice bearwise measures."

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During past exercises, noise from the bombings have been reported in Flagler, Lake, Marion, Putnam and Volusia counties. The telephone number to file noise complaints is 1-800-874-5059, Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, Jacksonville, Florida.

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