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That Ruckus Rattling Your Windows Is the Navy’s Routine Bombing of Florida

| December 16, 2013

An F/A-18C Super Hornet like the ones used in bombing runs on a range in the Ocala National Forest. (Shawn J. Stewart/US Navy)

An F/A-18C Super Hornet like the ones used in bombing runs on a range in the Ocala National Forest. Click on the image for larger view. (Shawn J. Stewart/US Navy)

Updated Dec. 16, 2013: The Navy is at it again. Nothing really new under the December sun: same ordnance, different day. Flagler County Emergency technician Bob Pickering tells us the Navy has scheduled live bombing at the Pinecastle Range Complex in the Ocala National Forest for intermittent periods
Monday, Dec. 16 from noon to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, Dec. 17 from noon to 5 p.m.

Read below for the original story from previous bombings, when the cold air and the winds were just right for the blast sounds, if not quite the waves, could make it to Palm Coast and Flagler County.

The Navy has been bombing Florida for some 70 years, starting in 1941. It’s been doing so by special permit from the National Forest Service on the unfenced 5,760 acres of the Pinecastle Impact Range in the 382,000-acre Ocala National Forest in Marion County.


The Navy’s site is about 45 to 50 miles from Palm Coast as the crow flies, but “depending on the temperature and the wind and the humidity, it will determine whether the sounds in the Ocala area make it over it,” says Troy Harper, Flagler County’s emergency operations chief.

And when the atmosphere is cooler, sound travels farther, as it has today.

The site is two miles west of State Road 19 and the Camp Ocala campgrounds, and half a mile west of the Farles Lakes campground. It includes nine targets, each designated for a particular type of ordinance. For example, the Live Ordinance Impact Area, consisting of large carcasses of vehicles, is for bombs of up to 500 pounds, live ammunition of up to 30 mm and rockets of up to five inches.

The “Main Bull” area has four concentric circles of from 300 to 1200 feet with bull’s eyes in the middle. There are also night-time bombing ranges, a surface-to-air missile target site, a strafing target, a target approximating the look of a convoy, and a laser target–a 50 foot by 50 foot billboard with a painted black crosshair, according to Globalsecurity.org.

Live and non-live fire training began on the range in late January as Navy F-18 fighters have been taking off from the USS George H. W. Bush, an aircraft carrier, and from Jacksonville Naval Air Station for pilots about to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The range is the only site on the East Coast where the Navy can drop live ordinance. According to globalsecurity.org, the Navy drops 20,000 bombs a year at the site, hundreds of which are live.

Training schedules may be requested during the week by calling 904/542-2415.

Originally published on Feb. 6, 2011.

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35 Responses for “That Ruckus Rattling Your Windows Is the Navy’s Routine Bombing of Florida”

  1. Justice for All says:

    No problem when Florida was one of the least populated states in the Union. Now it all seems ridiculous.

  2. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Navy training I can take, it’s the non-stop take offs from the Flagler Co. airport — circling the Flagler Beach bridge– and touch downs from before dawn until past midnight that, combined with the cacophonous music from bars and “entertainments,” make a mockery of the quiet enjoyment of our home.

  3. Outsider says:

    The airport has been there since 1941’ish. When did you decide to move next to an active airport?

  4. Will says:

    To – Lawabidingcitizen…

    Suggestion. Take some time soon and promise yourself “I will not complain online for a week about anything’. It might give you some time to have some fun and lower your blood pressure.

    The article above was about the Navy’s bombing range yet you chime in about the local airport and music from bars. I’m trying to be respectful of your opinions and to suggest alternative ways for you to let off steam. Maybe online blogs aren’t the best way for you to go. And, maybe on reflection, there might not be so much steam…

  5. PC MAN says:

    Right on lawabidingcitizen, and can someone do something about that goddamn ocean, the constant waves noises are driving me mad.

  6. Jack says:

    and shut those damn chirping birds up too…

  7. John says:

    The picture shows a F/A-18C Hornet, not a Super Hornet. The Super Hornet F/A-18E/F are larger redesign versions of the F/A-18. As for the noise, sweet sound of freedom, a small price to pay.

  8. BEEBob says:

    I’d rather hear the roar of F-18’s than those boring prop training planes from ERAU. I miss them after 26 years living on or near Navy bases and aircraft carriers.

  9. Bon says:

    Just wait till tje depleted uranium trickles down your aquifier or covers your soil around your house.

    I wonder if the Salt Springs folks glow in the dark?

    There is a HUGE cancer cluster in SPutnam. No one is even whispering about.
    Course they are not too smart there.

    • Anonymous says:

      To Bon: I’m an ex-Floridian, scanning down the comments to see if anyone would make the connection to DU. Then I saw your cautionary comment. I’m currently drinking irradiated Fukishima milk on the West Coast and loving it. But then I’m old and have already had a full life. Isn’t Oblivion a nice place?

  10. Yeah, i was going to get my daughter around 4:15 today and i heard something distant but scary from my house in Palm Coast. Maybe that explains it

  11. Kendall Clark-StJacques via Facebook says:

    I thought I was hearing that…..

  12. Fred Peterson via Facebook says:

    They are practicing to bomb Iran later this year

  13. Sharon Taber via Facebook says:

    Thank you…was doing a search on it and found nothing. The rafters have been shaking all day! Came on to check my Facebook….and there you are, with my answer, the last entry on top of my wall. : )

  14. Jennifer La Grande Lania via Facebook says:

    At last…thank you!! Now I’m not thinking I’m crazy :)

  15. About an hour ago I heard two very impressive booms. :)

  16. Linda says:

    They are always practicing, 24/7. You don’t get to be the finest Navy in the world without training. As John says, “It is the sound of freedom.”

    Can anybody do something about the frogs in my lawn when it rains around here? Those little buggers are loud.

  17. Justine Wintersmith via Facebook says:

    Glad it’s not just me–we just moved and I was wondering why the heck the house was shaking.

  18. palmcoaster says:

    Thank you Flagler Live for this report…as we were wondering ourselves what was going on around our house, with all the rattling. As we are at war…well but how come we only heard this rambling today and some couple of times before only, since 1992 that we moved here?

    • Linda says:

      Might be like the Pizza delivery trucks when they show up at the Pentagon, late at night. Might mean something is going on.

  19. PJ says:

    Just keep practicing, you never know when we need your service!!!!

  20. Kip Durocher says:

    A kinda hippy group has a yearly long weekend get together in the Ocala
    National Forest and the government always bombs 24/7 while they are there.
    Done it every year for the Rainbow Family event ~ part of the “family values”
    of the government to make them feel welcome.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I wish my car audio system could hit lows like that…I like da BOOM!! Keep it comin’

  22. Jack Howell says:

    As a Marine, all I can say is that I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning!

  23. some guy says:

    A kinda hippy group has a yearly long weekend get together in the Ocala
    National Forest and the government always bombs 24/7 while they are there.
    Done it every year for the Rainbow Family event ~ part of the “family values”
    of the government to make them feel welcome.

    Now if we could only do the same to yhe OWS useful idiots

  24. bushhog252 says:

    It is a welcome sound The US NAVY are hands down the best pilots in the world. The crews that fly the aircraft must stay at the TOP of there game. I am happy to Know that i live 45 min from the home of a the ships and aircraft that will be defending our coast If things get bad and by the best of the best in the world let them do there thing we depend on them to protect our freedom God speed to the brave people that put there lives on the line for us. SO FLY NAVY FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. JP says:

    No proplem with me…I support the military 100%……bombs away!

  26. OldSeaDog says:

    GOD bless the US Navy for being ready by practice to defend the United States of America—
    a land that our citizens should all love.

  27. Dave Sullivan says:

    Pardon our noise it’s the sound of freedom. 10% of the entire economy
    In Florida is dependent on the active duty military. No boom boom boom
    and we may bust bust bust.

  28. Rob says:

    Bombing something or someone is the sound of freedom??????

  29. Mario says:

    I was never in the military, so have no fond memories of bombing anything. Regardless, why in the world are we spending our hard earned money on dropping 20,000 bombs a year on targets? It seems ridiculous in today’s technological age that we cannot train our military in a less intrusive manner. Now before all of the macho ego’s kick in and bash me for even considering such a proposition, isn’t it possible that the military could use some of its electronic toys for creating a virtual reality world where “real” munitions were not so necessary? I am sure we could all benefit from reducing military spending in any way possible. Thank you.

  30. m&m says:

    Just like people who buy or build on a golf course and whine about the lawn mowers…

  31. rhweir says:

    I would like to see the navy pick up all those pilings out on Lake George so it could once again be a useable recreation area for boaters. The way it is now, stay in the marked channels or risk the highly probable impaling and sinking of your boat on a stake or piling. Also, do they really need almost half the lake for a bombing range in 2013? Do that out in the ocean.

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