Congratulations, Florida: You’ve been spared the wrath of the U.S. Navy for now.
A series of bombing exercises planned with both live and inert munitions for this week at an impact range nestled in Florida’s Ocala National Forest were abruptly canceled on Wednesday, a Naval Air Station Jacksonville official told the Orlando Sentinel.
- Navy aircraft were scheduled to conduct the exercises between Monday and Thursday of this week at the 5,760-acre Pinecastle Range Complex, according to the NAS Jacksonville, with live munitions scheduled for the morning and inert bombs for the evening.
- The Orlando Sentinel notes that the Pinecastle Range Complex is both “unfenced” and in close proximity to nearby campgrounds and hiking trails. But the real threat isn’t accidentally getting blown out of your hiking boots, according to NAS Jacksonville — it’s bears.
- “During bombing periods wildlife may be temporarily displaced,” NAS Jacksonville explains. “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.”
The reason for the cancellation remains unclear, and NAS Jacksonville public affairs did not immediately respond to request for comment from Task & Purpose. Florida, man.