National Defense Land Use

Military Training Exercises

Defending the U.S. and protecting military personnel requires continuous and realistic training. The Navy’s Pinecastle Range on the Ocala National Forest, Florida provides unique conditions and an ideal setting for our sailors, Marines and combat aircrew to conduct this essential training.

Several branches of the military use federal land in the Ocala National Forest for training exercises. Special Use Permits are issued to Armed Forces branches such as the National Guard, ROTC, US Army Special Forces and the United States Navy. Most of the permits are for short periods of time, issued for each individual outing.

The Navy has been training in the area since World War II.

Parts of the Ocala National Forest are temporarily closed during training exercises. Visitors are advised to check the Alerts and Notices page on this website for temporary area closures. 

Pinecastle Bombing Range FAQs

Map of the vicinity and closure gates

  • Current training plans indicate that the Navy may need to close gates for public safety between January 12, 2021 and February 12, 2021


The Pinecastle Range is a critical asset to the Navy’s Global Maritime Strategy and the war against terror. It ensures naval air wing components qualify in strike warfare training, command and control, power projection, and air defense missions. 

The Navy often employs simulators and synthetic training assets to provide early skill repetition and to enhance teamwork, but live training in a realistic environment such as the Pinecastle Range, Ocala National Forest, Florida is absolutely necessary to ensure success in combat.   This element of training cannot be simulated by any other means.

The Navy understands and recognizes the potential for training activities to affect the community and takes proactive steps to minimize these impacts on citizens and the environment.

This part of the Ocala National Forest is habitat for Florida scrub-jays. Learn more at: Journal of Forestry: Sand Pine and Florida Scrub-Jays.