Thursday, March 6, 2014


1 Dead, 87 Injured in Jakarta Ammunition Depot Explosion

There seems to have been little notice in much of the American main stream media with events in Ukraine over shadowing everything, but on Wednesday the Indonesian Navy experienced a horrible accident. There was an explosion in a Jakarta naval ammunition storage unit that killed one naval officer and injured dozens of civilians. We apologize for being so tardy in posting this for our readers. We actually learned of the event within a few hours of its occurrence. We worked on and produced a post which probably because of our own fat fingered error was sent into unknown parts of cyber space and we wasted a lot of time looking for it. Then updated information became available and another rewrite was needed. That pushed us up against our daily posting deadline so we are finally getting to it. We apologize that we were so untimely. The tardiness of this post does not reflect its relative importance to us. We admire and have worked with the Indonesian Navy and share in the grief of the Navy and the lost officer's family. We won't recount the known details here but rather link you to a professional news source The Global Post.

We would rather take this space and opportunity to express our condolences. We spend the winters in New Orleans which was for many decades the home of a naval ammunition facility just below the city. We know what is to live near such a thing and while we were fortunate enough to have never had an explosive accident at the English Turn facility we know what it is to have our city destroyed after the visit from Hurricane Katrina. Now is a good time to express our appreciation to all of the tax payers and voters of Indonesia for shouldering the financial and other very real risks in operating a world class navy in a much needed alliance that protects freedom of navigation in what would be otherwise very dangerous straits linking two of the great oceans of the world and some very troubled seas. Unfortunately ammunition storage goes hand in hand with armed forces. Accidents do happen in even the best run of such facilities.

Despite our recent disagreement over the naming of a new navy vessel, we believe in the professionalism, ethical nature, and civic responsibility of the Indonesian Navy. We believe they will promptly get to the cause of the accidental explosion, and correct conditions and procedures to insure that it never happens again from the same cause. But there are certain inherent dangers involved with weapons and munitions and until we live in the best of all worlds we have to have such at the ready. Having weapons and munitions at the ready will always involve risks. The Indonesian Navy  with her partners Malaysia and Singapore are on the front lines every day. The people of all three nations have wisely decided to put aside differences and unite in an alliance to protect freedom of navigation in the strategic straits that make up the region. The peoples and the navies each have incurred costs in the name of global freedom. The easy way out would have been to have plead small size and demanded to be under the defensive umbrella of a super power. All three nations chose to shoulder the expenses and very real risks of taking primary responsibility for the region. We respect and appreciate that and we pray for the repose of the soul of our lost professional brother and for the complete and speedy recovery of all of the injured. This event is yet again another reminder that freedom isn't free. Sailors and marines of the "Free World" know that. We applaud the Indonesian nation and navy in this sad time for being willing to pay the price and stand the watch.


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