There was a tragic accident today at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada:
A deadly explosion at a military ammunition storage facility in Nevada during a training exercise Monday prompted the U.S. Marine Corps to issue a blanket suspension of 60-millimeter mortars and associated tubes pending a review of the accident.
Seven U.S. Marines were killed and several others were wounded Monday when a mortar exploded prematurely inside is firing tube during mountain training exercises at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. It's unclear what caused the malfunction.
The accident prompted the Marine Corps to immediately halt use of some mortar shells until an investigation can determine its safety.
And who immediately went to the floor of the Senate to politicize it? See the title:
This explosion had nothing to do with sequester. And while we may agree that sequester is not good for our military, it is a despicable act to use the death of those 7 Marines as a basis for arguing a political point. The Marine Corps was unusually blunt in it's condemnation of Reid's actions:
NBC’s Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski reported that Marine Corps officials took serious issue with Reid’s implication that the explosion was a result of sequester cuts, and said that was not the reason for the accident. One official went so far as to say Reid was doing “nothing but pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines.” They told Miklaszewski that the live-fire training exercise was planned well in advance and would not have taken place if they felt the Marines were at risk because of the cuts.
Ammunition like 60mm mortar rounds are normally manufactured well in advance of its use ... in fact it can literally be years before it is fired (I fired '60s era 81mm rounds at Ft. Bragg in the '70s). This wasn't a sequestration problem, this was a defect somewhere in the round or lot of rounds that apparently caused the premature detonation.
For the the Majority Leader in the Senate to use the tragic death of these 7 Marines to make a political point shows you how ill served we are by the cretins who govern us. Too bad there's not hot tar and feathers immediately available. I doubt I'd have any trouble recruiting a bunch of Marines to help ride Reid out of town on a rail with the appropriate plumage attached.
In the meantime, all of us here at Blackfive offer out sincerest condonlences to the families of the 7 fine Marines we lost in today's horrific accident. Our prayers are with you all.