Jakarta (ANTARA) - Hundreds of Eid travelers returning to Jakarta from East Java and West Java aboard a Navy warship arrived at the Military Sealift Command (Kolinlamil) Headquarters in Jakarta on Monday.

The 810 travelers from Surabaya and Semarang boarded KRI Banda Aceh-593, a landing platform dock warfare ship, Kolinlamil Commander Rear Admiral Hudiarto Krisno Utomo said.

"The ship departed from Surabaya with a transit in Semarang to carry more travelers. A total of 310 travelers embarked in Surabaya, with the remaining passengers boarding in Semarang," he stated, adding that the warship also carried 181 motorcycles used by the travelers.

Utomo said that the program is held annually to accommodate travelers during the Eid homecoming season, especially those who usually return to their hometowns by motorcycle.

He expressed hope that by providing an alternative for travelers who used motorcycles, the accident rate during the Eid return flow period would be reduced.

He said that utilizing a warship for civilian use can help the Navy introduce its function and showcase one of its fleets to the public, especially to members of the younger generation.

"During the cruise, we introduce maritime and naval aspects to the passengers. We also carried out dissemination activities," he noted.

He explained that these activities showcase how the Navy's role extends beyond military operations, encompassing humanitarian efforts like Eid travel assistance.

"They will also know that we are part of the people. The TNI (Indonesian Armed Forces) belongs to the people, and this ship was purchased by taxes paid by them," he explained.

Utomo revealed that his side is considering increasing the number of warships deployed for next year's Eid homecoming travel.

This year, the Navy has prepared two additional warships to anticipate a surge in the number of passengers. The warships are standing by in Surabaya, East Java, and Makassar, South Sulawesi.

"We also prepare two other warships: KRI Teluk Parigi and KRI Teluk Youtefa. We ready the ships if no warship is available or during a passenger surge," Utomo remarked.

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Translator: Rio Feisal, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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