De­com­mis­sioned ships to boost Philip­pines Navy mod­erni­sa­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

TWO de­com­mis­sioned Aus­tralian Ba­lik­pa­pan class land­ing craft have been gifted to the Philip­pines.

Typhoon Haiyan caused sig­nif­i­cant dev­as­ta­tion to the Philip­pines in Novem­ber 2013 and about 500 Aus­tralian De­fence Force per­son­nel, in­clud­ing the crew of HMAS To­bruk and a de­ploy­ment of army engi­neers from Townsville, pro­vided in­coun­try sup­port to the re­lief ef­fort – at the re­quest of the Philip­pines Gov­ern­ment.

“The re­lief ef­fort high­lighted the im­por­tance of re­gional sea lift op­tions due to nu­mer­ous air­fields be­ing in­ac­ces­si­ble and land in­fra­struc­ture im­pass­able,” Chief of Navy, Vice Ad­mi­ral Tim Bar­rett, said.

“These craft will as­sist the Philip­pines de­fence mod­erni­sa­tion pro­gram and im­prove the Philip­pine Navy’s abil­ity to re­spond to fu­ture nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.”

The de­com­mis­sioned ves­sels, ex- HMAS ships Tarakan and Brunei, were recom­mis­sioned at the cer­e­mony into the Re­pub­lic of Philip­pines Navy as BRP Ivatan ( AT298) and BRP Batak ( AT299).

With more than 40 years’ ser- vice, the ver­sa­til­ity of the Ba­lik pa­pan class re­sulted in su­perb lo­gis­tics sup­port to Aus­tralian De­fence Force oper­a­tions in Bougainville, East Ti­mor and the Solomon Is­lands, and nu­mer­ous hu­man­i­tar­ian aid mis­sions both do­mes­ti­cally and through­out the re­gion.

Pic­tures: ABIS

BOAT BOUNTY: Philip­pine Navy’s Vice Ad­mi­ral Je­sus Mil­lan at the han­dover cer­e­mony.

Vice Ad­mi­ral Je­sus Mil­lan shakes hands with the Aus­tralian N Ad­mi­ral Tim Bar­rett af­ter sign­ing the of­fi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion.

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