Two transport ships donated by Australia depart for PH
THE two landing craft heavy (LCH) vessels donated by Australia are on their way to the Philippines.
The ships were formally handed over to the Philippine Navy on Thursday after a memorandum of understanding was signed between Navy chief Vice Admiral Jesus Millan and Royal Australian Navy chief Vice Admiral Tim Barret, the Navy said in a news release.
The signing was witnessed by Philippine Fleet commander Rear Admiral Leopoldo Alano and Australia’s Sealift Amphibious Force Commodore Narciso Vingson.
In his acceptance remarks, Millan expressed his gratitude to the Australian government for the donation saying that the vessels will “certainly boost to transport personnel, equipment, and aid during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.”
The turnover was followed by the commissioning and send off of the two vessels. It is expected to arrive in the first week of August.
The ship is manned by 16 sailors.
The christening of the ships will be held in the Philippines when it arrives. The ships will be named after indigenous tribes in the Philippines.
One of the ships will be named BRP (Barkong Republika ng Pilipinas) Ivatan, while the other is BRP Batak. They used to be named as HMAS Tarakan and Brunei in the Australian Navy.
In January, the Australia announced that it will donate to LCH vessels. Both were decommissioned from the Australian Navy last November 20, 2014.
The donation included a package of spare parts.
The ships are expected to enhance the Philippines’ capability to respond to disasters as it would transport heavy equipment and large amounts of aid.
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