LOOK: PH Navy sends Christmas cheer to West Philippine Sea islands
MANILA, Philippines — Naval aviators air-dropped much needed supplies to remote Philippine-held islands in the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) in the West Philippine Sea on Christmas Day.
Naval helicopter AgustaWestland 109 (AW109) onboard the Philippine Navy frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) delivered the relief packs from Palawan Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office for the residents of Pag-asa (Thitu) Island, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said.
The strategically important Pag-asa Island, the only Philippine-occupied feature in KIG with civilian inhabitants, suffered significant damage from Typhoon Odette (Rai).
The same naval assets also air-dropped noche buena packages, including holiday staple lechon, to the troops deployed in KIG, the AFP said.
The BRP Mangyan (AC-71) ferried Christmas packages to the troops in Rizal (Commodore) Reef detachment.
The Philippines occupies nine military detachments around the KIG, including Pag-asa, as well as BRP Sierra Madre, a rusty World War-2 landing ship tank intentionally run aground in Ayungin Shoal.