Philippine Navy is sending two teams of commissioned officers and enlisted personnel to Australia to have a training on how to operate Balikapapan-class landing craft-heavy. “The crew composed of two teams of ship complement will leave anytime this week for Australia,” PN public affairs office chief Cmdr. Lued Lincuna confirms.
The crew will sail decommissioned Her Majesty Australian Ships (HMAS) Tarakan and Brunei to Philippines. These vessels were donated by Australian government to Philippine government. They are expected to arrive May 17, ten days before Philippine Navy’s 117th anniversary.
“They were not the best looking or most comfortable ships, however, they could always be called upon when needed. The Balikpapan class is an excellent capability for amphibious operations as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” last Executive Officer of HMAS Brunei Lieutenant Brenton-James Glover said. “They were certainly the work horses of the Royal Australian Navy.”
Balikpapan-class LCHs are 44.5 meters long and can load up to 180 tons of cargo.