Australia formally turns over two vessels to Philippine Navy: Named BRP Ivatan, Batak

With the turnover and commissioning of two Australian-donated landing craft heavy (LCHs) at Cairns, Australia Thursday, the Philippine Navy (PN)’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) has gotten a much-needed boost. This was revealed Thursday by PN flag-officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan.

“The two LCHs will certainly boost the capability of the PN to transport personnel, equipment and aid during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations,” he added.

Millan was present during the turnover and commissioning of the two LCHs in Cairns, Australia.

The two ships were named BRP Ivatan (AT-298) and BRP Batak (AT-299).

They will be joining the five other landing craft units in PN service.

“The vessels will also be useful in transporting troops from one operational area to another,” the PN chief said.

Prior to the turnover and commissioning, Millan and Royal Australian Navy head Vice Admiral Tim Barret signed a memorandum of agreement regarding the transfer of the LCHs.

The signing was witnessed by Philippine Fleet commander Rear Admiral Leopoldo M. Alano and Sealift Amphibious Force head Commodore Narciso A. Vingson.