BRP Ivatan (AT-298) and BRP Batak (AT-299), Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) vessels donated by the Australian government to the Philippines for the Philippine Navy (PN), are now sailing to Philippines and are expected to arrive first week of August.
These vessels were formally handed-over to PN, July 23 at Cairns, Australia, through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by PN Chief Vice Admiral Jesus Millan and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Chief Vice Admiral Tim Barret. Right after the turn-over ceremony, commissioning of the vessels to PN service followed.
Send-off of the two vessels and its crew for a voyage to the Philippines also took place on the same day.
Rear Admiral Leopoldo Alano and Commodore Narciso A Vingson, the commander of the Philippine Fleet and commander of Sealift Amphibious Force, respectively, witnessed the entire event.
“The two LCHs will certainly boost the capability of the PN to transport personnel, equipment and aid during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations,” Vice Adm. Millan said. BRP Ivatan and Batak will also be used in transporting troops from one operational area to another.