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Philippine Navy christens 2 new choppers, 2 transport ships


THE Philippine Navy christened two brand new armed naval helicopters and two transport ships donated by Australia on Monday.

The joint ceremony was led by Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, hours before he retired as Navy chief, at the Navy Headquarters along Roxas Boulevard. He was replaced by Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad in the afternoon.

Colonel Benifranco Rada, the Naval Chief Chaplain, led the blessing of the ships, which was followed by the unveiling of the vessels’ names and the traditional smashing of bottle of wine for good luck and safe voyage. Bottles of champagne were poured to the nose of the choppers.

The two landing craft heavy vessels donated by Australia were named BRP Ivatan (AT-298) and Batak (AT-299), in recognition of two ethnic groups of Palawan and Batanes.

The ships will be used for transport of personnel and equipment, as well as aid during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

The two brand new AW109 units, meanwhile, are equipped with caliber 50 machine gun and 2.75-inch rockets and also have maritime air surveillance capability, amphibious-air support operations and weather search radar and forward looking infrared systems.

“These new assets are manifestations of our navy’s optimum readiness to perform its tasks and the ability to adapt vis-a-vis the emergent operating environment. This special occasion likewise signifies the assurance from your navy of renewed strength and vigor in accomplishing our mandates,” Millan said.

Originally posted: 06:48 PM August 10th, 2015 @ Inquirer.net

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