The Philippine Navy said that today at Jinhae Naval Base in Changwon City, South Korea it formally received and welcomed into service BRP Conrado Yap (PS39), a former Pohang-class corvette donated by South Korea, during a Hand-Over and Commissioning Ceremonies this afternoon.
“PS39 is set to sail to the Philippines this month. Under the leadership of its commanding officer Capt. Marco Buena, its maiden sailing crew underwent 13 weeks of necessary operational and warfare trainings facilitated by the Reserve Ship Maintenance Squadron (RSMS) in Jinhae, Gyeongsang-namdo, South Korea,” the Philippine Navy said.
The Navy said BRP Conrado Yap will beef up the front line defense in safeguarding the country’s maritime nation and territorial limits and greatly enhance Philippine Fleet’s Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities.
“It will also serve as platform in empowering and upgrading our soldiers’ knowledge and skills in handling such high-level and advanced equipment/vessel,” it added.
During the transfer ceremony, Department of National Defense (DND)’s Assistant Secretary for Logistics and Acquisition Jesus Rey Avilla signed the transfer documents together with his South Korean counterpart Logistics Management Administrator Kim Soo Sam.
After the transfer ceremony, PS39 was then commissioned into the active service of the PN right after the formal transfer.
“PS39 is the former Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) Pohang-class corvette Chungju (PCC-762), that was commissioned with the ROKN in 1987 and served until 2016,” the Navy said.
“The namesake aims to uphold the legacy of a gallant Filipino military leader who served in the Korean War as part of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea, Conrado Yap, a captain in the Philippine Army and considered as the most decorated Filipino soldier during the Korean War,” the Philippine Navy said.
Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad described the historic ceremony as an event that highlights the alliance between the Philippine Navy and Republic of Korea Navy that goes beyond friendship through the years.
He then assured the South Korean government and its navy that “the PN will take care of this ship”, that “she will always be in ship shape condition and shall defend our country’s maritime waters with same valor as displayed by our hero Capt. Conrado Yap 68 years ago”.
Also present at the event were Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul Hernandez, AFP Vice Chief of Staff Vice Adm. Gaudencio Collado, Chief of Naval Staff Rear Adm. Loumer Bernabe, Philippine Fleet Commander Rear Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Naval Internal Auditor Commo. Alberto Cruz, Offshore Combat Force Commander Commo. Caesar Bernard Valencia and late Capt. Conrado Yap daughter Isabelita Yap Agonon with her husband Romeo.