Philippine Navy vessel BRP Ivatan (LC298), the first Navy vessel that docked in Pag-asa Island, arrived at Naval Forces Central, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on June 22.
BRP Ivatan made the historic docking in Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan Island Group in West Philippine Sea on May 13, 2020 after the completion of newly develop beaching ramp.
“Navy vessel BRP Ivatan (LC298), formerly known as a RAN Balikpapan-class heavy landing craft, skippered by CDR BENNIE B DEMETILLO PN together with his 24 strong navy crew set sail from Captain Veloso Pier enroute to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan last 13 April 2020 to undertake sealift mission to implement the Rotation and Reprovisioning (RoRe) of sailors and marines assigned at different stations and detachments in West Philippine Sea (WPS) where she was proclaimed the first of its class that made a historic docking at beaching ramp of the nearly-completed port of Pag-asa Island making it the first-ever Philippine Navy vessel that berthed on the Philippine-occupied island,” Naval Forces Central said.
“On the 15th of June 2020, LC298 was recalled back to Central Command and arrived safely at Captain Veloso Pier, Naval Base Rafael Ramos, Looc, Lapu-Lapu City to continue her service in the Visayas. With the return of LC298, Naval Forces Central will continue to provide naval power to Central Command in accomplishing its mission as well as its commitment in supporting the Inter-Agency Task Force “Bayanihan to heal as one Act” to promote and protect the collective interests of all the Filipinos during this time of crisis,” it added.
On June 9, top defense and military officials headed by National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana visited Pag-asa Island for the inauguration of the newly developed beaching ramp.