By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Navy’s first Landing Dock Vessel, BRP-Tarlac (LD-601), arrived in Puerto Princesa, Palawan for a three-day port call from January 10-12, 2018 as part of her first logistics run mission for calendar year 2018.
A simple welcome ceremony for the ship’s officers and men was facilitated by Naval Forces West that included a band performance by the 570th CTW and ”Man-the-Rail” as a time-honored tradition of the naval service. It was attended by military contingents in the Western Command’s AOR and local government officials of Puerto Princesa City and Palawan.
Commodore Rommel Jason L. Galang, Commander of the Naval Forces West, said BRP Tarlac was loaded with logistical supplies for the 3rd Marine Brigade and its Battalions in Northern and Southern Palawan, operational supplies for the Naval Special Operations Unit-4, and cargoes for the ships in the AOR. All of these are necessary as the PN units and personnel conduct their mandated duty of promoting peace in the province of Palawan.
The sealift of assorted relief goods intended for the people of Palawan from Support Your Navy Foundation Inc. (SYNFI) and Headquarters Philippine Marine Corps was also part of the ship’s mission, he said.
An “Open House” was held Thursday to showcase her capabilities as the Philippine’s first landing dock platform as well as to give opportunity for the residents of Puerto Princes City for a guided shipboard tour.
Among those who were invited to the Open House were members of the media, Navy reservists, representatives from the local government units, students of PPC and other stakeholders.
BRP Tarlac is the first of the two landing dock vessels of the PN commissioned in June 2016.
This landing dock, as well as her sister ship BRP Davao del Sur (LD602), can perform as the PN’s floating Command and Control center, especially during emergency situations, conduct of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) and other purposes as military sealift and transport missions may require.