Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Tobruk has departed Manila in the Philippines after a four-day visit.
The short break gave the ship’s company an opportunity to continue their association with Filipino colleagues.
Tobruk’s Commanding Officer, Commannder Leif Maxfield, said the crew had been looking forward to seeing the changes in the region since the ship deployed as part of Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST.
“Nine months ago Tobruk was diverted to support the multi-national relief effort in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan,” Commander Maxfield said.
“We spent a month in the region, assisting with clean up tasks at Ormoc schools and distributed aid supplies to remote island communities in the Visayas archipelago.
“Our four day port visit has been a great chance for the crew to reacquaint themselves with Philippine Navy personnel,” Commander Maxfield said.
“We also had the honour of hosting a formal reception for the Philippine Defence Secretary, the Honourable Mr Voltaire Gazmin, the Philippine Armed Forces Chief of Staff, General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr, the Australian Ambassador Mr Bill Tweddell and other senior Philippine Defence Officers,” Commander Maxfield said.
Tobruk, a Landing Heavy Ship, with a crew of 145 is part way through a South East Asian deployment, to strengthen relationships and promote regional security cooperation.
Tobruk forms part of the Royal Australian Navy’s current amphibious capability and is ideally suited to Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief operations, given her amphibious heavy lift capability, on board accommodation and ability to support helicopter and landing craft operations.