MANILA -- The Philippine Navy (PN) formally retired the BRP Bienvenido Salting (PC-112), a Tomas Batillo-class fast attack craft, after 22 years in service Wednesday.
Decommissioning ceremonies took place at Commodore Posadas Wharf East, Fort San Felipe, Naval Base Cavite, Cavite City, Navy spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata said in a statement.
Present during the ceremonies were PN flag-office-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, Philippine Fleet head Rear Admiral Danilo Rodelas along with Littoral Combat Force head Capt. Rey Dela Cruz.
The ship was named after Brig. Gen. Bienvenido Salting, one of the officers assigned to the Philippines Expeditionary Forces in Korea in 1951.
Formerly known as Patrol Killer Medium (PKM) 225 the ship was commissioned and deployed by the Republic of Korea (ROK) in 1979.
BRP Bienvenido Salting is one of the five PKM that were transferred to the Philippine Navy's inventory in 1995 under the RP-ROK Defense Agreement.
It was commissioned on May 22, 1996 and since then, was actively deployed to conduct coastal patrol interdiction. She was one of the elements of the famed Naval Task Force Stingray, which was extensively used in support of the conduct of internal security operations and was deployed in Naval Forces Central area-of-responsibility to secure the country's tourist spots and critical infrastructures in the coastal areas.
The ship's presence, together with other floating assets, helped secure local communities amidst the threat of kidnapping and terrorism in Central and Eastern Visayas.
Having been in service for decades, it is understandable that one day, she will definitely reach her maximum operational limit, Empedrad said.
Today may have been the last day she served our maritime nation but to all of us, she will remain an epitome of loyal service and her memory will always be cherished by the generations of naval officers and sailors who served with her, he added.
Aside from BRP Bienvenido Salting, the PN decommissioned BRP Rajah Humabon (PF-11) last March 15.
The decommissioning of a naval ship is a significant activity and a major part in the modernization of the PN as it deliberately phases out older vessels in lieu of newer and more capable platforms.
Zata said the Navy is looking forward to decommission more ships as it readies to receive a newer Pohang class frigate and its purposely built frigate, all from ROK by 2020. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency