Heavy Landing Craft (LCH) : HMAS Betano L-130, HMAS Balikpapan L-126, HMAS Wewak L-133 (photo : Aus DoD)
Goodbye to LCH as amphibious capability grows
HMA Ships Balikpapan, Betano and Wewak will be decommissioned in December after almost four decades of service.
While the ships continue to provide excellent service, Navy will transition from the existing Fleet as its new amphibious capabilities grow.
CN VADM Ray Griggs said in a signal to all Navy personnel that the decommissioning of Balik papan, Betano and Wewak would be followed by the paying off of HMA Ships Brunei, Labuan and Tarakan by the end of 2014.
“Many of us have had the privilege of serving in a shoebox,” he said.
“I congratulate all personnel both, uniformed and civilian, who have operated and maintained these wonderful amphibious work horses for almost four decades.
“Their operational service record is virtually unparalleled and, unfortunately, mostly unheralded.”
Commander Australian Amphibious Task Group CAPT Ray Leggatt said their operational record, particularly during the past 20 years covering operations in Bougainville, East Timor and Solomon Islands, had been outstanding.
“Their performance has been exemplary as indicated by the granting of a meritorious unit citation for the LCH group for operations in East Timor during the INTERFET intervention during 1999-2000,” he said.
“They have laid a great foundation as we transition from the existing Fleet and grow our new amphibious capabilities.”