PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan in a statement Monday said, “With the commissioning of this oil tanker, the Navy has now a credible POL (petroleum, oil, lubricant) delivery platform that shall extend the operational range and scope of our ships especially those operating in the high seas and the EEZ."
The BRP Lake Caliraya was commissioned at Naval Station Pascual Ledesma, Fort San Felipe, Cavite City.
She was the former M/T Lapu-Lapu of the PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation that was donated to the PN last March 26, 2014.
“With the commissioning of this oil tanker, the Navy has now a credible POL (petroleum, oil, lubricant) delivery platform that shall extend the operational range and scope of our ships especially those operating in the high seas and the EEZ,” he added.
Millan also conveyed his deep gratitude to the PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation headed by Antonio Cailao.
The motor tanker is one of the recent capability development program undertaken by the PN through the Philippine Fleet.
Her inclusion in inventory will greatly enhance the replenishment capability of the Navy.
Navy ships will no longer have to travel farther inland just to refuel as POL requirements will already be available in the nearest naval installation. Problems on fuel contamination will now be addressed as AF-81 is built for this purpose.
The BRP Lake Caliraya is a single product replenishment platform that has a depot-to-ship, ship-to-depot, and a ship-to-ship refueling capabilities.
AF-81 was one of the three largest vessel of PNOC Fleet. She was built in Zhejiang Zhongxing Shipyard in Taizhou Peoples Republic of China in November 2007.
The sailing crew commissioned by the PNOC brought the ship from Taizhou, China to Manila, Philippines in January 2008.
The ship was used by the PNOC in transporting mainly bunker fuel to the different ports in the Philippines.
On May 11, 2014, the ship was brought from its anchorage area in Bataan to Keppel Shipyard, Bauan, Batangas to undergo dry docking and other related repairs.
She was then brought to Naval Shipyard, NSPL, Cavite City to undergo structural, habitability, machinery, and piping repairs.
AF-81 was named after Lake Caliraya, a beautiful lake located in the province of Laguna. As the lake provides a source of livelihood sustenance for the people of Caliraya, AF-81 on the other hand, will support the sustainment of naval operations.
With her modern replenishment and refueling gear, she will be central to facilitating and sustaining the operations of our Fleet in the operational areas.
AF-81 is commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Mamerto A Goleta PN and manned by selected officers and men of the Sealift Amphibious Force.
"With the help of our generous stakeholders and government, slowly but surely the Navy will acquire the necessary materiel and equipage that are needed in performing our traditional and non-traditional roles. As AF-81 sail to its maiden mission, the Navy has another reason to level up their dedication and commitment to perform their mandates," Millan concluded.
The Philippine Navy first Oil Tanker BRP Lake Caliraya (AF-81) during a Christening and Commissioning Ceremony on May 23, 2015 at the Naval Station Pascual Ledesma in Fort San Felipe, Cavite City.