Super Typhoon Haiyan caused significant devastation to the Philippines in November 2013, and approximately 500 Australian Defence Force personnel, including the crew of HMAS Tobruk and a deployment of Army Engineers, provided in-country support to the relief effort, at the request of the Philippines Government.
The decommissioned vessels, ex-HMA Ships Tarakan and Brunei, were re-commissioned at the ceremony, into the Republic of Philippines Navy as BRP Ivatan (AT298) and BRP Batak (AT299).
With over 40 years service, the versatility of the Balikpapan class resulted in superb logistics support to Australian Defence Force operations in Bougainville, East Timor and the Solomon Islands, and numerous humanitarian aid missions both domestically and through the region.
The two Landing Craft Heavy vessels were formally handed over to the Philippines in a ceremony held in Cairns, Australia. The decommissioned Australian Navy vessels are on their way to the Philippines.