BRP Rajah Humabon: the "Great Granny" of the PH Navy is finally decommisioned

BRP Rajah Humabon: the "Great Granny" of the PH Navy is finally decommisioned

There is an old saying “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”

Last week the Philippine Navy decommissioned its oldest ship(soldier) in its inventory, the BRP Rajah Humabon (PS-11), after 38 years of service. And reports coming from the Philippine Headquarters that it intends to turn the former flagship as a museum to be based in Sangley point, Cavite City.

The BRP Rajah Humabon , is one of the last World War 2-era warships still in active service prior to its decommissioning.   *
Philippine Navy's BRP Rajah Humabon,was retired last week after almost 40 years in service. (Photo credit to owner)

The former Philippine navy flagship was the former USS Atherton a US  Navy Destroyer escort during the World War II, who’s duty was patrolling the Atlantic in the 1940’s. After the wat it was decommissioned in 1945 and was transferred to the American controlled Japanese government as JDS Hatsuhi. It was later on sold to the Philippines under the Marcos administration in 1978 and was commissioned into service by the navy in 1980 after undergoing extensive repairs in South Korea.

Philippine Fleet spokesman Lt. Sahirul Taib said that former commanding officers who had served aboard the BRP Humabon attended the decommissioning ceremony in Sangley Point, Cavite city, the headquarters of the Philippine Fleet.

The retirement of BRP Rajah Humabon is in-line with the Navy's Strategic Sail Plan of "moving to legacy vessels to more and capable and modern vessels," he earlier said.

The ship will be stripped of its navigational equipment and other usable items before it will be turned into an exhibit. The PN decided in turning it as a museum  is their way of honoring the almost four decades of service and its long tenure as the Navy’s flagship.

Prior to the arrival of the former United States Coast Guard high endurance cutter - BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF-15) in 2011 and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16) in 2013, the BRP Rajah Humabon together with the three Jacinto-class patrol vessels (formerly the Royal Navy's Peacock class patrol ships) served as the backbone of the PN and acted as its flagship. *

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorezana issued the directive to retire the Navy’s remaining World War II- era warships due to their old age.

Prior to its retirement, BPR Humabon was operating as a ceremonial ship for welcoming visiting foreign warships in Manila Bay.

Among the expected floating assets of the Philippine navy include the controversial missile-armed frigates from Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea. The contract is worth PHP18 billion, including weapon systems and munitions, with the delivery of the first ship expected by 2020.

Once commissioned in Philippine service, the frigates will give the PN an anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine and electronic warfare capability.
Report from PNA

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