The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) amphibious ship HMAS Tobruk recently hosted an Official Reception for Philippine dignitaries in the Port of Manila, during a port visit to the city.
Tobruk's Commanding Officer, Commander Leif Maxfield, RAN, welcomed the Chief of Staff Armed Forces Philippines, General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Mr William Tweddell, and other senior officers and distinguished local guests.
"On behalf of the Ship’s Company, I’d like to thank you for the warm reception we have received since arriving in Manila today.
"When we entered the Port Approaches this morning, I could see that the next few days would mark a very significant and special occasion for Tobruk and its Company," Commander Maxfield said.
Tobruk last visited the Philippines last year as part of Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST, Australia's contribution to the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations following Typhoon Haiyan.
"It was a privilege to support the re-building efforts of the Philippine Government, and it was an honour to support each of the Local Governments following the mass destruction caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.
"We are truly inspired by the resilience of the people of this nation.
"You are an example to the rest of the world, demonstrating how a nation comes together in the face of such adversity," Commander Maxfield said.
Commander Maxfield personally thanked Commander Ulysses “Bruce” Deliva (Philippines Navy) who was present on the evening, and was the embedded Philippine Naval Liaison Officer during Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST.
Torbuk’s visit is the first time in almost two years that a RAN warship has journeyed to Manila for a port visit.
"In the ever changing modern world it is always important to build, re-build, foster and strengthen international relationships with regional neighbours.
"Seventy years ago Australians Sailors and Soldiers were standing side by side with the Philippines, and today, we the men and women of Tobruk, look forward to carrying this relationship further," Commander Maxfield said.
General Catapang Jr. and the Australian Ambassador Mr Tweddell were personally acknowledged for their hard work in making Tobruk’s visit possible.
The evening formally concluded with a Ceremonial Sunset and a rendition of Beat to Quarters.