A Peek Inside that Rusty Philippine LST Reef Outpost
We’ve talked about the old BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) several times in the past few years, you know, the Philippine Navy’s reefed landing ship that is used as a desolate outpost against the Chinese military might pushing into the PI’s EEZ. Well, PI SECDEF Delfin Lorenzana posted some images of a special airlift of Christmas dinner to the garrison last week.
While most of us celebrated Christmas with our families, there are others who did not have that chance to do so, like our soldiers who are manning our islands in the West Philippine Sea. So that they may have something to celebrate with, the Philippine Navy airdropped foodstuffs, including lechon [roasted baby pig], for their noche buena.
What can be seen in a light platoon (24~) men worth of Marines and supporting Navy common/corpsmen in the ship’s topside jury-rigged tin and wood structure.
On the bright side, it looks like the ship is intact after Super Typhoon Rai/Typhoon Odette, which claimed more than 400 lives in the archipelago earlier this month. Further, it shows that the vessel is in helicopter range of the PI Navy’s five short-legged AW109E light helicopters, aircraft capable fo carrying FN-made rocket and machine gun pods, especially important because the Chinese have been making it hard to accomplish seaborne resupply.
The PI last May acquired two Leonardo AW159 Lynx Wildcat ASW-capable helicopters, which could prove further use to the fleet.