Balikpapan-class Landing Craft Heavy (LCH)
Since July 2003, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has deployed Balikpapan-lass Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) under Operation Anode, Australia’s military contribution to the multi-national Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), to transport equipment and personnel throughout the Solomon Islands.
At various times since 2003, LCH vessels have included HMA Ships Wewak (L130), Labuan (L128), Balikpapan (L126), Brunei (L127), Betano (L133) and Tarakan (L129).
RAMSI Press Conference, Lt. Colonel John Frewen, Iron Bottom Sound, Honiara, 28 July 2003
“In terms of the Maritime assets we have the HMAS Manoora, you would have seen operating from the Manoora since the first day, the two Army LCM8’s which are sort of light landing craft that are able to scoot back and forth from ship to shore. We expect to welcome on the 29th the HMAS Wewak and the HMAS Labuan these are heavy landing craft or LCH’s. These vessels are ideally suited to moving heavier stores vehicles and equipment in and around the Islands of the Solomon’s. “
“The Air Force and Navy are also playing a role in moving equipment and personnel and is providing general maritime support to the operation. HMAS Wewak and HMAS Labuan, both Landing Craft Heavy (LCH), are operating in logistic support to the operation.”
Manoora in vital supply role, Lt. Chris Woods, Navy News, 2003
“We started off with the LCHs, HMAS Wewak and Labuan,” Assistant Operations Officer, Lt. Simon Howard said. “They have recently handed over to Tarakan and Balikpapan who are here now.”
HMAS Brunei, Australian War Memorial (AWM) photograph
“Unidentified Australian soldiers, sitting on a small boat on the beach at Camp RAMSI, watch as a truck reverses down the bow ramp of HMAS Brunei. A military Hitachi loader approaches the ship to unload more equipment.”
HMAS Brunei, based in Cairns, is a Balikpapan class Heavy Landing Craft. It is named after an Australian landing in the Pacific during the Second World War. Its very shallow draft enables delivery of up to 180 tonnes of equipment directly to the shore.
HMAS Betano, Australian War Memorial (AWM) photograph
HMAS Betano, a Balikpapan class heavy landing craft, was deployed to the Solomon Islands under Operation Anode, Australia’s military and policing contribution to the multi-national Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). An amphibious vessel, it has a very shallow draft, enabling delivery of personnel, equipment, and supplies to otherwise unreachable locations. It was used to provide logistical support to RAMSI.
HMAS Betano and Brunei, Australian War Memorial (AWM) photograph
HMAS Betano and Brunei are amphibious Balikpapan class heavy landing craft. They were deployed to the Solomon Islands to transport equipment, personnel, and supplies to remote locations in support of the RAMSI policing operation. Their shallow draft and folding bow ramps enable them to land vehicles and supplies directly to beaches without the need for harbour facilities.
Australian Sailor Injured In Solomon Islands, MSPA 98/04 Friday, 4 June 2004
A Royal Australian Navy sailor will be medically evacuated to Brisbane for specialist treatment today, after falling down a ravine in the Solomon Islands. The sailor was deployed on board the Cairns-based HMAS Tarakan as part of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).