At Pier 360 in Talcahuano August 8th was held the ceremony that commemorated the 40 years of service of the country that fulfilled this August 8 the landing ship Rancagua, a unit of the Chilean Navy that, in the words of its Commander, Lieutenant Commander Juan Pablo González “for four decades this Unit built in ASMAR has sailed 748,000 nautical miles equivalent to 34 trips around the world developing multiple activities, in addition to his main role of transporting Marine Corps forces in amphibious operations, since his maiden voyage to Valparaíso he has participated in all mission areas of the Institution.”

In this trajectory, the barge includes Antarctic commissions transporting materials and supplies to the operators, as well as relays to lighthouses and liaison operations, and transport of citizens to the island territories of Juan Fernández and Rapa Nui.

The anniversary ceremony held aboard the unit, on Tuesday, August 8, was attended by part of the Naval High Command and former members of the crew, including the Commander in Chief of the Navy, Admiral Juan Andrés De la Maza, who said “I feel very happy and proud to be here today, I want to congratulate you and I want to ask you especially that this ship that is already 40 years old has to last 10 more years, 50 years is nothing and these ships are simple to maintain and here as the Commander said, there has been a lot of experience, a lot of school of officers, seafarers, young people who have sailed 34 round-the-world tours. I think it is one of the few ships that sails so much and I ask you to take care of it.”

In the ceremony were also present some of the former Commanders of the Rancagua, is the case of Rear Admiral Guillermo Valenzuela who was the first Commander of this Unit “this shows how the Institution maintains its ships because they are ships since they are born very dear, by the endowments and by the Navy and that shows that the ship is still operational and that is why we wanted to come from Viña del Mar to this ceremony because it is precisely 40 years of life and as the Commander said 34 times around the world of miles sailed, it is something exciting and demonstrates the ability of the Institution to maintain its ships”.

“In the month of June the first commemorative activity of these 40 years of service began with a simple but significant invitation on board to ASMAR personnel who participated in its construction and current administrator of the plant, on that occasion the professionalism and dedication of all of them and the personnel who have supported at all times the maintenance of the Unit were recognized and appreciated, without a doubt ASMAR has positioned itself nationally and internationally both for its ship repair and maintenance capabilities and shipbuilding,” concluded Captain González.

The landing ship LST-92 “Rancagua”, was built for the Chilean Navy by the Asmar Industrial Plant of Talcahuano, according to the plans of the “Batral” Class of the French Navy, prior agreement with the government of that country. She was launched into the water on September 26, 1981, and baptized on March 26, 1982, being her godmother Mrs. Teresa Adriazola de Poisson, wife of the Chief of the General Staff of the Navy, Vice Admiral Maurice Poisson Eastman.

On August 08, 1983 it was officially delivered to the Navy and incorporated into service, subordinate to the Commander in Chief of the Third Naval Zone. During his dependency of the Command in Chief of the Third Naval Zone, he was responsible for actively participating in the most varied commissions, such as trips to the Chilean Antarctic Territory, construction of the Cross of the Seas at Cape Froward and various tasks of support to the community along the national coast.

On March 22, 1993, after operating for 10 years in the southern seas, the “Rancagua” became dependent on the Amphibious Command and Naval Transports, based in Valparaíso, a dependency that it maintains to date.

Currently, the landing ship is one of the main means available to the Navy to carry out Amphibious Operations and transport Marine Corps troops. In addition, it carries out cargo and passenger transport tasks, which have meant having to navigate the entire coast, including the island possessions of Easter Island, Isla Salas y Gómez, Isla San Félix and Archipiélago Juan Fernández.