Navy re­ceives re­search ship from US

Business Mirror - - NEWS - By Rene Acosta @re­nea­costaBM

THE United State for­mally turned over on Tuesday (US time) the re­search ship USS

Melville to the Philip­pines. The ship was chris­tened BRP

Gre­go­rio Vasques (AGR-702) and was as­signed to the Navy.

USS Melville was ac­cepted by Navy of­fi­cials led by Commo. Nar­ciso Ving­son Jr., deputy com­man­der of the Philip­pine Fleet, and for­mer Navy flag Of­fi­cer in Command and De­fense Un­der­sec­re­tary Je­sus Mil­lan in San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia.

Capt. Lued Lin­cuna, Navy pub­lic af­fairs of­fi­cer, said on Fri­day that BRP Gre­go­rio Vasquez was al­ready steam­ing to­ward the Philip­pines with 50 crew­men.

The Navy per­son­nel “un­der­went prepara­tory train­ing for fa­mil­iar­iza­tion and ori­en­ta­tion on the op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance of var­i­ous equip­ment aboard said ves­sel since March this year,” he said.

USS Melville is the third ship to be turned over by the US to the Philip­pines un­der its Ex­cess De­fense Ar­ti­cle (EDA) Pro­gram.

Two for­mer US Coast Guard cut­ters were ear­lier turned over Navy which has com­mis­sioned them into ser­vice as BRP Gre­go­rio del Pi­lar and BRP Ra­mon Al­caraz.

BRP Gre­go­rio del Pi­lar is cur­rently the flag­ship of the Navy.

Melville’s turnover to the coun­try was promised in Novem­ber last year by US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama while he was in Manila for the Asia- Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion sum­mit.

Obama also said a third US Coast Guard cut­ter, Boutwell, would be given to the Philip­pines un­der the EDA.

“The United States in­tends to grant the high- en­durance US Coast Guard Cut­ter Boutwell to the Philip­pine Navy, the third ship of its class that we have pro­vided in the past few years. This will pro­vide the Philip­pines the abil­ity to main­tain greater mar­itime pres­ence and pa­trols through­out its EEZ [ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone],” the US Pres­i­dent said at that time.

“We are also in the process of trans­fer­ring the re­search ves­sel R/ V Melville to sup­port naval re­search and law- en­force­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties [of the Philip­pines],” he added.

Lin­cuna said AGR-702 would be shared with other gov­ern­ment agen­cies for ocean-re­lated re­search projects.

“The re­search ves­sel will not only pro­vide us ca­pa­bil­ity for hy­dro­graphic sur­vey, it will also be­come a plat­form for in­ter­a­gency col­lab­o­ra­tion for part­ners in the academe and, thus, im­prove aware­ness of our sub-sur­face environment,” Lin­cuna said.

“Aside from its pri­mary mis­sion, AGR-702 would also be a valu­able plat­form in re­view­ing our Anti- sub­ma­rine War­fare Ca­pa­bil­ity. This ac­qui­si­tion also aims to ad­dress the is­sues in terms of marine sci­en­tific re­searches/ sur­veys and to gather marine sci­en­tific data ben­e­fi­cial to naval op­er­a­tions,” he added.

Lin­cuna said as a gov­ern­ment pol­icy that aux­il­iary re­search ves­sels should be named af­ter na­tional sci­en­tists, the AGR-702 was named af­ter her name­sake Dr. Gre­go­rio Ve­lasquez, a pi­o­neer in Philip­pine phys­i­ol­ogy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.