Philippine Navy’s newest warship arrives from US


08:15 PM August 17th, 2011

By: Dona Z. Pazzibugan, August 17th, 2011 08:15 PM

The BRP Rajah Humabon (photo above), a Cannon-class destroyer-escort built during World War II, will be replaced by the BRP Gregorio del Pilar as the Philippines’ biggest warship. The Del Pilar is expected to arrive in the country from the United States in three weeks. PHOTO COURTESY OF US NAVY

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Navy’s newest and biggest warship, the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, arrived in the country Wednesday afternoon after a two-week voyage from the US.

The ship, manned by 13 officers and 82 enlisted personnel under the command of Captain Alberto Cruz, entered the Philippine area of responsibility at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

“It is expected to pass the San Bernardino Strait off the Bicol region,” Navy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Omar Tonsay said in a text message.

He said the ship is expected to anchor at the Manila Bay on Sunday around 8 a.m. to undergo customs, immigration and quarantine inspection.

The formal arrival and welcome ceremony will be held at the Manila South Harbor on Tuesday next week, according to Tonsay.

The BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, a decommissioned US Coast Guard ship, left Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on August 1.

It made a brief stop in Guam and departed on August 14 to continue its voyage.

The 378-foot (115-meter) ship is the biggest and most modern warship in the Philippine Navy fleet, which are comprised mostly of World War II-vintage battleships.

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