Promised US ship due in June
The research vessel US President Barack Obama promised to give the Philippines is expected to arrive in the country in the third week of June.
The Philippine Navy (PN) said the RV Melville is one of two US ships Obama pledged to donate to the Philippines during his visit in November for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders summit.
PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said a 30-man crew composed of Philippine Navy personnel arrived at the US naval base in San Diego, California, on March 21.
“The crew is scheduled for familiarization and orientation on the operation and maintenance of the equipment aboard the vessel,” Lincuna said.
Aside from the research ship, Obama promised another Hamilton-class cutter for the Philippine Navy.
The cutter, the third for the Philippines, is the US Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, a sister ship to the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, formerly the USCGC Hamilton, and the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, formerly the USCGC Dallas, both of which had come from the United States.
Both the Melville and the Boutwell will be transferred to the Philippine Navy as excess defense articles.
The Boutwell was decommissioned by the US Coast Guard two weeks ago in San Diego and is expected to be arrive in the Philippines within the year.
The Melville was operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for oceanographic research. It was the oldest active vessel in the academic research fleet known as the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System.
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