Sunday, December 11, 2011

Philippine Navy slates christening of patrol ship, other assets on Dec. 14

The christening of a new Philippine Navy patrol ship and other naval assets this coming week shows the government’s commitment to helping the Armed Forces of the Philippines protect the country’s coastlines, MalacaƱang said Saturday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the BRP Gregorio del Pilar will be a much-needed addition to the Navy’s fleet in patrolling the Philippine coastline.

“At least magandang pangyayari yan. Masasabi ng Navy kung anong malaking tulong ang gagawin ng equipment upgrade, kasama sa pag-patrol ng coastline natin,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

The Navy is to christen and commission this Wednesday the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF15), BRP Tagbanua (AT 296), and PN Helicopter 422 (PNH422).

It will also rename the BRP Pag-Asa to the “Ang Pangulo” (AT25), a floating presidential office.

Valte added it is high time the AFP received an upgrade, since the AFP modernization plan is relatively slow.

“We know the AFP modernization plan has always been mandated by law (but) it takes some time for them to actually get the assets,” she said.

Also, she pointed out President Benigno Aquino III himself said the government must help the ones that make the country secure.

With the new ships, she said “this is part of our commitment to do just that.”

A news advisory from the Philippine Navy said the christening will take place at Pier 13 in Manila at 10 a.m. of December 14.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar was acquired through the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) Program using Department of Energy Malampaya Gas-to-Power Project Funds.

The “hot transfer” adopted for the acquisition of PF15 means that the ship was very much in service in the United States and was decommissioned only to effect its transfer to the Philippines, the Navy said.

On the other hand, BRP Tagbanua is primarily configured to transport combat personnel, tanks, vehicles, artillery equipment and cargoes in support to military amphibious operations.

Its secondary role is to perform non-combatant evacuation; medical assistance projects; disaster, rescue and relief operations; and transport/logistics mission in support to national socio-economic projects of the government.

It was acquired using the AFP Modernization Fund. The Philippine Navy Helicopter (PNH) 422 was a donation from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Department of Tourism last August.

“With minor derangements upon its transfer to the Navy, the repairs were successfully undertaken by the Philippine Fleet’s Naval Air Group and it is now ready for deployment,” the Navy said. — ELR, GMA News
December 10, 2011 7:14pm

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