By Alexis Romero, The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - The arrival of the second warship acquired by the Philippines from the United States has been moved to July as the Filipino sailors who will operate the vessel continue to undergo training.
Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said the BRP Ramon Alcaraz has complex equipment that requires comprehensive crew training on ship equipment use, maintenance and other subjects.
“Tentatively, the arrival in Manila has been slated for July,” Fabic told The STAR in Filipino over the weekend.
“Our personnel are undergoing rigorous training since the ship’s equipment is complicated,” he added.
Fabic also said that Navy chief Vice Adm. Jose Luis Alano is in the US to inspect the vessel, which is docked in Charleston, South Carolina. Alano is expected to return to Manila next week.
The arrival of the BRP Alcaraz, he said, will boost the capabilities of the Philippine Navy as the vessel will augment water assets being used for patrolling and disaster response.
BRP Alcaraz was acquired from the US Coast Guard, which largely used it for law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, and search and rescue. The ship was turned over to Philippine officials in the US last May.