• The third vessel from the United States will be formally turned over to the Philippines
  • The sailing crew has been sent to the US to train for the next three months
  • It will arrive in October this year
  • The Hamilton-class cutter is one of the two ships US President Barack Obama promised to donate to the country

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy is set to acquire the third Hamilton-class cutter from the United States which will be renamed BRP Andres Bonifacio and will join its sister ships BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz in the fleet.

The USCG Boutwell was decommissioned by the US Coast Guard this year and will be transferred to the Philippines through the Excess Defense Articles program after the ship was declared an excess government asset.

The USCG Boutwell is a high endurance cutter measuring an overall length of 115.2 m, an overall beam of 13.1 m and a hull draught of 6.1 m.

Its platform has a top speed of 29 knots and a standard range of 9,600 n miles at 15 knot. The ship has a crew complement of 167 personnel, and can accommodate one chopper on its flight deck for airborne operations.

Meanwhile, the PH Navy’s Offshore Combat Force has sent the ship’s sailing crew to San Francisco in California on Thursday, July 20, to officially receive the decommissioned cutter.

Among the crew are Rear Adm. Bayani R. Gaerlan, together with Commo. Robert A. Empedrad, commander, offshore combat force; Capt. Alberto B. Carlos, assistant chief of naval staff (AC of NS) for operations; Col. Antonio N. Mangoroban, AC of NS for logistics; and Capt. Mac Raul B. Racacho, AC of NS for naval systems engineering.

The BRP Andres Bonifacio will be commanded by Capt. Brendo J. Casaclang. All the crew will undergo training in the US over the next three months before the vessel departs for the Philippines in October.

The turn-over ceremony will be held on Friday, July 22, (PH time) at the Coast Guard Base in Alameda.

The USCG Boutwell ship is one of the two ships US President Barack Obama promised to donate to the Philippines; the other being a research vessel.