BRP Gregirio Del Pilar (all photos : US Pacific Fleet)
MANILA, (PIA) -- The long wait is almost over as the Philippine Navy’s new flagship and largest warship BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF15) has again set sail Monday, August 1, 2011 for Manila after a brief stop in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
While the new flagship was on the move to the island of Kuala in Hawaii, it was still able to participate in a naval training exercise with USS Ruben James (FFG 57). The USS Ruben James is an Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate.
The joint training scenario, which includes a series of tactical and communication maneuvers, aims to enhance the skills of the Filipino crew in manning the ship as well as increase interoperability between the Philippines and the United States.
Meanwhile, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar will make another stop in Guam wherein hundreds of Filipino families also await for its arrival.
The Philippine government has gained worldwide support among Filipinos and other foreign nationals on the nation’s new defense initiatives.
BRP Gregorio del Pilar is a 378 feet long and 42 feet wide ship, armed with a 76mm gun mount controlled by an MK92 Fire Control System.
The former US Coast Guard vessel was designed to take on long-range search and rescue operations, oceanographic research, and law enforcement - defense operations. Its hangar and flight deck are also capable of handling helicopter operations.