12 Mei 2016
BRP Gregorio Velasquez (AGR 702) (photo : DFA)
The Philippine Navy’s first dedicated research vessel BRP Gregorio Velasquez (AGR 702) is currently at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The Department of Foreign Affairs said BRP Gregorio Velasquez arrived at the historic Pearl Harbor on May 7.
The reaserach vessel will continue its sail home tomorrow, May 12. It will make another stop in Guam and then sail to the Philippines.
DFA said officers and crew of BRP Gregorio Velasquez received lei garlands as symbols of aloha from the officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu led by Consul General Gina Jamoralin and Captain Rey dela Cruz, AFP Liaison Officer to US Pacific Command and some members of the Fiipino community led by Mr. Allan Alvarez, President of the Philippine Celebrations Coordinating Committee of Hawaii (PCCH).
BRP Gregorio Velasquez commanding officer Commander Edwin Nera said that he and his crew were looking forward to visit Hawaii after a nine-day journey at sea from San Diego.
The vessel, formerly R/V Melville, was officially transferred from United States Navy to Philippines during a ceremony April 27 at Naval Base San Diego.
The Philippine Consulate General staff and Filipino community members were given a briefing and tour of the research vessel.
Aside from helping map the country’s vast maritime domains, BRP Gregorio Velasquez will also help develop the Navy’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna previously said. “Also, said vessel will enhance capacity and build capability to support the environmental protection efforts and exploration of the country for economic purpose,” Lincuna added.