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05 August 2013

PNoy to grace welcome rites for BRP Ramon Alcaraz in Subic Bay

President Benigno Aquino III is expected to grace the welcome ceremonies here for the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) on Tuesday, August 6.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto V. Garcia said the Alava Pier here is now being prepared for the ceremony, which is expected to be joined by President Aquino and top government and military officials.

Subic is set to welcome the latest warship acquired by the Philippines from the United States following its entry into the Philippine territory recently.

It departed the Charleston harbor in South Carolina on June 10, crossed the Panama Canal on June 17, and journeyed through the Pacific Ocean on its way to the Philippines.

BRP Ramon Alcaraz is a former US Coast Guard Hamilton-class cutter and first served as the USCGC Dallas before it was turned over to the Philippines under the Foreign Military Sales program of the United States.

The 3,250-ton frigate underwent refurbishment and refitting last May prior to its voyage to the country.

It is now skippered by Philippine Navy Capt. Ernesto Baldovino and manned by 14 officers and 73 enlisted personnel.

The 115-meter ship was named after Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, a World War II hero and officer of the Philippine Navy, who commanded one of the Philippine Offshore Patrol's Q-boat Q-112 Abra during the war which shot down t three Japanese planes.

BRP Ramon Alcaraz is expected to boost the Philippine Navy’s capability in protecting the country’s coastline. (FMD/MPD-SBMA)

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