CHARLESTON, South Carolina – BRP Ramon Alcaraz, the second Hamilton-Class Cutter acquired by the Philippines from the US, is being prepared for its voyage to the Philippines by early 2013.
The ship, formerly called the USCGC Dallas, was a Coast Guard high endurance cutter commissioned in 1967 in New Orleans and was decommissioned in March 2012.
Named after war hero Commodore Ramon Alcaraz--a distinguished Philippine Navy Officer during the Second World War who was awarded the Silver Star for shooting down 3 Japanese planes off Bataan in 1942--the ship was formally transferred to the Philippine government, under its first Filipino Commanding Officer Ernesto Baldovin, on May 22.
Baldovino and 85 Filipino Navy officers and crew will be part of the sailing crew in its tentative journey to the Philippines by spring next year.
The ship’s 14 officers and enlisted men and women are also undergoing training under the US Coast Guard.
The ship was reportedly purchased to conducting patrols for extended periods of time as it can withstand heavy weather and rough water conditions.
BRP Alcaraz is currently docked at a naval facility center in Charleston, South Carolina while it undergoes general overhaul and further installation of navigational, electronics and weapons equipment.