MANILA -- The Philippines' newest warship, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, is finally home.
The BRP Ramon Alcaraz passed by Casiguran, Aurora at around 9 a.m. Friday, concluding an almost 2-month journey from the United States.
The warship was acquired by the Philippines from the US government.
For about a year, the BRP Alcaraz underwent a $15.6 million retrofitting and extended refurbishment while its officers and crew underwent training with the US Navy.
Formerly known as USCGC Dallas, the BRP Alcaraz is the second Weather High-Endurance Cutter the Philippines has acquired from the US government.
The men and women aboard the refurbished warship said they are very excited to finally reach Philippine waters.
The Alcaraz is set to meet with its sister ship, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, off Bolinao, Pangasinan.
The two Navy vessels will then head to Subic, Zambales where they will dock on August 6. President Aquino is expected to welcome the new ship.
The ship, which will be fully commissioned in October, will be in dry-dock for maintenance and repainting.
The Alcaraz is expected to strengthen the Philippines' maritime defense capabilities, especially in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), which is being claimed entirely by China. – with ANC