MANILA – A refurbished United States vessel for the Philippine Navy arrived in Manila on Thursday evening, the US embassy said.
BRP Andres Bonifacio, formerly US Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, is the second of two ships that outgoing US President Barack Obama pledged to the Philippines when he visited the country in November last year.
The other ship, research vessel Merville, is now BRP Gregorio Velasquez.
The refurbished vessel is also the third high-endurance cutter transferred by the US to the Philippine Navy under the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program.
The first two are BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz.
“The ship, a former United States Coast Guard High Endurance Cutter, is expected to bolster the Philippine Navy's Fleet, providing increased maritime presence throughout the Philippines' territorial waters and its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” the US Embassy said in a statement.
The ship was officially transferred to the Philippine Navy and renamed BRP Andres Bonifacio on July 21, 2016, during a ceremony at Coast Guard Base Alameda, California.
The crew of the ship conducted 14 weeks of training on the ship's operation, engineering and propulsion systems, damage control and emergency response procedures.