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3 July 2013 – Philippine Consul General to Los Angeles Maria Hellen Barber De La Vega and members of the Filipino community welcomed the arrival of BRP Ramon Alcaraz at the 52nd US Naval Base in San Diego, California on June 29.

The BRP Alcaraz (PF-16), a 2nd Hamilton class cutter in Philippine Navy (PN) service and sister ship of the BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) was acquired by the Philippines under the Excess Defense Article and Milatary Assistance Program, arrived in San Diego on June 28 at 11:00 hrs after travelling 2,000 nautical miles from Charleston, South Carolina.

The BRP Alcaraz has 14 officers and 74 crew members led by Capt. Ernesto Baldovino.  The ship is capable of conducting patrols for long periods of time and can withstand heavy weather and rough sea conditions.

The Alcaraz was named after Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, a Philippine Navy officer, who distinguished himself during the Second World War when the patrol boat he commanded was credited for shooting down three Japanese aircraft.

Consul General De La Vega said that BRP Alcaraz is a fitting acquisition for the AFP’s modernization program, and enhances the naval assets of the country.  She said that after all the Philippines is an archipelago and therefore the Philippines must attach greater focus and attention to maritime security.  BRP Alcaraz is expected to arrive in the Philippines on August 03. END

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