Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christening of Philippine Navy's newly acquired JUNKS!!!

BRP Gregorio del Pillar was a retired US Coast Guard Ship, built December 18, 1965.
Decommissioned, Sold and Transfered to the  Philippines

Commissioned March 7, 1959
was built in Japan as part of that country’s war reparations to the Philippines. At the initiative of President Carlos P. Garcia

The LCU Acquisition Project was part of the 2002 Revised Reprioritized Project List with an approved budget of PhP 189 million and was commissioned DEC 11, 2011
this might be something to be proud of but its designs is tool old. Looks like scraps from WWII

The refurbished chopper was a donation to the Philippine Navy by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

By Jaime Laude 
(The Philippine Star) 
Updated December 11, 2011 

MANILA, Philippines - Two presidential sisters will be standing as ninangs or principal sponsors in next week’s christening of four floating and air assets of the Philippine Navy, a senior Navy official said yesterday.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay said that aside from President Aquino who is the official guest at the christening of the four Navy assets slated on Wednesday next week at Pier 13 in South Harbor, his sisters Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz and Victoria Elisa “Viel” Aquino-Dee will stand as principal sponsors of the newly-acquired BRP Gregorio del Pilar, BRP Tagbanua, BRP Ang Pangulo and the newly-refurbished helicopter PNH-422.

As principal sponsors, the presidential sisters will be leading other guests in the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle on the three warships and on the newly refurbished helicopter.

BRP Gregorio del Pilar is a high endurance cutter that was still in the active service of the US Coast Guard when it was transferred to the Philippine government.

Following the vessel’s arrival in the country on Aug. 23, the warship underwent dry-docking for refitting and repainting to the standard Navy haze grey.

With its scheduled deployment to the West Philippine Sea, the high endurance cutter will have a primary role of securing the Malampaya gas-to-power project as well as protecting and defending the country’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone in the hotly-contested region.

Categorized as a patrol frigate, BRP Gregorio del Pilar is christened after the country’s revolutionary war hero, Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, the hero of the Battle of Tirad Pass.

On the other hand, BRP Tagbanua, the first locally-built Navy Landing Craft Utility (LCU), is configured to transport combat personnel, tanks, vehicles, artillery equipment and cargo in support of military amphibious operations.

As a transport vessel, Tagbanua, christened after Philippine ethnic Tagbanua tribes of Palawan, can also perform non-combat seaborne operations, particularly during disaster, rescue and relief operations as well as support government economic projects in the country’s island provinces.

Next week’s christening event will also boost the Navy’s limited air defense capability with the commissioning of the newly refurbished BO105C-Type German Messerschmitt Bolkow helicopter.

The refurbished chopper was a donation to the Philippine Navy by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

“This type of helicopter is the standard helicopter in the Philippine Fleet’s inventory,” Tonsay said.

Tonsay added that after the christening, the presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo would be ready to serve as President Aquino’s “floating MalacaƱang.”

Named Republic of the Philippines (RPS) Roxas during time of the late President Diosdado Macapagal, the presidential vessel was renamed BRP Ang Pangulo by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

During the term of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the presidential yacht was again renamed BRP Pag-Asa with a primary role as a disaster relief and rehabilitation craft.

Tonsay said the vessel, which will reassume its old name BRP Ang Pangulo, underwent essential refurbishing to ensure seaworthiness and operational readiness, to serve as a floating government center or while serving as an advance command post of the President and Commander-in-Chief, in times of man-made and natural calamities anywhere in the country, being an archipelagic and maritime nation.

President Aquino, on the other hand, revealed plans to seek more assistance from the US to upgrade the country’s military capabilities to further improve the condition of the troops and policemen.

Aquino said that when he went to Bali, Indonesia to attend the ASEAN summit, he saw three F16s, a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed for the US, at the airport.

He learned that Indonesia was also given two squadron, a naval unit consisting of two or more divisions of a fleet, by “American friends.”

The President quipped the assistance seemed lopsided in favor of Indonesia since “we were given one ship” by the US.

“So I suppose, (US) President Barack Obama and I will meet next year, maybe April, I will remind him that we have a strategic partnership and maybe they will remember we don’t have anymore fighter (jets) here,” Aquino said in an impromptu speech during the Philippine Air Force Invitational Shoot Fest and firing range blessing at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City. – With Aurea Calica

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