The Philippine Navy to Get Former USCG Ship

The Philippine Navy is preparing to get the Hamilton-class cutter, formerly known as USCGC Dallas (WHEC-716), now named BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), underway July 5. 

The ship was acquired by the Philippines from the U.S. under the Department of Defense’s Foreign Military Sales program for 400 million Philippine pesos ($9.26 million), May 22, 2012.

“The acquisition of the frigate is a part of the long term modernization plan of the armed forces of the Philippines,” said Capt. Ernesto O Baldovino, Ramon Alcaraz’s first commanding officer. “This purchase is mutually beneficial for both governments and shows the sincerity of the U.S. government and the Philippine government to uphold the provisions of the mutual defense treaty signed between the two governments.”

Ramon Alcaraz is the second Hamilton-class cutter purchased by the Philippines and is expected to bolster the Philippine navy’s capability in protecting their maritime interests.

“From a tactical standpoint, being a former United States ship, the systems are compatible with those of the U.S. Navy and will add to our interoperability with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard,” said Baldovino.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard are also aboard Ramon Alcaraz to help train members of the Philippine navy to use the systems onboard, train the Philippine navy in what to expect while serving aboard the ship and help prepare the crew for working together with the Coast Guard and the Navy on future missions.

“We were brought here to advise and assist the Philippine Navy on how to use the systems that the ship employs,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Derin Perez. “It’s important that we conduct this kind of cross-training with them so that they are better able to understand how we’re used to operating, so when we team up to do operations together we can all be on the same page.”

The ship was named after the deceased Commodore of the Philippine Fleet, Ramon A. Alcaraz. Alcaraz was awarded the Silver Star for shooting down three low-flying Japanese planes during World War II.

Press Release, July 4, 2013