Philippine Navy to receive US Coast Guard cutter soon

The U.S. Coast Guard will decommission the high endurance cutter Boutwell during a ceremony held at Naval Base San Diego, March 16.

The cutter has been in service for 48 years and will now be transferred to the Philippine Navy under the Foreign Military Sale Program through the Foreign Assistance Act.

Additionally, the Philippine Navy will receive the former U.S. Navy research vessel Melville.

In 2015, Boutwell’s final year of operation, the cutter spent 219 days away from homeport, traveling more than 40,000 nautical miles spanning 65 degrees of latitude, called on 12 ports, and performed six of the Coast Guard’s statutory missions.

Boutwell is the seventh High Endurance Cutter to be decommissioned and the third to be sent to the Philippines, with five remaining in service across the Pacific. The Coast Guard said it is working with the U.S. State Department to transfer Boutwell to the Philippine Navy.

Back in November 2015, U.S. president Barrack Obama announced the transferring of two ships during his visit to Manila. He said the transfer was part of the American plan to assist naval forces in Southeast Asia where China’s aggressive moves to assert control over the South China Sea threatened neighboring countries.