Shortly after US President Barack Obama visited the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) yesterday, November 17, 2015. He made an announcement in his speech that two naval ships will be donated to the Philippine Navy.
President Obama said that the 1st naval ship will provide the Philippines the ability to maintain a greater maritime presence and patrols throughout the West Philippine sea and the 2nd ship will help the nation in mapping out Philippine sea beds, naval research. Meaning it is configured as a general-purpose oceanographic research vessel.
The White House has confirmed and identified that these two ships are the high-endurance US Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Boutwell and a U.S. oceanographic research vessel, the R/V Melville.
“We are assisting with naval maintenance capacity building as well as providing interdiction vessels, naval fleet upgrades, communications equipment, and aircraft procurement,” the White House said.
Watch this video of USCG Boutwell and R/V Melville
The United States additionally promised to keep on supporting the National Coast Watch System and help the Philippines through the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF), improve its capacity in Philippine maritime vessel maintenance, training, law enforcement support, and intelligence assistance to expand the country’s capability to track, detect, and interdict where lawless elements like terrorist and criminals connected with the smuggling of sensitive items and illegal products. – Jason E.,/ White House