The USCGC Boutwell (WHEC 719) which is a former high endurance Coastguard cutter of the United States will be transferred to the Philippines on July 21, 2016, Thursday at Coast Guard Base Alameda and will be designated a Philippine frigate named BRP Andres Bonifacio.

The decommissioned cutter was declared by the United States as an excess government asset and is being transferred to the Philippines through the Excess Defense Articles program.

Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell in Alameda
Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell in Alameda

BRP Andres Bonifacio is the 3rd Philippine Navy frigate and will be joining BRP Gregorio del Pilar (formerly the USCGC Hamilton) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (ex-USCGC Dallas) which were decommissioned in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Attending the signing and ceremonial turnover,  Commander Rear Admiral Bayani Gaerlan Commander Philippine Fleet, signatory together with commanding officer, Captain Brendo J. Casaclang prospective commanding officer of BRP Andres Bonifacio.

In 2015 US President Barack Obama visited Manila and attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. He announced that the United States is donating USCG Boutwell to the PN along with the research vessel, R/V Melville. – JCE




  2. why not US donate all those remaining USCGC cutter class to Philippines, while we are waiting to have budget for brand news?

  3. From the total of 12 vessels commissioned by the US Coast Guard what remains are 4 active
    vessels with the; USCGC Morgenthau (WHEC-722), USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720), USCGC Mellon (WHEC-717) and USCGC Midgett (WHEC-726). If these 4 vessels would be given to the Philippines, this would increase the numbers of large hull vessels of the Philippine Navy. Even these vessels are old in US standards; these are still capable ships which could still serve a further 10 to 15 or even 20 years more with the PN and coupled to the fact that the PN are renowned to maintain vessels even beyond the serviceable lifespan. At present our government should prioritize the improvement (upgrade) of its existing Hamilton Class (or otherwise known as the Gregorio del Pilar-class frigate) equipment’s and especially armaments. Last Dec 2015 we have mounted two units Mk 38 MOD 2 25mm auto cannon gun system in BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) but the acquisition and installation are too slow. Remember, the first Hamilton Class Cutter was transferred to the PN on May 13, 2011 and the second one was transferred May 22, 2012. Based on the first vessel that was transferred to the PN it took four years before a weapon upgrade was made and mind you we are just talking about secondary armaments and only one vessel installed. Now that the third ship BRP Andres Bonifacio is arriving by Nov 2016 from the US the more we should highlight to make these three vessels more capable. For several decades we have neglected our military we were so complacent American presence were here in Clark and Subic. We should have started
    to modernize since our government kick-out the Americans in the early 90s which was a very bad decision in the first place. Now we are running catch-up!

  4. Now, equip these “frigates” with over the horizon anti-ship missiles (Harpoon, Naval Strike Missile, LRASM or Brahmos). Otherwise, they will be easy target practice for PLAN ships. Smaller PLAN Type 056 Corvettes and Type 022 Patrol Boats are armed with YJ-83 anti-ship missiles with a range of 180km. Think! They need stand off anti-ship capability. 76mm guns are useless until point blank range. They also need SM-3 Surface-to-Air missiles to defend against incoming enemy missiles and aircraft.

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