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13/05/2011: Philippine Navy Acquires Hamilton Cutter

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (8th from the right) and Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. (8th from the left) together with Philippine Navy officers and crew aboard the newly-acquired vessel.The ship flying the Philippine flag.

Photo on left shows Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (8th from the right) and Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. (8th from the left) together with Philippine Navy officers and crew aboard the newly-acquired vessel. Photo on right shows the ship flying the Philippine flag.

13 May 2011, Washington DC. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia Jr. formally accepted the transfer today of a Hamilton class Cutter during formal ceremonies held in Alameda, California.  Ambassador Cuisia was accompanied at the ceremony by Consul General Marciano A. Paynor Jr., Captain Antonio A. Habulan of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, and Colonel Edwin Erni of the Philippine National Police Office in San Francisco.  Vice Admiral Manson Brown, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area and Defense Force West, signed the transfer documents for the U.S. government.

In his remarks during the transfer ceremony, Ambassador Cuisia noted that the success of the project is an indication of the robust Philippine-U.S. partnership and serves as an expression of the U.S.’ commitment to help the Philippines protect its maritime domain.

The cutter will officially become the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, with Captain Alberto Cruz at the helm.  He is part of a group of eight officers and thirteen enlisted personnel from the Philippine Navy, who are currently undergoing training with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard is an important component in Philippine-U.S. defense and security cooperation.  The Philippine Navy has acquired other vessels from the U.S. Coast Guard in the past, including two 82-foot patrol boats, the USCG Point Evans and USCG Point Doran, whose transfers were effected in December 1999 and March 2001, respectively.  Moreover, the U.S. international cadet program benefits students from the Philippines who train and interact with other students at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy located in New London, Connecticut.  END