Thursday, August 13, 2009

USS George Washington arrives in RP today



US aircraft carrier USS
George Washington is set to arrive
in the country today for a
five-day goodwill visit, the
Philippine Navy said yesterday.
Lt. Col Edgard Arevalo,
Navy spokesman said. the
ship's crew would participate
in various community development
projects, mostly for
Filipino veterans and school
Arevalo said projects lined
up include the improvement
of facilities at the Veterans Memorial
Medical Center in Quezon
City, as well as repair and
painting of several elementary
schools in Metro Manda.
"After a traditional courtesy
call by Rear Admiral Kevin
Donegan, head of the entire
delegation and chief of Task
Force 70 to Navy chief Vice
Admiral Ferdinand Golez, the
activity kicks off with the professional
exchange between the officers of the two Navies,"
he said.
The vessel is the fourth US Navy to be named after
George Washington, the first US President.
The ship has more than 3,000 officers and sailors.
Its skipper is Commander David Alan Lausman.
The visit came several months after the USS Blue Ridge's
own port call in the Philippines, during which its crew
took part in several humanitarian projects,
Arevalo allayed fears that
the vessel could be bringing in
nuclear weapons when it enters Philippine territory
saying they expect the US to comply
with the provisions of the
Constitution on nuclear armaments.
"The US government neither
confirms nor denies that
the USS Washington is carrying
nuclear weapon, but we
are inclined to believe that
they know the provisions of
our laws and that we are
counting on mutual trust," he
The Constitution prohibits
the entry of foreign vessels
that carry nuclear arms. The
Department of Foreign Affairs
said the entry of the vessel
does not violate the Constitution
because it is only an aircraft
carrier that runs on nuclear
Just a week ago, President
Arroyo met with US President
Barack Obama in Washington
to discuss, among others, mutual
security concerns.

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