Monday, August 22, 2011

Navy gets new Hamilton-class ship, says it will revive defense capability

By Alexis Romero
Philippine Star, Monday, August 22, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - The newly acquired Hamilton-class ship from the US symbolizes the revival of the military’s defense capabilities, the Navy said yesterday.

“We regard this (newly acquired ship) as an icon of the revival of the capability upgrade of the armed forces. This symbolizes our seriousness (to upgrade our military),” Navy chief Vice Adm. Alexander Pama told radio station dzBB in Filipino.

“This (ship) would start the revival and the enhancement of the capabilities of the armed forces,” he said.

Pama said upgrading the country’s naval assets is important given that the Philippines is a maritime nation. He said the ship, which has been renamed BRP Gregorio del Pilar, would allow them to sail through huge waves.

“One of our weaknesses is the lack of vessels that could withstand a rough environment caused by huge waves. We can now do that through this ship. It symbolizes the government’s presence and is in line with efforts to protect our maritime resources,” Pama said.

The Hamilton-class ship arrived in Philippine territory last Aug. 17 after almost a month of voyage from California.

A total of 95 Navy personnel manned the ship, which arrived in Manila Bay yesterday. The ship underwent customs and immigration quarantine and inspection in line with the existing regulations on vessels from other countries.

President Aquino will lead the arrival ceremonies for the ship tomorrow at the Pier 13 in South Harbor, Manila.

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