Philippines navy adds former U.S. Coast Guard ship to its arsenal


by NMAtv

  • About
  • Export
  • Add to
Originally published on August 6, 2013

The Philippines on Tuesday took possession of a former U.S. Coast Guard cutter as part of its biggest military upgrade in decades. The BRP Ramon Alcaraz, formerly the USCGC Dallas, is the second vessel of its type received by the Philippines from the United States. The 46-year-old Hamilton-class cutter joins the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, formerly the USCGC Hamilton, as the largest vessel in the Philippines' navy.

According to Reuters: "The military build-up, which is heavily focused on maritime capability, is likely to add to tension over the South China Sea that has threatened to draw in the United States as it refocuses its military attention on Asia.

"President Benigno Aquino and senior ministers watched as the frigate, BRP Ramon Alcaraz, sailed into the Philippines' Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base, after a two-month voyage from South Carolina, where its 88 Philippine crew trained for a year.

"The 46-year-old Hamilton-class cutter, the second of its type the Philippines has received from its U.S. ally, will be used to patrol areas of the South China Sea near the Philippine coast that have become a major source of tension with Beijing."

"Aquino is determined to modernize the navy and air force after three past administrations failed to implement a 330-billion-peso ($7.6-billion) spending plan passed in 1995, after the Chinese occupation of the half-submerged Mischief Reef.

"But a weak economy and two long-running insurgencies by Maoist and Muslim rebels drained the country's funds and left it with one of Southeast Asia's weakest militaries. When Aquino took over in 2010, just 10 percent of the 1995 plan's budget had been used.

"He won congressional approval to extend the plan 15 years and spend $1.7 billion to upgrade the military over the next five years, helped by robust economic growth that hit 7.8 percent in the first quarter this year, the fastest in Asia.

"China, Taiwan and Vietnam claim the entire South China Sea while Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines have partial claims on areas believed to have rich deposits of oil and natural gas.

"Last year, China added to Manila's alarm by occupying the Scarborough Shoal just 124 nautical miles off the Philippine coast, following a tense stand-off with Philippine vessels."


TomoNews is your daily source for top animated news. We've combined animation and video footage with a snarky personality to bring you the biggest and best stories from around the world.

For news that's fun and never boring, visit our channel:

Subscribe to stay updated on all the top stories:

Stay connected with us here:
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/TomoNewsUS
Twitter @tomonewsus http://www.twitter.com/TomoNewsUS
Google+ http://gplus.to/TomoNewsUS