Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BRP Ramon Alcaraz rushed to Eastern Visayas after a very modest Commissioning Ceremony

Photo from Philippine Navy FB page
MANILA, Philippines- BRP Alcaraz quickly rushed to her first ever mission, that is Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response operations for the victims of super typhoon “Yolanda” in Eastern Visayas after a very modest ceremonies.

 “The vessel will be transporting relief items from different government agencies and non-government organizations. BRP Alcaraz will also be ferrying Navy personnel that will be utilized for various relief operations which will include but not limited to clearing operations, medical missions, relief goods distribution, repair and rehabilitation and security augmentation,” Navy spokesman Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic said.

The Christening, Commissioning and Send-off Ceremonies all at the same time for the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF16) were held Friday, November 22, 2013 at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila with Secretary of National Defense as Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker. The Alcaraz family also attended as special guests.
Photo from Philippine Navy FB page
In an interview from last Wednesday, Navy spokesman Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic said that the commissioning rites for BRP Ramon Alcaraz would be “low key” and “simple” as the funds for the ceremony have been allotted for relief efforts in typhoon-hit areas.

   “It (commissioning) will be low key. The commissioning will be very simple. All the funds will be realigned to the operations in Tacloban,” Fabic said.

   “(We don’t expect) much fanfare. We will just commission Alcaraz so it can be used for the operations of the Navy,” he added.

Last August, President Benigno Aquino III led the Arrival Ceremony of Alcaraz in Subic after a three month long journey from it's home port in Charleston, South Carolina last June 10. Alcaraz did the "Historic Crossing" to Panama Canal and made port visits to San Diego and Honolulu, Hawaii before sailing for its last stopover in Guam. The BRP Alcaraz started sailing for Manila on July 27.

see also: President Benigno Aquino III led the welcome ceremony of BRP Ramon Alcaraz

Navy flag officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Alano in an interview said that with the commisioning of BRP Alcaraz, the Philippine Navy (PN) had more than doubled it's patrol and monitoring capabilities on the country's vast maritime waters.

  "The activation of the country's latest Hamilton-class cutter effectively boosted the Navy's capabilities to monitor and protect the country's waters against internal threats and poachers." He added.
Photo from Philippine Navy FB page
The vessel maybe second hand but it's engines are brand new, and the main deck is equipped with the most state of the art navigational and radar systems. It has an S-Band and X-Band Radar suite with GPS and Automatic Identification System or AIS. It also has an echo sounder, a retractable hangar and a flight deck.

The ship was named after Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, a Philippine Navy World War II hero, who was credited for his gallant action under the direct command of General Douglas MacArthur for shooting down three Japanese planes off Bataan in 1942 before surrendering to the Japanese.

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