The Philippine Navy (PN)'s first survey ship, the BRP Gregori Velasquez (AGR-702), is expected to arrive in
anytime Wednesday. Manila
This was stressed by PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in a message to the PNA.
"BRP Gregorio Velasquez departed from Guam last June 2 and is expected to arrive in
(anytime) June 8. She will then anchor at her designated area and her crew will
undergo Customs Immigration and Quarantine before docking on Pier 13 on June
10," he added. Manila
Shortly afterwards, the ship will be honored in an arrival ceremony.
The BRP Gregorio Velasquez arrived in
last May 28. She left San Diego, last April 26
after being formally transferred to the PN. California
Aside from helping map the country's vast maritime domains, the BRP Gregorio Velasquez (formerly the
research vessel Melville) will
also help develop the PN's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability. US
"Aside from its primary mission, AGR-702 would also be a valuable platform in reviewing our anti-submarine warfare capability," he said.
Lincuna did not give specifics on this but the PN is in the process of developing its ASW capability after signing a contract to acquire two AW-159 "Wildcat" anti-submarine helicopters with AgustaWestland last March.
The contract is worth PHP5.360 billion, lower than the stated PHP5.4 billion.
These helicopters are expected to be deployed among the PN's large ships which include the two Gregorio Del Pilar-class frigates and incoming two strategic sealift vessels, of which one is expected to be delivered this month, and the BRP Gregorio Velasquez.
Lincuna said the acquisition of the latter ship also aims to address the issues in terms of marine scientific researches/surveys and to gather marine scientific data beneficial to naval operations.
"Also, said vessel will enhance capacity and build capability to support the environmental protection efforts and exploration of the country for economic purpose," he added.
She is the country's first oceanographic research vessel.
The BRP Gregorio Velasquez is being manned by a crew of 50 Filipino officers and enlisted personnel who have undergone familiarization and orientation training on various systems of the ship since last March.
"Said vessel is one of the two ships pledged by the President of the
United States of America,
Barack H. Obama to donate to the Philippines
during his visit in APEC Leader’s
last November 2015," Lincuna stressed. Summit
He said the research vessel will not only provide the PN capability for hydrographic survey but platform for inter-agency collaboration for partners in the academe and thus improve awareness of the Philippine sub-surface environment.
Per policy, auxiliary research vessels are to be named after national scientists, hence her namesake, Dr. Gregorio Velasquez, a pioneer in Philippine physiology.
Velasquez was elected as academician on 1978 and conferred as National Scientist on 1982.
He was conferred with a Distinguished Science Medal and Diploma of Honor from the Republic of the
(1956), the John Simon
Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1956-57), Men of Science, Division
of Biological Sciences in1969, World's Who's Who in Sciences in 1970 and the
Republic of the Philippines Cultural Heritage award in 1972. Philippines