An interview with the Flag Officer In Command (FOIC) of the Philippine Navy, explaining why the ex-USCGC Hamilton was chosen, and what it brings to the table.
Key data points in the interview:
@1:40: Getting two more WHECs. Resources are available, negotitations already ongoing
@3:39: The importance of the ability to handle sea-states that our existing assets cannot handle
@7:19: The PF-15 will spend approximately a month in drydock, as per the following PhilGEPS entry
BRP Gregorio del Pilar left Alameda on the 18th of July, 2011. She cast off at 1718H, and was underway by 1738H. The PN flagship is expected to make her first stop in Hawaii on July the 27th before proceeding to Guam, and then the Philippines.
After her arrival in the Philippines, she may spend additional time in drydock, as the following Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) entry indicates. Presumably this is when she will be repainted in standard Navy gray.
|Procuring Entity||AFP - BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE|
|Title||Drydocking and Other Related Repairs of BRP GREGORIO DEL PILAR (PF15)|
|Area of Delivery|
|Solicitation Number||GHQ BAC1 PB-287-PN-11|
|Trade Agreement||Implementing Rules and Regulations|
|Procurement Mode||Public Bidding|
|Category||General Repair and Maintenance Services|
|Approved Budget for the Contract||PHP 47,914,544.42|
|Delivery Period||30 Day/s|
|Contact Person||EDNA BUENAVIDES MALONZO
Analyst Phil Navy & Modernization Projects
3rd Flr Bulwagang Syquio,
Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo,
Photographs of PF-15 sailing past Alcatraz island, seemingly heading out to the Golden Gate, surfaced on the Timawa forum on June 27, 2011. This spurred speculation that the ship was already on the way to the Philippines.
That apparently wasn't the case. The following photograph taken on the 2nd of July show the Philippine Navy flagship at Coast Guard Island docked beside NNS Thunder (ex-USCGC Chase).
Details gleaned from the Philippine Navy indicate that the sailing date has not actually been fixed. It is reportedly tentatively set sometime between the last week of July and early August.
Timawa.net/forum discussion: http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=25937.msg270556#msg270556
The photographs below chronicle the transformation of the USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715) into the BRP Gregorio del Pilar. The sun-and-stars was fully raised on 1418H May 13, 2011.
This is the second ship to bear this name. The previous bearer of the name, PF-8, was also a former US Coast Guard ship, the USCGC McCulloch (WHEC-386), a Barnegat class WHEC obtained from the former Republic of South Vietnam.
She . . .
. . . is . . .
. . . OURS!!!
Timawa.net/forum discussion: http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=27070.msg266772#msg266772
According to the 11th Coast Guard District Public Affairs department, the ex-USCGC Hamilton will be turned over to the Philippine Navy in a ceremony at Coast Guard Island, Alameda, CA, at 2:00 p.m. on Friday the 13th of May. The affair is closed to the public is only open to member of the media. Media representatives must be US citizens to attend. The ceremony for the handover of the cutter Chase to the Nigerian Navy will occur in the morning.
Timawa.net/forum discussion: http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=25937.msg269454#msg269454
The latest acquisition of the Philippine Navy, the now-decommissioned USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715), was sighted in its post-decommissioned form at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, CA on the 4th of May 2011. This ship was partly hidden behind the USCGC Boutwell, which recently hosted 21 Philippine Navy personnel on its last cruise as part of their training for duties onboard the aforementioned cutter.
Although the Boutwell obscured the Hamilton, it did present an opportunity to highlight the equipment that had been removed from the ship.
|CIWS removed||SPS-40 Air Search Radar removed|
|Flight deck cameras removed||Assorted electronics removed|
|SPS-73 Surface Search Radar removed. Mk. 92 FCS retained|
The Hamilton acquisition was first reported in the Philippine media in January of this year. Efforts to acquire it, however, were in motion at least as far back as May of 2010, if not earlier. According to the Defense Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Website, the actual transfer was approved on the 13th of January of this year.