Former U.S. Navy research vessel R/V Melville, now BRP Gregorio Velasquez, arrived to Manila, Philippines today, June 10 as the Philippine Navy’s first dedicated research vessel.
The U. S. Navy transferred ownership of BRP Gregorio Velasquez to the Philippine on April 27, 2016.
The 279 feet (85m) long vessel arrived to the country after almost a month and a half voyage from San Diego, California.
The ship was transferred under the U.S. Department of Defense’s excess defense articles program to help augment the Republic of the Philippines oceanographic research and study capabilities.
R/V Melville was built in 1969 with funding by the U.S. Navy, and subsequently owned by the Office of Naval Research and operated by Scripps as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS).
BRP Gregorio Velasquez is one of the two vessels U.S. president Barrack Obama promised to give to the Philippines during his visit to Manila in November 2015. The other vessel is the U.S. Coast Guard high endurance cutter Boutwell.