PH to consider decommissioned USCG cutters

By Francis Wakefield

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Philippines will consider accepting Hamilton-class cutters from the United States if offered.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (Office of the Secretary of National Defense / MANILA BULLETIN)
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (Office of the Secretary of National Defense / MANILA BULLETIN)

Lorenzana made the remark as the United States Coast Guard gradually phases out its Hamilton-class cutters from its inventory.

“We will not actively ask for it. Pag offer nila sa atin, titignan natin kung pabor sa atin [If they offer it to us, we will look at it and see if it will favor us],” Lorenzana said.

“Definitely, hindi tayo hihingi pero if they are going to offer it to us, we will look at it first kung magkano ba ang ating gagastusin para mapatakbo yan. [We will not ask for it. But if offered, we will check how much it will cost to operate them],” he added.

Lorenzana said there is a need to carefully look at the ships because it cost a lot to repair them.

“The repair cost is also very big. We’ll look at it muna bago natin tanggapin [before we accept it],” he said

The US Coast Guard has a total of 12 Hamilton-class cutters for decommissioning. Nine of the 12 cutters has so far been de-commissioned and went to Vietnam.

Just last year, the U.S. Coast Guard transferred a Hamilton-class cutter to the Vietnam Coast Guard during a ceremony in Hawaii.

The former high endurance cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722) was originally commissioned in 1969 and was decommissioned in mid-April 2018 ahead of the planned transfer.

The US Coast Guard has three Hamilton-class cutters still to be decommissioned.

 
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