Two patrol vessels donated by the United States Navy (USN) to the Philippine Navy (PN) will be christened and commissioned into service next week.
The future BRP Valentin Diaz (PS-177) and BRP Ladislao Diwa (PS-178) will be included in the PN’s fleet once they are commissioned at the Naval Station Jose Andrada in Manila on Sept. 11.
Capt. Benjo Negranza, PN spokesperson, said the two vessels will be part of the Alvarez-class patrol vessels (ACPVs) currently in service with the PN’s Littoral Combat Force.
The future BRP Valentin Diaz and BRP Ladislao Diwa are former Cyclone-class patrol ships USS Monsoon (PC 4) and USS Chinook (PC 9), respectively, of the USN that were donated to PN through the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program.
They served the USN for 28 years and decommissioned in Manama, Bahrain last March 28. They were delivered to the Philippines in May.
They will be named after two Filipino patriots who were among the founders of the Katipunan that revolted against the Spanish colonizers in the Philippines in 1896.
The 55-meter vessels will be able to complement the PN's patrol gunboats in their campaign to ensure the safety and security within the littoral waters of the porous borders and vast maritime environment of the Philippines while being equipped with the firepower and lethality for littoral operations, Negranza said.
“They are projected to undertake coastal patrols along our littoral waters and Sea Lanes of Communications (SLOCs), Maritime Interdiction Operations, Escort Operations, Surveillance and Special Operations, as well as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Operations,” he noted.
The lead ship of the ACPV, BRP General Mariano Alvarez (PS38), was acquired by the PN from USN in 2004 and "has played significant roles during counter-insurgency operations in Southern Mindanao."