THE Philippine Navy commissioned on Monday, September 11, 2023, two patrol vessels donated by the United States (US) Government.

The christening and commissioning ceremony of BRP Valentin Diaz (PS177) and BRP Ladislao Diwa (PS178) was held at the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila.

Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. said the vessels will be used for the conduct of patrolling in littoral waters and sea lanes of communications, as well as naval and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

He said it will also be essential in maintaining a safe and secure maritime environment in the country.

“They will enhance the Navy's capacity to defend our maritime nation's interest and bolster our adaptability addressing various security challenges, from piracy and illicit activities to disaster response and maritime law enforcement,” Adaci said.

As compared to bigger vessels, the two US-donated ships can maneuver efficiently in coastal and shallow waters.

It can also be used in interdiction and surveillance operations against hostile surface craft, operations that require emergency response in littoral battlespace within a low-intensity conflict environment.

In a statement, US Ambassador to the Philippines Marykay Carlson recognized the continued strong ties between the US and the Philippine Navy.

“This ceremony symbolizes continued US support for our Philippine Navy allies, who are on the frontlines defending Philippine sovereign rights in the South China Sea, or West Philippine Sea. But this transfer ceremony has much more than symbolic value,” she said.

“These two vessels bring real, strategic benefit, not just to the Philippines, but to our alliance, and to the region. As the Philippines continues its courageous stand to uphold the international order and defend its rights in the West Philippine Sea, rest assured the United States stands with you in this all-important endeavor,” she added.

Carlson said the two vessels have a significant history of service at the forefront of operations for the United States Navy as they patrolled the waters of the Arabian Gulf in support of operations in the Middle East, including Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. (SunStar Philippines)