U.S. Navy transferred ownership of the research vessel (R/V) Melville to the Philippine Navy, during a ceremony at the Naval Base San Diego.
R/V Melville, named after George Melville, an explorer and rear admiral in the United States Navy, was launched from La Jolla, California, in 1968. It was operated by Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and has served the Office of Naval Research.
R/V Melville will be received as the Philippine Navy’s first dedicated research vessel.
“The Philippines is and will remain a vital strategic ally in the region for the foreseeable future, and I am proud to play a part in that relationship,” said vice admiral Nora Tyson, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. “We not only transfer a platform that will enhance the Philippines environmental research and law enforcement capabilities but will also contribute to the security and stability of the region.”
“The transfer of the vessel Melville to the Philippines signifies the shared commitment of the Philippines in terms of furthering scientific research in our part of the world but also our shared values of advancing security of our common people in terms of the future ahead of us,” said Leo Herrera-Lim, consul general of the Philippines in Los Angeles.
The ship’s new sponsor, Fidelis Herrera-Lim, wife of the Leo Herrera-Lim, christened the vessel, which was renamed to BRP Gregorio Velasquez (AGR 702), after a renowned leader in the Philippine scientific community.