Research vessel R/V Melville (T-AGOR-14) oceanographic research ship has been commissioned into Philippine Navy service as the BRP Gregorio Velasquez (ARG-702). This was confirmed by Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson Captain Lued Lincuna in message to the PNA.
The ship was named after Professor Emeritus of botany in the University of the Philippines Gregorio Tiongson Velasquez.
Known as the Father of Philippine Phycology, Dr. Velasquez pioneered the intensive study and collection of the Philippine blue-green algal species. He studied and investigated algal specimens in Oriental Mindoro, Eastern Palawan, Sulu, Batangas and Bataan such as the Euglenophyceae, Chlorophyceae, and Myxophyceae.
Captain Lincuna previously said that the 30 PN contingent, which will serve as the BRP Gregorio Velasquez’s sailing crew, arrived in San Diego, California last March 21.
“[Crew members] are scheduled for familiarization and orientation on the operation and maintenance of various equipment aboard the vessel,” Lincuna said.
BRP Gregorio Velasquez will be manned by the above-mentioned PN personnel and is expected to be in the Philippines by third week of June, he added.
Obama pledged to donate the R/V Melville and USGCC Boutwell to the Philippines during his visit to the country during the APEC Leaders’ Summit last November 17, 2015. with PNA
PH, US Navies commissioning ceremony for R/V Melville. Famous oceanographic ship is now the BRP Gregorio Velasquez pic.twitter.com/s8c6FVBWl6
— Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) April 27, 2016
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