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On May 07, the officers and crew of “BRP Gregorio Velasquez” received    lei garlands as symbols of aloha from the officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu led by Consul General Gina Jamoralin and Captain Rey dela Cruz, AFP Liaison Officer to US Pacific Command and some members of the Fiipino community led by Mr. Allan Alvarez, President of the Philippine Celebrations Coordinating Committee of Hawaii (PCCCH).

The BRP Gregorio Velasquez arrived at the historic Pearl Harbor on May 07 and will stay until May 12 before heading to Guam and the Philippines. The research vessel arrived from San Diego, California where it was officially turned over by the US government and christened and commissioned as BRP Gregorio Velasquez (formerly R/V Melville) last April 27.

Commander Edwin Nera PN, Commanding Officer of BRP Gregorio Velasquez, said that they were all looking forward to visit Hawaii after a nine-day journey at sea from   San Diego. They  also felt stepping back into history upon approaching the historic Pearl Harbor, site of the December 7, 1941 Japanese bombing during World War II  with the USS Arizona Memorial, nearby, containing the remnants of the sunken battleship, serving as a poignant reminder of the war.

The Philippine Consulate General staff and Filipino community members were later given a briefing and tour of the research vessel. Consul General Jamoralin thanked the officers and crew for the “open house” and for the briefing to further appreciate the importance   of the newly-acquired research vessel for the Philippine Navy in its conduct of scientific research, disaster and humanitarian operations  and other maritime activities . END