July 21, 2016 - A ceremony today in Coast Guard Base Alameda authorized the transfer of a third decommissioned Coast Guard cutter to the Philippine Navy as part of the Excess Defense Articles program.
Rear Adm. Joseph M. Vojvodich, the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Acquisition and Chief Acquisition Officer, the presiding official, and Rear Adm. Bayani Gaerlan, Commander Philippine Fleet, both signed the transfer documents that officially released the Coast Guard cutter to the Philippine government.
The former San-Diego based Cutter Boutwell was christened into Philippine frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio prior to the ceremonial crew swap.
"The Coast Guard is saddened that this cutter is no longer with our fleet, but we are also proud to send it on a new mission in the service of a great nation, under the capable watch of professional sailors and close friends,” said Vojvodich. “This storied ship will continue to execute vital maritime missions for the Republic of the Philippines; an important ally, as a trading partner, and as a compatriot in the struggle to preserve freedom of the seas to protect life at sea, and to combat global terror.”
Today’s ceremony marked the third delivery of a high-endurance Coast Guard cutter to the Philippine government. The two other decommissioned cutters were the San Diego-based Hamilton and Charleston, South Carolina-based Dallas.
Under the EDA program, assets no longer needed and declared excess by the U.S. Armed Forces may be offered at reduced or no cost to eligible foreign recipients on an “as is, where is” basis in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives, under authorities established in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Arms Export Control Act. Typically, EDA is transferred to support U. S. allies in their modernization efforts and to assist Latin American and Caribbean nations in their counter-narcotics programs.
In Boutwell’s case, the cutter is an $8 million grant, but the Philippine Navy is investing $16 million to modernize and outfit the cutter in the U.S. as part of the transfer program. The U.S. Coast Guard also benefits from the transfer by saving over $12 million in ship disposal costs. Both nations benefit by improving maritime safety and security mission capacity in the international waters surrounding the Republic of the Philippines.
Boutwell was decommissioned March 16 at San Diego after 48 years of service to the nation. Boutwell is the third and longest-serving cutter named after the former Secretary of the Treasury, George Sewall Boutwell.
Photos official US Coast Guard.