A research ship operated for decades by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla is now owned by the Philippines, the Navy said Thursday.
The R/V Melville was turned over to the Philippine Navy Wednesday at Naval Base San Diego, and renamed the BRP Gregorio Velasquez after a leader in the Philippine scientific community. The 279-foot vessel, launched in 1968, is that country’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 Adm. Nora Tyson, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet. “Today, 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 ship was owned by the U.S. Office of Naval Research and operated by Scripps. It was named for George Melville, an explorer and U.S. Navy rear admiral.
Scripps Oceanography operates two other research vessels, the Roger Revelle and Robert Gordon Sproul.
One named for deceased astronaut Sally Ride is scheduled for delivery this year, according to Scripps.
–City News Service
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