Cutter Dallas officially turned over to Philippines

Ramon Alcaraz is prepped before leaving Charleston. (WCIV)

By Lia

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The US Coast Guard Cutter Dallas has officially been turned over to the Philippines.

In a ceremony Tuesday, more than 100 military personnel and visitors came to the pier at the old Charleston Navy Base.

As the U.S. Flag lowered, the Coast Guard crew exited Cutter Dallas for the last time.

"It's a bitter-sweet day. It's with sadness that we decommission a ship that has served us so faithfully," Rear Admiral John Korn, assistant commandant for acquisition said.

The ceremony included a passing of a spy glass by commanding officers, which is a tradition. It was followed by a handshake and the formal signing of the certificate of delivery.

"I have mixed emotions while we do this," Korn said. "We are getting new assets to replace this classic cutter, so we're very excited about that. I served aboard this cutter first year out of the Coast Guard Academy in 1979, so I got some feelings for this ship."

Filipino Navy Captain Ernesto Baldovino says the high-endurance cutter will support Philippines' security and development purposes.

"I'm very proud. I was the commanding officer selected by the workers, and it's good to serve my country," he said.

Under its new ownership, the vessel has changed names. The cutter is now called Ramon Alcaraz, after a former naval officer in World War II.