MAURA, Brunei – The 16th annual
Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series
began in Brunei today, at the Royal Brunei Navy’s Fleet Headquarters
in a ceremony officiated by Col. Abdul Halim, Commander of the Royal
Brunei Navy, and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Nora Tyson, Commander,
Logistics Group Western Pacific.
CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in the
Southeast Asia region. Longstanding participating nations include
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. In
Indonesia, CARAT is known as Naval Engagement Activity. New
countries joining CARAT in 2010 include Cambodia and Bangladesh.
“CARAT is a valuable exercise, as fosters relationships between our
officers and Sailors, and those of our partner navies,” said Rear
Adm. Nora Tyson, commander of Combined Task Force 73 and Logistics
Group, Western Pacific. “It is said you can’t surge trust; that only
comes through a familiarity you get working, training and sometimes
living side-by-side, and CARAT delivers that.”
In his opening remarks, Col. Halim expressed his views that CARAT
builds a stronger relationship between Bruneian and U.S. forces.
“As we all know, CARAT has always played an important role here in
this region, not only in information sharing, techniques and tactics
procedures, but also to serve as a platform in strengthening the
ties of our relationship,” he said.
“It is my greatest hope that CARAT this year will be a fruitful one
and along with it comes new experiences for the personnel of both
armed forces,” continued Halim.
For the first time ever, Riverine Warfare subject matter experts
will join CARAT, beginning in Brunei. Other engagement events for
CARAT Brunei include boat maintenance; flight deck familiarization
and landing procedures; a series of military symposiums; visit,
board, search and seizure exercises; surface gunnery and maneuvering
events, an amphibious landing exercise, joint U.S. and Royal Brunei
Navy band performances, as well as several community service
“CARAT is an important exercise that helps to build positive
relationships and interoperability with our partners in this part of
the world,” said Capt. Richard L. Clemmons, commodore of Combined
Task Group 73.1. “This training provides an invaluable opportunity
to work together to address shared security concerns and increase
the operational readiness of participating forces.”
Approximately 1,600 U.S. personnel will take part in CARAT 2010,
while the number of participants in CARAT partner countries varies.
U.S. ships participating in CARAT Brunei include the amphibious dock
landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46), guided-missile frigate USS
Vandegrift (FFG 48) and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mellon (WHEC 717).
For more information on the exercise, visit the CARAT Facebook page
at http://www.facebook.com/Exercise.CARAT All material posted on the
CARAT Web site is “released” and available for use by all media
outlets and other reposting.