CARAT maritime exercise starts at Brunei’s Muara Naval Base

US and Royal Brunei Navy sailors train together during the 2016-edition of the CARAT exercise. Photo: US Navy

Soldiers and sailors from the US and Brunei kicked off the five-day Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) maritime exercise at Brunei’s Muara Naval Base, November 6.

CARAT Brunei features five days of shore-based and at-sea training events designed to address shared maritime security priorities, develop professional relationships, and enhance cooperation between the US Navy and Marine Corps and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.

The exercise ends November 10.

“Our relationship with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces continues to flourish and is deepened by the broad exchanges of skills, culture, and friendship that have made CARAT a comprehensive and meaningful exercise for both nations over the last 23 years,” said Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, Commander, Task Force 73. “Our longstanding ties show the commitment of the US Navy, partnering with like-minded nations to promote peace, stability, security and prosperity across the region.”

Key events during CARAT Brunei include subject matter expert exchanges in port security, aviation and surface warfare, diving and salvage, military medicine, law, public affairs, along with a comprehensive at sea exercise.

Additionally, US Marines will work alongside soldiers from the Royal Brunei Landing Force during a jungle warfare exercise and the US 7th Fleet band will perform alongside their Royal Brunei Navy counterparts during community relations engagements.

Participating US Navy assets include USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3), USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52), a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, staff from Commander, Task Force (CTF) 73 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, and the US 7th Fleet Band.

As one of the original CARAT partners, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces have participated in CARAT since the exercise series began in 1995. The United States and Brunei have enjoyed diplomatic relations since 1845, when the USS Constitution dropped anchor in the Brunei Bay.

CARAT is just one element of the longstanding US-Brunei defense partnership, which also includes annual ship visits, staff talks, and Royal Brunei Navy participation in the U.S. led Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), a multilateral exercise that involves navies and coast guards from 11 regional nations. This year, portions of SEACAT were conducted at the multinational coordination center (MNCC) in Brunei.

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