The 20th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the Malaysian Armed Forces commenced formally with an opening ceremony at Lumut Naval Base, June 16.
Malaysia has participated in CARAT since the nine-nation bilateral exercise series began in 1995 to address shared maritime security priorities and concerns, strengthen maritime partnerships and enhance interoperability among participating forces.
“It’s really been a remarkable journey over the past two decades between our navies,” said Capt. Fred Kacher, deputy commander, Destroyer Squadron 7 (DESRON 7). “This longstanding partnership demonstrates our mutual commitment to maritime security as the basis of stability, and ultimately, the basis for prosperity.”
Conducted every other year as part of CARAT Malaysia, the CPX provides a practical venue for U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) participants to share best practices and refine skills as they work through the multinational scenario planning process. CPX exercise plans will be used during the Field Training Exercise (FTX) in CARAT 2015.
Continuing through June 21, the CPX coincides with port visits by guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and the diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) in Lumut, as well as maritime patrol aircraft flights by a P-8A Poseidon out of Labuan in East Malaysia. Both Pinckney and the P-8A participated in Malaysian Airways Flight MH 370 search operations.
Press Release, June 17, 2014; Image: US Navy