Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) departed Kuantan, Malaysia, June 19 after participating in the amphibious phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Malaysia 2014.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the CARAT exercise series, and the Malaysian Armed Forces have partnered with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps since the exercise began in 1995.
From June 6-19, Ashland and an embarked landing force of Marines from 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, participated in amphibious training events and exchanges with Royal Malaysian Army Paratroopers in Kuantan and Tanjung Resang Beach. Ashland launched and recovered Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV) and Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC) transporting Marines and soldiers from both nations during multiple beach landings. Moving inland, the combined force conducted several days of field exercises and jungle warfare training.
Ashland is participating in several phases of exercise CARAT 2014, a bilateral maritime exercise series between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
Press Release, June 23, 2014; Image: US Navy