CARAT Cambodia Ex Kicks Off

The fifth convening of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia exercise began at Ream Naval Base in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Oct. 27.

Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, delivered opening ceremony remarks before U.S. Navy Sailors and members of the Royal Cambodian Navy (RCN).

We’ve made steady progress in just a few years, growing CARAT from a basic port visit to a series of training events on Ream Naval Base and culminating this year in a two-day sea phase in the Gulf of Thailand.

CARAT provides a credible venue for regional navies to share best practices and foster maritime security cooperation. The RCN joined the CARAT series in 2010, making it the first dedicated exercise between both navies in several decades.

Ashore, personnel will conduct hands-on training in damage control, navigation, tactical combat casualty care (TCCC), force protection, and visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) techniques. For the first time, the Royal Cambodian Air Force will participate in a joint search and rescue exchange. Symposia will bring together professionals from both navies to discuss best practices in military law, military medicine and aviation search and rescue.

At sea, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89), embarked with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 staff and two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, will train with two RCN Stenka-class patrol boats. In addition to maneuvering and surface-gunnery drills, highlights include a shiprider exchange, maritime boarding scenarios and a search and rescue exercise.

Also as part of CARAT 2014, rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) and embarked mobile diving and salvage unit (MDSU) conducted a bilateral diving exercise focused on diving medicine, port security and underwater hull inspection from Oct. 21-25.

In its 20th year, CARAT is a series of bilateral naval exercises between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations in South and Southeast Asia.

Press release, Image: US Navy

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