Members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps along with their Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) counterparts kicked off the 2015 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series during an opening ceremony in Puerto Princesa, Philippines, June 22.
The AFP have participated in CARAT since the exercise series began in 1995 and this year’s training reflects more than two decades of increasingly sophisticated training ashore, at sea, and in the air.
CARAT Philippines will take place from June 22-26 on the ground in Puerto Princesa and in the waters and airspace of the Sulu Sea. The exercise will focus on combined operations at sea, mobile dive and salvage training, coastal riverine operations, and maritime patrol and reconnaissance and will feature the inaugural participation of littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) along with rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50) and forward-deployed P-3 Orion aircraft.
Now in its 21st year, CARAT is the premier naval engagement in South and Southeast Asia. The bilateral and multilateral exercises provide a regional venue to develop strong maritime partnerships that contribute to the greater peace and stability of the region.
Following CARAT Philippines, additional bilateral phases of CARAT will occur from July through November 2015 with Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
Image: US Navy