The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) wrapped up its first-ever participation in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines following a June 26 closing ceremony held at Naval Station Apolinario Jalandoon, Puerto Princesa, Republic of the Philippines.
Now in its 21st year, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been an integral part of CARAT since the annual exercise series began in 1995.
The ceremony took place the day after Fort Worth and Philippine navy ships, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF 15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF 16), returned from two days of joint exercises in the Sulu Sea.
This year’s exercise with the AFP focused on combined operations at sea and maritime domain awareness. Fort Worth Sailors participated in training events covering several naval competencies, including tactical combat casualty care (TCCC), visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), gunnery exercises, maneuvering in formation, air defense exercises and a search and rescue drill.
Also during the at-sea phase, Philippine Navy helicopters conducted deck landing qualifications using Fort Worth’s flight deck.
Following CARAT Philippines, Fort Worth will stop to refuel in Subic Bay, Philippines, before conducting routine patrols in the South China Sea. The ship is scheduled to participate in CARAT Singapore, which kicks-off mid-July.
Image: US Navy