The 21st annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the Royal Thai Armed Forces began Aug. 27 in the vicinity of Sattahip Naval Base.
The Thailand phase of CARAT 2015 consists of eight days of shore-based and at-sea training events, through Sept. 3, designed to address shared maritime security concerns, build relationships, and enhance interoperability among participating forces.
CARAT is a series of bilateral naval exercises between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
This year’s exercise will have increased emphasis on Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA-DR), search and rescue, and community outreach activities.
American units participating in the exercise include the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), a P-3C Orion, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, Coastal Riverine Group 1, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 5 and U.S. Marines assigned to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
Commander, Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7 staff conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises such as the bilateral CARAT series, the Naval Engagement Activity with Vietnam, and the multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Image: US Navy