The 5th annual exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Bangladesh commenced with an opening ceremony at Naval Base Issa Khan on Sept. 30.
CARAT 2015 marks the first time that a littoral combat ship has participated in the exercise with the Bangladesh Navy, enhancing the complexity and interoperability of the exercise. In the Bay of Bengal, the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) and the diving and salvage vessel USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) with an embarked mobile diving and salvage unit, will operate with Bangladesh Navy ships and aircraft.
CARAT Bangladesh 2015 will be continuing through Oct. 4, and feature five days of shore-based and at-sea training events designed to address shared maritime security priorities, develop relationships, and enhance cooperation between the US and Bangladesh navies.
A US P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft will participate in CARAT Bangladesh alongside the Bangladesh Navy’s Dornier 228 NG maritime patrol aircraft, enhancing shared maritime domain awareness.
Additionally, US Navy divers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians will train with the Bangladesh Navy’s elite Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) unit in Chittagong and the surrounding area. Focus areas will include close quarter battle, small boat maintenance, demolition techniques, and diving and salvage operations.
More than 300 US Sailors will participate in CARAT Bangladesh including personnel assigned to USS Fort Worth, USNS Safeguard with an embarked Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU), staff from CTF 73 and DESRON 7, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, and Navy Environmental and Preventative Medicine Unit (NEPMU) 6.
Following CARAT Bangladesh, the final phases of CARAT 2015 will occur in November in both Brunei and Cambodia.
Image: US Navy