Navy ships from Singapore, Thailand and the U.S. completed a three day multilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in the South China Sea on May 12.
The three-day exercise included a broad spectrum of naval competencies and maritime security training aimed at enhancing cooperation and interoperability amongst the three navies.
The navies are long-time maritime partners under the CARAT series, which began in 1995 with Thailand and Singapore as original participants in the exercise series. The multilateral engagement follows initiative to make some phases of the CARAT exercise series multilateral.
“Multilateral naval exercises provide important opportunities to improve our maritime partnership with the Royal Thai and Republic of Singapore navies, by enhancing our ability to work closely together in cooperative security missions,” said Cmdr. Doug Meagher, commanding officer, USS Coronado (LCS 4).
The Formidable-class frigate RSS Intrepid (FFS 69) represented the Republic of Singapore Navy at sea, and the Naresuan-class frigate HTMS Naresuan (FFG 421) participated from the Royal Thai Navy. Participating U.S. ships included the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) and the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4).
RSN’s Commanding Officer of RSS Intrepid, Lt Col. Leon Chua, highlighted the value of the Multilateral CARAT. “Through Multilateral CARAT, the three countries got to operate together. It not only enhanced our understanding of each other but also further strengthened our relationship built over the years,” said Chua.
The participating ships will join the International Maritime Defense Exhibition in Singapore from May 15-18 in Singapore.