CARAT 2012 Begins in Indonesia

A joint military exercise dubbed “Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2012” (CARAT) commenced on May 30 in Indonesia’s East Java province, the protagonists being Indonesian navy and its U.S. counterpart, Xinhua news portal informed.

The waters off East Java province’s coast cities of Surabaya and Situbondo will be the venue of several maritime exercises including Medical Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE), SMEE intelligence operation, SMEE Engineering and symposium, as confirmed by Indonesian Navy’s Eastern Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Agung Pramono.

The objective of the drill, which will include involvement of 830 mariners of the U.S. Navy and some 1,244 mariners from Indonesian side is strengthening of bilateral cooperation and military ties.

The U.S. fleet taking part in CARAT will consist of three navy vessels USS Germantown, USS Vandegrift and USCG Waesche while Indonesian navy engaged three vessels KRI Diponegoro- 365, KRI Banjarmasin-592 and KRI Sutedi Senoputra-378, several helicopters and navy surveillance planes.

CARAT is a series of bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Timor Leste joins the exercise for the first time in 2012.

While the training in each phase of CARAT varies based on shared goals of Indonesia and the U.S., a common theme is the development of maritime security capabilities, and increasing interoperability among participants. Skill areas exercised during CARAT include Maritime Interception Operations; riverine, amphibious and undersea warfare operations; diving and salvage operations; naval gunnery and maneuvering events, along with disaster response exercises.

“The fact that CARAT continues to grow into its 18th year speaks volumes about both the relationship between our U.S. and Indonesian forces and this exercise,” said Capt. Dave Welch, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the leader of CARAT Task Group 73.1.  “We are natural partners and friends, and we look forward to another successful year advancing that great relationship between our navies and armed forces.”

[mappress]

Naval Today Staff, May 31, 2012

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