Singapore Armed Forces kick off CARAT with US Navy, Marines

U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines, together with Republic of Singapore Armed Forces kicked off the 22nd annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise at the Changi Naval Base, Singapore, on July 18.

CARAT Singapore 2016 will consist of nearly two weeks of shore-based and at-sea training engagements in multiple warfare areas. The exercise is focused on addressing shared maritime security concerns, building relationships and enhancing interoperability among participating forces for the two nations.

At sea, the U.S. and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) will conduct an air defense exercise, gunnery exercise, cross-deck helicopter operations, anti-submarine warfare training, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations and complex surface warfare maneuvering tactics. The execution of such a diverse and complex exercise is testament to the relationship and familiarity the two navies have forged through 22 consecutive years of operating together during CARAT.

Also during the sea phase, and for the first time ever during a CARAT exercise, the two navies will execute a ship antisubmarine warfare readiness/effectiveness measuring (SHAREM) exercise. SHAREM measures how well surface ships and aircraft can detect and track submarines and provides the two navies the opportunity to share tactics and develop procedures for future joint operations.

During the harbor phase, professional exchanges in anti-submarine warfare, military law, aviation and medical highlight the continued trend of sharing the most advanced practices and procedures between the two armed forces.

After more than two decades of annual CARAT training engagements between U.S. and Republic of Singapore Armed Forces, the exercise remains a model for cooperation that has evolved in complexity and enables both nations to refine maritime operations and tactics.

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. CARAT 2016 is the most complex series to date.

U.S. assets scheduled to participate in CARAT Singapore 2016 include Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Spruance (DDG 111), Expeditionary Fast Transport ship USNS Millinocket (T-EPF-3), a P-8 Poseidon, and staff from Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7.