US, Royal Cambodian Navy kick off CARAT

U.S. and Royal Cambodian Navy (RCN) sailors kicked off the 7th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in Cambodia with an opening ceremony at Ream Navy Base, on October 31.

Held consecutively since 2010, CARAT Cambodia is a bilateral training exercise to increase cooperation and enhance maritime security between the U.S. and Cambodian navies.

Throughout the week, U.S. Navy sailors will work hand-in-hand with their Cambodian counterparts in subjects such as command and control, small unit tactics, amphibious operations, preventive medicine, boat operations, and maintenance, among others.

“Our navies enter into CARAT with a common goal to increase force readiness and interoperability,” said Capt. Erich Diehl, commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Pacific. “CARAT provides a unique opportunity to work alongside and learn from the Royal Cambodian navy, and build upon our core expeditionary capabilities. The benefit is mutual, and ensures a strong collective capacity to employ our maritime capability most effectively.”

Each topic discussed during the week will be demonstrated during a field training exercise, flexing the different learned skill sets which will include an amphibious landing.

Approximately 150 U.S. sailors and 200 Royal Cambodian Navy sailors are participating in CARAT Cambodia 2016. The U.S. 7th Fleet band will also perform for local communities around Sihanoukville.

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.