Cambodian, US Navy complete CARAT 2016

Approximately 150 U.S. sailors and marines and 200 Royal Cambodian sailors completed the 7th annual cooperation afloat readiness and training (CARAT) exercise in Cambodia with a closing ceremony at Ream Navy Base, in Cambodia on November 4.

Throughout the five-day exercise, the teams engaged in training in the fields of security, small boat and amphibious operations, alongside force protection, communications, preventive medicine and casualty assistance.

The exercise concluded with a field training exercise (FTX), where the training from the previous days was put to practical use.

“The more we train together, the better we can respond together,” said William Heidt, U.S. ambassador to Cambodia. “We take great pride in knowing that these skills could one day aid the people of Cambodia and ease the suffering of those affected by natural disaster.”

During the FTX, service members responded to a simulated natural disaster. The teams arrived on shore via small boats and one RCN landing craft utility (LCU), and assessed the area for damage and casualties, which the teams relayed back to headquarters. Once the damage and casualties were reported, the two teams provided medical assistance to injured personnel, set a security perimeter, and performed evacuations.

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.

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. Its continuing relevance for more than two decades speaks to the high quality of exercise events, and the enduring value of regional cooperation among allies and partners in south and southeast Asia.