CARAT Brunei kicks off

Navy and Marine Corps personnel from the United States and Brunei Darussalam started the 22nd iteration of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) on November 14.

CARAT Brunei 2016 will continue through November 18, and features 5 days of shore-based and at-sea training events designed to strengthen maritime partnerships and enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Royal Brunei navies and armed forces.

During the sea phase, ships from Brunei and the U.S. will conduct deck landing qualifications and formation ship maneuvers. Mobile Diving and Salvage personnel will also operate side-by-side while embarked on USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52).

Ashore, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment will work alongside soldiers from the Royal Brunei Landing Force (RBLF) during a jungle warfare exercise.

“The United States deeply values our relationship with Brunei, centered on a defense partnership that underpins our shared commitment to the peace and security of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, Commander, Task Force 73. “Twenty two years of CARAT solidified our relationship with the Brunei Armed Forces, building genuine friendships and a strong partnership based on common interests.”

U.S. forces participating in CARAT Brunei include personnel assigned to USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3), USNS Salvor, a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, staff from Commander, Task Force (CTF) 73 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, the U.S. 7th Fleet Band, Orient Express, and U.S. Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment.

Now in its 22nd year, CARAT is a bilateral exercise series between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations in South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.