CARAT kicks off in Brunei

The US Navy’s annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) maritime exercise kicked off at Muara Naval Base, Brunei, November 12.

The CARAT exercise series is conducted every year by the US Navy. The evolution in Brunei started after similar engagements concluded in Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh earlier this year.

The sea phase will take place in the South China Sea with ships and aircraft from both partner navies including the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4) and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

Evolutions at-sea will include a tracking exercise (TRACKEX) aimed at increasing both navies’ ability to together track and pursue targets through the coordinated deployment of surface ships and maritime patrol aircrafts, anti-air warfare (AAW) exercise to increase proficiency in missile defense, and division tactics (DIVTACS) designed to enhance communication as ships sail together in complex maneuvers.

“The US Navy remains forward and engaged with regional partners by developing mutual capabilities to address shared maritime security priorities and concerns,” said Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, Commander Task Force 73. “Our combined ability to effectively operate out at sea in any maritime environment demonstrates our rapidly growing partnership and unwavering commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation and respect for international law.”

This year marks the 24th anniversary of the CARAT exercise series with bilateral engagements between a dozen ally and partner nations including Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

Photo: Capt. Charles Black, master aboard expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4), speaks to media on a bridge wing during a ship tour as part of CARAT Brunei 2018. Photo: US Navy