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SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 11, 2017) The guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) moves into position ahead of RSS Intrepid (FFS 69), HTMS Naresuan (FFG 421) and the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during a maneuvering exercise as part of a multilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise between the U.S. Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy and Royal Thai Navy. CARAT is a series of annual maritime exercises aimed at strengthening partnerships and increasing interoperability through bilateral and multilateral engagements ashore and at sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released)
 US, Royal Thai Navy get underway for Guardian Sea

ANDAMAN SEA - The U.S. Navy and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) are conducting Guardian Sea, an anti-submarine and maritime domain awareness exercise, in the Andaman Sea May 22-28.

The bilateral exercise focuses on strengthening U.S. Navy and RTN anti-submarine warfare (ASW) procedures and proficiency through symposia, planning discussions, personnel exchanges and at-sea events.

Representing the U.S. Navy at Guardian Sea is the guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104), a Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine and a P-3C Orion. Staff from Commander, Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7 will participate while embarked aboard U.S. ships and aircraft.

"Guardian Sea is an outstanding opportunity to operate at sea with our friends and partners in the Royal Thai Navy," said Cmdr. Claudine Caluori, commanding officer of Sterett. "Our Sailors gain valuable experience from these engagements, and we build on the established maritime relationships that will continue to endure long after the exercise is complete."

Participating ships from the RTN include the Naresuan-class frigate HTMS Taksin (FFG 422) and the Khamronsin-class corvette HTMS Long Lom (FS 533).

"Guardian Sea is another great opportunity to operate and train at sea alongside our partners from the U.S. Navy," said Capt. Chaksawat Saiwong, commanding officer, HTMS Naresuan. "The complexity of the training and the trust and friendship that come from our time spent at sea together ensures our alliance will remain strong into the future."

Task Force 73 is the U.S. 7th Fleet's Theater Security Cooperation agent for South and Southeast Asia and supports exercises across the region to include the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training series, Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training, the Naval Engagement Activity with Vietnam and the multilateral naval exercise KOMODO.

On behalf of Commander, Task Force 73, Destroyer Squadron 7 serves as operational commander for littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to 7th Fleet, and conducts advanced planning, organizes resources, and directly supports the execution of maritime engagements such as the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series, the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam, and the multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise with Bangladesh, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

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