SINGAPORE - The arrival of two U.S. Navy destroyers to Singapore, followed by an opening ceremony at Changi Naval Base Aug. 15 marks the beginning of the 17th Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Singapore exercise.
The first phase of CARAT features events ashore, such as a culinary exchange, joint community service action project, and symposia for shipboard medical emergencies, expeditionary medical planning, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, supply logistics, Anti-Terrorism Force Protection and maritime air group operations.
The at-sea phase is focused on developing maritime security capabilities in areas such as maritime interdiction, combined operations at sea, air and surface gunnery exercises, anti-piracy exercises and medical emergency evacuation exercises. This year marks the first time Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Sikorsky S-70B naval helicopters will participate in the at-sea events.
“CARAT is about cooperating together, and the training topics are focused on our countries’ shared interests of combating piracy and terrorism,” said Capt. Dave Welch, Commander, Task Group 73.1. “The training will hone our maritime skills when operating in future exercises and missions together,” he added.
Approximately 600 U.S. Navy personnel are participating in CARAT Singapore 2011. U.S. Navy ships from Task Group 73.1 include the guided-missile destroyers USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54). Additional participants include a U.S. Navy Maritime Security Team, a U.S. Marine Corps Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, and P-3C Orion and SH-60 Seahawk aircraft.
CARAT is a series of bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the Armed Forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Additionally, Vietnam participates in a CARAT-like skills exchange.