(Nov. 2, 2010) - Exercise Combined Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) incorporates joint evolutions among participating nations, including at-sea operations, ship visits, community service events and training exchanges. While CARAT operations are well scheduled, planned and briefed, when the unexpected happens true collaboration is the often the result.
During the at-sea phase, one of two Cambodian Navy patrol vessels operating with USS Crommelin (FFG 37) had a casualty on its starboard engine. The crew isolated the casualty to an electrical malfunction, but were unable to definitively find the cause. That’s when Crommelin’s Electricians Mate 1st Class (SW) Edward Dalziel came to the aid of his Cambodian shipmates.
Dalziel did not know what to expect working on a foreign vessel. Despite a significant language barrier and being completely unfamiliar the patrol craft’s electrical lay-out, he remained true to Crommelin’s “Indestructible” mantra, accepting the task with a motivated “can-do” spirit.
“I was excited to get the chance to interact with the Cambodian Navy and work hand-in-hand to help repair one of their ships,” said EM1 Dalziel. “My goal was to teach them as much as I could and learn a thing or two as well.”
After touring the ship, studying the limited circuitry diagrams and getting a grasp of the situation, Dalziel and the Captain of the Cambodian ship went to work. They quickly isolated the problem to a blown fuse in the ships propulsion local controller (PLC). During the inspection and repairs, Dalziel discussed the possible causes of the failure and preventative measures to mitigate future electrical malfunctions.
“The most beneficial part of the repair was the exchange of knowledge and capability to troubleshoot future issues,” Dalziel said after he debriefed the Cambodian crew on his troubleshooting methodology and procedure. “The Cambodian crew was extremely capable; they just lacked the formal technical training that U.S. Navy electricians have.”
Working toward a common goal promotes mutual trust and strengthens bonds of friendship between our forces “We learned new practices and procedures on how to maintain and troubleshoot our equipment,” commented the Cambodian Captain. “We are grateful to receive the assistance given to us by (EM1 Dalziel and the) U.S. Sailors.”
CARAT Cambodia 2010 marked the first dedicated two-way exchange of maritime tactics and knowledge between Cambodia and the U.S. Navies in nearly four decades.