SURABAYA, Indonesia - The amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), with embarked elements of U.S. Marine Corps, arrived Aug. 4 to participate in the annual Cooperation Afloat and Readiness Training (CARAT) exercise with the Indonesian Navy.
Germantown will partake in a variety of dynamic exercises with Indonesia and other Southeast Asia partner nations over the next few months. Air, sea and amphibious landing between the involved nations will build upon the many years of successful cooperation.
“I am extremely excited to see the crew perform at such a strategic event,” said Cmdr. Gary Harrington, commanding officer aboard Germantown. “The partnerships and interaction we have with partner navies is unique to a forward deployed ship in 7th Fleet. It is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our shared capabilities while enhancing our interoperability during these military exercises.”
In preparation for this year’s evolutions, Germantown has embarked various specialized teams and their equipment to support key roles in this year’s events. The majority of these embarked personnel are from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines (2/3 Marines), stationed in Hawaii.
“The Marines have worked hard preparing for this mission and are ready to share their expertise with our partners,” says Maj. James B. Reid, commander, Landing Force CARAT, from 2/3 Marines. “CARAT allows our forces to increase interoperability and improve core skills essential for successful amphibious operations.”
Other embarked personnel include Naval Beach Unit 7, which operates the landing craft air cushion (LCAC) hovercrafts, Pacific Missile Range Facility Detachment which will launch drone missiles to serve as live targets during firing exercises, a Naval Construction Element (Sea Bees) and an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) detachment. Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 and their riverine command boats (RCBs) will also be involved, marking the first time the RCBs have been deployed to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
Other U.S. Navy assets participating in this year’s CARAT Indonesia include the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88), rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50), a Los-Angeles class fast attack submarine USS Jacksonville (SSN 699), a P-3C Orion aircraft, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1, and staff from Commander, Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7.
Now in its 21st year, CARAT is the premier naval engagement in South and Southeast Asia. The bilateral and multilateral exercises provide a regional venue to develop strong maritime partnerships that contribute to the greater peace and stability of the region.
Each CARAT exercise features several days of shore-based exchanges, professional symposia and tactical scenarios culminating in combined training at sea. Phases vary based on exercise locations, mutual training goals and participating assets.