The US and Royal Cambodian navies have begun their second annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2011 exercise at the port of Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

More than 400 sailors, the P-3C Orion, the SH-60 Seahawk, guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) and the dive and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) will participate in the exercise.

The naval ships will conduct communication drills, division tactics and surface gunfire drills, among other tasks.

The allied forces will exchange information, skills and tactics related to maritime domain awareness, vessel boarding procedures, and dive and salvage operations.

The US Navy’s Task Force 73 commander rear admiral Tom Carney said: "This year, for the first time, a ship from the US Navy, one of our newest destroyers, will be getting underway with Royal Cambodian Navy ships for a series of at-sea events."

The CARAT annual bilateral maritime exercise is aimed at improving interoperability and professional cooperation among the participating nations.