US and Thai navies complete CARAT Thailand exercise

13 June 2019 (Last Updated June 13th, 2019 11:45)

Maritime forces from the US and Thailand have concluded the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2019.

US and Thai navies complete CARAT Thailand exercise
USS Pioneer (MCM 9) observes a controlled mine detonation while conducting a joint mine countermeasures exercise with the Royal Thai Navy during CARAT Thailand 2019. Credit: US Navy photo by mass communications specialist 2nd class Corbin Shea/Released.

Maritime forces of the US and Thailand have concluded the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2019.

CARAT Thailand 2019 began on 29 May and is the 25th iteration of the annual regional exercise in South and South East Asia.

The US Navy, Marine Corps, Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and Marine Corps took part in the exercise designed to boost partnerships between regional forces.

The conclusion of CARAT Thailand was marked by a ceremony aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile destroyer USS Antietam (CG 54) at Sattahip Naval Base.

CARAT Thailand started in 1995 and RTN has been a regular participant in the annual event since then.

The exercise seeks to address shared maritime security concerns. It involves practical training in naval operations and subject matter expert knowledge exchanges.

Task Force 73 commander rear admiral Joey Tynch said: “This year marks a significant milestone in the US-Thailand CARAT series because it represents a quarter century of a partnership that grows in strength and value every day.

“For 25 years, we have worked together, shared knowledge and expertise, and have greatly improved our interoperability, we’re stronger together.”

The exercise included the participation of more than a dozen ships and aircraft from the navies of the two countries. These assets took part in training at-sea and onshore.

Maritime training activities during the exercise included symposiums and sharing of best practices related to maritime domain awareness (MDA), jungle survival training, integrated dive team training and practical dives.

MDA training also involved a sea phase. Personnel engaged in submarine operations and tactics tabletop exercises, as well as integrated watch team practical drills.

Destroyer Squadron 7 MDA expert lieutenant Dave Copeland said: “No country alone can ensure maritime security. It requires coordinated efforts by all regional partner nations and agencies to actively share information in a transparent and timely manner so that we can all effectively conduct combined maritime response operations.”