The US Navy and the Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) have commenced the 24th iteration of the cooperation afloat readiness and training (CARAT) exercise at Port Hera Navy Base in Timor-Leste.
This year’s exercise aims to address shared maritime security threats, strengthen relationships and increase interoperability among the participating nations.
CRG ONE Detachment Guam officer-in-charge lieutenant commander Edward Yandoc said: “This year our forces will conduct integrated training in small boat safety and engine maintenance, basic shipboard medical procedures, and evidence processing and physical controls.”
CARAT Timor-Leste 2018 is part of a series of bilateral CARAT military exercises that are slated to be carried out between the US Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia.
The exercise, being held for the sixth time in Timor-Leste, helps strengthen the growing partnership between the two countries.
US Navy Task Force 75 captain Robert Baughman said: “CARAT is a great opportunity to continue to build the framework for future training and subject matter expert exchanges.
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“The past six years have strengthened a friendship and partnership that contributes to regional maritime security by enhancing our ability to work side-by-side across a wide range of naval competencies.”
CARAT 2018 will see the participation of US Navy sailors assigned to the Coastal Riverine Group ONE Detachment Guam and the 7th Fleet Surgeon’s Office.
The sailors will be trained with their counterparts from F-FDTL at the Port Hera Navy Base and surrounding area.
Training will include medical and small boat subject matter expert exchanges, in addition to service projects, receptions and sporting events that will enable the participating forces to interact with the local community.
On 1 October, the US and Sri Lankan maritime forces started their first-ever CARAT 2017 exercise in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.