The Red Lancers of Patrol Squadron (VP) 10 completed the eight-day joint exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT)/Marine Exercise (MAREX) with the defence forces of Sri Lanka.

The exercise, which was wrapped up on 26 January, is held annually in the island nation.

It commenced on 19 January in Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo.

The participants in the CARAT/MAREX included the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), US Marine Corps (USMC), and US Navy’s San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock vessel USS Anchorage (LPD 23).

This exercise is intended to boost interoperability with partners and to effectively tackle maritime security challenges across the Indo-Pacific region.

The annual exercises also offer an opportunity to promote regional security and bolster global partnerships by operating in a shared mission and environment.

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SLN deputy chief of staff/director of general operations rear admiral Pradeep Rathnayake said: “I believe each event perfectly reflects the excellent collaboration between our forces and emphasises our partnership in promoting regional security, combining knowledge, skill and understanding of goals, cultures and ideals.”

During this year’s CARAT/MAREX, a variety of exercises were undertaken that included air defence, gunnery, small boat operations, humanitarian assistance, and force protection between the SLN/SLAF and USN/USMC.

VP-10 Tactical Coordinator Lt. j.g. Jeremy Ross said: “It was a distinct pleasure working with our Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force partners in support of CARAT/MAREX Sri Lanka 2022.

“Over the course of the exercise, we strengthened our ability to operate in a coordinated environment while sharing our respective expertise and procedures. It provided an opportunity for many unique experiences that served to improve the capabilities for all participants.”

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, US, the Red Lancers are presently operating from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

As part of a rotational deployment to the US 7th Fleet area of operations, this squadron undertakes maritime patrol and reconnaissance, besides theatre outreach operations.

7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed numbered fleet of the US Navy.

It regularly operates with allies and partners in keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open.