An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 20, 2019

25th Anniversary of CARAT Comes to an End

By Petty Officer 1st Class Gregory Johnson Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific

SINGAPORE (NNS) – The close of 2019 marks an end the 25th Anniversary of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series, the U.S. Navy’s oldest and longest running regional exercise in South and Southeast Asia.

For 25 years, the U.S. and partner nations have used CARAT as a premier bilateral and multilateral training forum to address maritime security interests.

Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific/Task Force 73, who leads CARAT for the U.S. Navy, said the quarter-century milestone was an opportunity to reflect on the value of pairing long-standing partnerships with an adaptable exercise.

“This is what enduring partnerships looking like,” said Tynch. “CARAT may be our oldest exercise, but it has never been more relevant. Each year, we build on the shared mission and strong relationships built over decades, and, with our partners, tackle the tough challenges.”

The mission of the CARAT exercises is to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships and enhance interoperability among the participants.

“We’re strongest when we sail together,” said Tynch. “Our ability to operate together is greater than it’s ever been, and, from my perspective, so is the professionalism and commitment of everyone who participated in CARAT.

This year’s exercise featured training in the broad range of naval operations, including surface warfare, undersea warfare, air warfare, amphibious warfare, jungle warfare, expeditionary warfare, maritime patrol and reconnaissance aviation, shipboard helicopter operations, maritime interception operations, riverine warfare, explosive ordnance disposal, combat construction, diving and salvage, military operations on urban terrain, military law, public affairs, military medicine, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

U.S. Navy Lt. Jinwei Pho, a foreign area officer and exercise planner for Task Force 73, said that CARAT has evolved in complexity and is a model for partner navies cooperating to address shared maritime security challenges.

“Over a quarter of a century CARAT stays relevant,” said Pho. “The relevance and the commitment speak to the high quality of exercise events and the enduring value of maritime cooperation among allies and partners in South and Southeast Asia.”

CARAT’s origins can be traced back to 1995, with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as original partners. Throughout the years, CARAT has continued to grow in size and complexity.

“It’s important to be able to work together and share best practices as a maritime warfighting professionals,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Ann McCann, commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. “CARAT has been a perfect vehicle for us to co-operate and integrate our maritime forces with different partner nations that each bring their own best capabilities and contributions to the table.”

Each CARAT exercise features a shore phase with professional symposia, which transition to a robust at-sea phase that incorporates complex evolutions and challenging combined operations. CARAT also builds personal relationships through professional exchanges, sports and social events, community service projects and band concerts.

Several thousand U.S. and partner-nation personnel participated in the 25th CARAT series. This year’s participating assets include amphibious ships and landing craft, Coast Guard cutters, combat logistics ships, diving and salvage vessels, expeditionary fast transport ships, guided missile destroyers and cruisers, littoral combat ships, MH-60 helicopters, P-8A maritime patrol aircraft and submarine tenders. Participating U.S. units include Afloat Training Group Pacific, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70, CTF 72, CTF 73, CTF 74, CTF 75, CTF 76, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) Five, III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) One, Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) Pacific, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, the Seventh Fleet Band (Orient Express), and staff from U.S. embassies around the region.

“The primary goal during each exercise is to design and execute realistic training scenarios," said U.S. Navy Lt. Matt Ziesmer, an exercise planner from DESRON 7. "Practicing scenarios ashore and at sea that present realistic challenges improves our ability to respond in a real-world event."

Building relationships and camaraderie is one of the goals of the CARAT exercise series and this was evident throughout the exercise’s 25th season.

“One of the really great things about participating in CARAT is the chance to meet and work with so many different people,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Jason Figgeroa, a Maritime Domain Awareness planner assigned to DESRON 7. “You start out as strangers, but after spending an entire exercise working together, sharing meals together and just getting to know each other, you really walk away with a real sense of unity.”

CARAT, along with the related Maritime Training Activities and Pacific Griffin, build upon other engagements in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, including Pacific Partnership, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission, Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), which involves nearly a dozen partner nations and the ASEAN-U.S. Maritime Exercise (AUMX). These engagements bring like-minded naval forces together routinely based on shared values and maritime security interests.

As U.S. 7th Fleet's executive agent for theater security cooperation in South and Southeast Asia, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific/Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7 conduct advanced planning, organize resources, and directly support the execution of CARAT and other engagements in the region.

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit


Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. Navy Destroyer Conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation in the South China Sea
231125-N-EE352-1002 SOUTH CHINA SEA (Nov. 25, 2023) – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Grace Hopper (DDG 70) conducts routine underway operations. Hopper is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Leon Vonguyen)
Nov. 25, 2023 - On November 25, USS Hopper  (DDG 70) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law. At the conclusion of the operation, USS Hopper (DDG 70) exited...

USINDOPACOM Statement on DPRK Launch
Nov. 22, 2023 - We are aware of the DPRK’s Nov. 21 launch of a space launch vehicle (SLV) and Nov. 22 Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) launch and are consulting closely with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan, as well as other...

Readout of Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner's Calls With Republic of Korea and Japan
Nov. 22, 2023 - U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner spoke today in separate calls with Republic of Korea (ROK) Deputy Minister for National Defense Policy Heo Taekeun and with Japan...

Solidarity and Skill: KAMANDAG 7 Cements U.S.-Philippines Defense
U.S. Marines with Marine Rotational Force-Southeast Asia, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Philippine Marines, 3rd Marine Brigade, service members with Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, and Royal Marines with Maritime Liaison Assessment Team, 30th Commando Information Exploitation Group, pose for a photo during costal defense training during KAMANDAG 7 in Kamuning beach, Palawan, Philippines, Nov. 16, 2023. KAMANDAG is an annual Philippine Marine Corps and U.S. Marine Corps-led exercise aimed at improving bilateral readiness and mutual capabilities in the advancement of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. This year marks the seventh iteration of this exercise and includes participants from Japan, the Republic of Korea, and observers from the United Kingdom. MRF-SEA is a Marine Corps Forces Pacific operational model which involves planned exchanges with subject matter experts, promotes security goals with Allies and partners, and positions I MEF forces west of the International Date Line. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Savannah Norris)
Nov. 22, 2023 - As part of the expansive KAMANDAG 7 exercise, U.S. Marines with Marine Rotational Force-Southeast Asia and their Philippine Marine Corps counterparts, 3rd Marine Brigade, forged a deeper alliance on the island of Palawan Nov...

U.S. 7th Fleet and Armed Forces of the Philippines Begin Maritime Cooperation Activity
Nov. 22, 2023 - U.S.7th Fleet (C7F) and Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) units began a maritime cooperation activity (MCA) in the South China Sea, Nov. 22.  The MCA is designed to enhance interoperability between the two militaries and...