SATTAHIP, Thailand –
CARAT Thailand is a bilateral maritime exercise taking place ashore in Sattahip and at sea in the Gulf of Thailand. The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Mobile (LCS 26) with embarked MH-60R Seahawk will meet the RTN frigates HTMS Naresuan (FFG 421), HTMS Bangpakong (FFG 456), and HTMS Kraburi (FFG 457) at sea.
“This exercise remains a model for U.S.-Thai cooperation that has evolved in complexity and allowed our navies to refine operations and tactics in response to emerging challenges,” said Rear Adm. Derek Trinque, commander, Task Force (CTF) 76/3 and Task Group (CTG) CARAT. “Thailand is America’s oldest treaty ally in Southeast Asia and CARAT is a demonstration of the U.S.’s unwavering commitment to Thailand and like-minded allies and partners, in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific that preserves regional peace, prosperity and stability.”
At-sea training will include exercises in communication, divisional tactics, replenishment-at-sea approaches, anti-submarine warfare, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), maritime domain awareness (MDA), air defense exercises, deck landing qualifications, search and rescue, and mine countermeasures.
The shore phase will consist of relationship building events, classroom subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE), and practical education. Highlights will include a series of public performances and exchanges between both country’s navy bands, a sports day, and community service activities.
SMEEs will focus on topics such as medical, cyber, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR), MDA, EOD, diving, aviation, unmanned ariel systems, legal, anti-submarine warfare, force protection, and Women, Peace and Security (WPS).
“The challenges of the future are not ones any single country will be able to take on,” said Trinque. “CARAT Thailand contributes to regional maritime security by enhancing our ability to work side-by-side at sea across a wide range of naval competencies.”
Additional participating U.S. assets include a P-8A Poseidon and personnel from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, CTF 72, CTF 73, CTF 75, CTF 76/, U.S. 7th Fleet and Naval Special Warfare.
CARAT Thailand is a bilateral exercise between Thailand and the United States designed to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships, and enhance maritime interoperability.
This year marks the 29th iteration of CARAT, a multinational exercise series designed to enhance U.S. and partner navies' abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
Mobile, part of Destroyer Squadron 7, is on a rotational deployment, operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with Allies and partners and serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed DESRON in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as Commander, Task Force 76/3 Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements as the executing agent of Commander, Task Group CARAT.
Task Force 76/3 recently formed as a result of merging the staffs of Navy's Task Force 76, 7th Fleet, and 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.