MAURA, Brunei –
The Brunei portion of the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2014 exercises commenced Nov. 10 at Maura Naval Base here.
Royal Brunei Armed Forces have participated in the CARAT exercise since it began in 1995. CARAT Brunei marks the final phase of this year’s series of exercises, which began in May with partner nations in South and Southeast Asia.
In its 20th year, CARAT is an annual, bilateral exercise series including the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations: Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste. The exercises provide a venue for regional navies to share best practices, foster relationships and enhance maritime security cooperation.
U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander of Task Force 73 and the 7th Fleet's executive agent for theater security cooperation in South and Southeast Asia, delivered remarks to exercise participants including U.S. sailors and Marines and members of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
Unique Training Opportunities
“The sea has connected our nations, our people, and our naval forces since the USS Constitution visited Brunei for the first time in 1845,” Williams said. “As our premier naval exercise rooted in longstanding cooperation at sea, CARAT Brunei provides unique opportunities to sharpen skills and work together in ways that will serve our nations and the region for many years to come.”
Continuing through Nov. 14, this year's exercise in Brunei features several new events including maritime security, search-and-rescue operations and aviation maintenance symposia ashore, as well as shipboard helicopter operations and a simulated medical evacuation at sea.
Additional symposia ashore will bring together professionals from both navies to discuss best practices in military law and military medicine. Japan Regional Maintenance Center divers will train with their Brunei military counterparts in hull inspection and surface-supplied breathing techniques.
Community service events and joint performances by the U.S. 7th Fleet and RBAF bands will occur throughout the local community.
A platoon of U.S. Marines from 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force will conduct military operations on urban terrain training with their Royal Brunei Land Forces counterparts at the Fibua Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain complex.
At sea, USS Rodney M. Davis, embarked with Destroyer Squadron 7 commodore and staff and an MH-60R helicopter, will train with the Royal Brunei Navy ship, KDB Darulaman, and a Royal Brunei Air Force S-70A helicopter. In addition to maneuvering and surface gunnery drills, highlights include maritime boarding scenarios, RBAF cross-deck landing qualifications aboard Rodney M. Davis, and a maritime domain awareness exercise involving both helicopters and P-3C aircraft.
U.S. Navy Capt. Fred Kacher, Destroyer Squadron 7 commodore and exercise commander, discussed the upcoming sea phase.
“We deeply value our naval partnership with the RBN, as evidenced by their participation in both the Rim of the Pacific exercise earlier this summer and the Southeast Asia Cooperation at Sea exercise in August,” Kacher said. "”This week's CARAT is another great opportunity for our navies to get out to sea together and strengthen our ability to operate safely and professionally with one another.”