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U.S. and Indonesia Strengthen Maritime Partnerships during CARAT 2015

By Task Force 73 Public Affairs | Aug. 3, 2015

SURABAYA, INDONESIA — A U.S. Navy task group comprised of ships, aircraft, Sailors and Marines arrived in Indonesia to commence the 21st annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2015, Aug 3.

The exercise will take place from Aug. 3-10 on the ground in Surabaya and in the waters and airspace of the Java and Bali Seas.

"Our longstanding partnership with the Indonesian Navy and Marines has allowed us to enhance our bilateral cooperation and increase the complexity of CARAT," said Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, Commander, Task Force 73. "The diverse platforms and capabilities featured in this exercise will enable us to rehearse high-end tactical and integrated warfare scenarios in a realistic training environment both at sea and shore."

More than 1,000 U.S. military members will participate in CARAT Indonesia alongside their counterparts from the Indonesian Navy and Marines, known as Tentera Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL). The exercise will feature simultaneous amphibious landings and surface and anti-submarine warfare, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) demonstrations, mobile dive and salvage training, coastal riverine operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, a gunnery exercise, and an anti-air warfare missile live fire training exercise.

Additionally, personnel from both nations will exchange best practices on naval tactics during a series of military seminars ashore. Numerous civil action projects, aviation maintenance, sports exchanges, military law, and submarine warfare symposia are also planned during the shore phase of the exercise.

"CARAT is a practical way for our two navies to address shared maritime security priorities in a realistic training environment," said Capt. H.B. Le, deputy commodore, Destroyer Squadron 7. "We look forward to exchanging ideas and lessons learned with our Indonesian counterparts this week. Regional challenges increasingly require regional solutions, and it's through yearly engagements like CARAT where we are able to build and strengthen our interoperability."

U.S. units participating in the exercise include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88), the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), the dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD42),the rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) with embarked Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1, a P-3C Orion, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) FIVE , Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) ONE, and U.S. Marines assigned to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (III MEB.

Indonesia has been part of the CARAT exercise series since it began in 1995. After more than two decades of annual training events between the armed forces, CARAT Indonesia remains a model for cooperation that has evolved in complexity and enables both navies to refine operations and tactics in response to both traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges.

CARAT Indonesia is part of a broader bilateral exercise series the U.S. Navy conducts with nine partner navies in South and Southeast Asia to address shared maritime security priorities, strengthen maritime partnerships and enhance interoperability among participating forces. Following CARAT Indonesia, additional bilateral phases of CARAT will occur from July through November 2015 with Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Commander, Task Force 73 and DESRON 7 staff conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises such as the bilateral CARAT series, the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam, and the multi-lateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

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