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NEWS | May 13, 2024

CARAT Indonesia Celebrates 75 Years of Diplomatic Relations Between U.S., Indonesia

By Courtesy Story, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps began Exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2024 with the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) and Marine Corps (KORMAR RI) in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia, May 13.

This year marks the 30th iteration of CARAT, and 75 years of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and the United States.

CARAT Indonesia is a joint, bilateral maritime exercise taking place ashore in Bandar Lampung and in the Java Sea, May 13-20. The exercise kicked off with an opening ceremony led by U.S. Navy Capt. Tate Robinson, commodore, Amphibious Squadron Five, and TNI-AL Captain Ludfy, commander First Fleet Escort Squadron.

“CARAT contributes to regional maritime security by enhancing our ability to work side-by-side at sea across a wide range of naval competencies,” said Robinson. “The U.S. Navy has been operating in the Indo-Pacific for more than 75 years, and 2024 marks 30 years of the CARAT series, underscoring the U.S. Navy’s enduring commitment to the region, and partners like Indonesia.”

The exercise will feature three major components over the next week. The shore phase will comprise of a series of subject matter expert exchanges, jungle training, and community relations. American and Indonesian medical forces will conduct a wide range of joint training including public health promotion and education, as well as tactical combat casualty care and casualty evacuation practical application. The sea phase will include amphibious operations, or as referred to by Indonesian partners as a “full-mission profile.”

The overarching goals of the CARAT maritime exercise series are to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships, and enhance interoperability among participating forces.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to test our capabilities across the spectrum of military operations with our Indonesian partners,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Sean Dynan, commanding officer of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “Training side-by-side across a variety of skill areas makes us a stronger, integrated force, better prepared to provide multi-national response to any natural disaster or crisis.”

Amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25) and elements of the 15th MEU are conducting routine operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Under Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.