News: 18th annual CARAT exercise to commence in Republic of the Philippines
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – The 18th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise between the U.S. Navy and Philippine Navy begins, July 2, with the arrival of a U.S. Navy Task Group in General Santos City, Philippines.
The exercise is designed to enhance maritime security skills and operational cohesiveness among participating forces. It also focuses on relationship building between military participants through sports and social events, and improving community relations though a community service event.
Capt. Dave Welch, Commander Destroyer Squadron 31, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, leads CARAT Task Group 73.1.
“The Philippine and U.S. navies share a special relationship and history,” said Welch. “Our bilateral operations and training have matured over the past 60 years, and CARAT Philippines is a model for how an exercise series can evolve to bring new value each year.”
CARAT is a series of bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Timor Leste joins the exercise for the first time in 2012.
While the training in each phase of CARAT varies based on shared goals of the host country and the U.S., a common theme is the development of maritime security capabilities, and increasing interoperability among participants. Skill areas exercised during CARAT include Maritime Interception Operations; riverine, amphibious and undersea warfare operations; diving and salvage operations; naval gunnery and maneuvering events, along with disaster response exercises.
U.S. Navy ships participating in CARAT Philippines 2012 include the guided missile frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter USCGC Waesche (WMSL-751) and the diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50). Other participants include Marines from U.S. 7th Fleet FASTPAC, along with P-3C Orion and SH-60 Seahawk aircraft, and the U.S. 7th Fleet band “Orient Express.”
Approximately 450 U.S. personnel will participate in CARAT Philippines 2012.
Date Posted:07.02.2012 08:59
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