The U.S. Embassy in Thailand reports that more than 300 U.S. and Thai Sailors and Marines, along with U.S. Coast Guardsmen, participated in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2010 that ran from May 14 to May 21.
CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in the Southeast Asia region. The overarching goals of CARAT are the enhancement of regional cooperation, promotion of understanding between participating navies and the continued development of operational readiness of participating forces.
Rear Admiral Nora Tyson, Commander, Task Force 73, noted how CARAT has continuously evolved as it now enters its 16th year. “This year, we’ll also include new areas of training, like riverine and anti-submarine warfare, and unmanned aerial vehicle operations,” Tyson said in her opening ceremony speech. “The addition of these new specialties is proof that CARAT is adaptable and flexible, and can meet emerging threats.”
Rear Admiral Sundaranaga Chaiyot, Commander, Royal Thai Navy’s Frigate Squadron 2, added that CARAT was the premier exercise for U.S. and Royal Thai Navy forces to improve upon their interoperability.
In addition to the military training aspects, many community service projects were conducted in the surrounding areas. These included more than 700 medical and dental civic action projects, and an engineering civic action project with Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 11 working with Royal Thai Marine forces to construct a new classroom building for a remote primary school.
Units participating in CARAT Thailand include the USS Tortuga (LSD 46) with embarked Marine landing force, USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), USS Buffalo (SSN 715) and USCGC Mellon (WASC-717), along with nearly a dozen units with expertise in diving, riverine warfare, mine warfare, port security and others.