Jakarta (ANTARA) - The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps began the exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2022 on Wednesday (December 7) along with the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) and Marine Corps (KORMAR RI) in Surabaya.

Lasting through December 21, the CARAT Indonesia joint bilateral maritime exercise will take place both onshore in Surabaya and in the Java Sea, the US Embassy noted in a statement received here on Friday.

The exercise commenced with an opening ceremony attended by Deputy Commander of the TNI-AL Education and Training Doctrine Development Command Rear Admiral Rachmad Jayadi as well as Vice Commander of the US 7th Fleet US Navy Rear Admiral Joaquin J. Martinez de Pinillos.

"The purpose of CARAT is to make each of our navies more capable of both defending our own nations and defending the international norms that both of our governments consider in our national interests," Rear Admiral Martinez affirmed.

This year’s iteration of CARAT Indonesia will focus largely on amphibious operations with an onshore bilateral command and control center made up of Indonesian and US service members.

The US support for the amphibious operations include the Makin Island Amphibious Squadron with embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

"The 28th year of the CARAT series exercise shows the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region," Capt. Tony Chavez, the commanding officer of USS Makin Island, one of the ships participating in the exercises, stated.

"We share maritime security priorities with Indonesia and will continue to share knowledge, skills, and information to enhance interoperability and promote regional security cooperation," Chavez stated.

The exercise will feature three distinct phases over the next two weeks. Phase one will primarily take place in the classroom setting, with a series of subject matter expert exchanges.

The topics discussed will include maritime domain awareness and intelligence, unmanned aircraft systems, band, public affairs, diving and underwater construction, force protection, legal, and medical.

Phase two will include practical application of the information shared in classroom exchanges as well as standing up the bilateral command and control center.

In phase three, the bilateral command and control center will provide control over the at-sea and beach landing operations by the participating Indonesian and US forces.

"Our navies have been maintaining a strong bilateral relationship over decades," Rear Admiral Jayadi remarked.

"Numerous bilateral meetings and exercises have been executed with high-level performances in order to enhance strategic mutual understanding," he stated.

CARAT Indonesia is a bilateral exercise between Indonesia and the United States that is designed to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships, and enhance maritime interoperability.

In its 28th year, the CARAT series comprised multinational exercises that are designed to hone US and partner navies’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) will also participate in CARAT 2022.

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Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Sri Haryati
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