... The commanders of the USS and KRI ships were seen using their binoculars several times to observe the movement of the target ship...
Situbondo, E Java (ANTARA News) - Three American warships have arrived at the coastal region of Banongan, Situbondo, East Java, situated 194 km to the east of Surabaya, on Monday morning.
They are here to commence a joint exercise, code-named CARAT, between the American Naval Force and the Indonesian National Defence Force naval unit.

ANTARA reporter Edy M Ya'Kub, who is on board the United States Ship (USS) Germantown LSD-42, reported three US ships and three Indonesian warships (KRI) sailed from Surabaya to Banongan by crossing the Java strait.

The USS Germantown LSD-42 left from the harbour at the south side of Gapura Surya, the Port of Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, on Sunday (June 3) at 7.58 am Indonesian Western Standard Time (WIB) and arrived at the Banongan coastal region on Monday (June 4) at 7:10 a.m. local.

As the ships departed the port, USS Vandergrift was at the front, followed by KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda-367, USCGC Waeshe, KRI Silas Papare-384, and KRI Banda Aceh-593, with USS Germantown LSD-42 at the back.

At the Java strait, the USS Germantown LSD-42, on Sunday (June 3) at 2 p.m. local time, was ready to begin target shooting (shooting a "target ship" within a specified distance), but the practice was cancelled due to technical faults.

The commanders of the USS and KRI ships were seen using their binoculars several times to observe the movement of the target ship, while several members of the US Naval Force were ready to shoot, before the manoeuvre was cancelled.

"Practice will be held on Monday (June 4)," said the public relations officer for USS Germantown LSD-42 and CARAT, Ensign Second Lieutenant Jason Tross, who was accompanied by a commander from the US Marine, Captain Kjono, and a media relations officer from Indonesia's Naval Force, Second Lieutenant H. Yaman.

According to Tross, CARAT has been carried out between the US and Indonesian naval forces for 18 years. "In 2010, it was held in the eastern region. We did it in the western region in 2011. And now, in 2012, it is in the eastern region again," he said.

Tross, who lives with his wife and child in Washington D.C., said this was his first visit to Indonesia, thanks to CARAT 2012. He added that he was an avid fan of satay sticks and would like to revisit the country.

"I have been to Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. This is my first time in Indonesia, but I would very much love to take my family to Bali," Tross said.


Editor: Ade P Marboen
Copyright © ANTARA 2012