US, Indonesia open annual CARAT exercise

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The US and Indonesia opened the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness And Training (CARAT) training exercise on Tuesday, according to the US Embassy here on its official website on Wednesday.

US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Kristen Bauer delivered opening remarks along with the Chief of the Indonesian Navy Admiral Marsetio.

US Navy Rear Admiral Tilghman Payne, who is Commander U.S. Region Marianas, was the highest-ranking U.S. military officer present.

CARAT is the largest bilateral engagement between the US and Indonesian Navies and is designed to enhance cooperation between our two countries. This annual exercise advances bilateral cooperation on shared security priorities, which include maritime security, combating terrorism, and disaster response.

CARAT Indonesia 2013 will consist of several different training components, some of which include medical and aviation symposiums, personnel exchanges, gun and missile fire exercises at sea, jungle training, helicopter and maritime patrol aircraft operations, ship maneuvers, community outreach, a sports day, and joint navy band performances.

Approximately 1,200 US Navy and US Marine Corps personnel will participate from three ships: USS MOMSEN, USS TORTUGA, USNS SAFEGUARD, and a P-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

On the Indonesian side, approximately 800 Indonesian Navy and Marine Corps personnel will participate in CARAT from: KRI OSWALD SIAHAAN, KRI SULTAN ISKANDAR MUDA, CN212 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, TNI-AL Western Fleet Aviation, Medical, Diver and other units, and KORMAR Marine Troops II.

CARAT has been conducted individually between the US and our various regional partners for the last 19 years. In addition to Indonesia, individual exercises are also conducted with Malaysia, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Brunei.