DVIDS – News – CARAT Sri Lanka concludes operations at sea after multilateral training


TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka – The US Navy, US Navy, Air Force and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) have completed a week-long training exercise during the readiness and training exercise at cooperation afloat (CARAT), June 30.

CARAT Sri Lanka, the first CARAT event to be held in 2021, came to a close after two days of Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) and five days at sea where representatives of U.S. Navy and military officials from Sri Lanka and Japan have worked together to strengthen their relationship.

“Each event created an opportunity to hone our skills, learn from each other and give us a better understanding of the maritime environment,” said Captain Tom Ogden, Destroyer Squadron Commander (DESRON ) 7. “Sri Lanka, Japan, and the United States have collaborated transparently with professionalism and adaptability to solve difficult problems during scenario-based training at sea.”

The at-sea phase took place in territorial and international waters near Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, where the USS Charleston (LCS 18) and a P-8A Poseidon aircraft, assigned to the commander of Task Force (CTF) 72, in partnership with ships and planes from Sri Lanka and Japan for training. The exercise focused on building interoperability and strengthening relationships through a variety of maritime events and subject matter expert exchanges. Charleston operated with the Sri Lankan Navy’s advanced offshore patrol vessels SLNS Gajabahu (P-626) and SLNS Sayurala (P-623) and the JMSDF Asagiri-class destroyer JS Yuugiri (DD-153).

Countries have demonstrated their ability to work together through many events, including divisional tactics designed to improve communication as ships navigate together in complex maneuvers; a follow-up exercise aimed at increasing the ability of the two navies to track and pursue objectives through the coordinated deployment of surface ships and maritime patrol aircraft; Helicopter Landing Qualifications (DLQ) and Vertical Refueling Exercises (VERTREP); and search and rescue exercises.

“Charleston Gold Crew has enjoyed a complex and rewarding multilateral maritime phase during CARAT Sri Lanka,” said Cmdr. Joseph Burgon, commander of Charleston. “A wide range of maritime and aviation events provided us with a unique opportunity to enhance our interoperability with talented maritime professionals from Sri Lanka and Japan. “

The SMEE virtual events featured a variety of joint training opportunities, including training on vessel interdiction and boarding, refueling at sea (SAR) best practices, the Women’s Peace and Security Symposium, etc. Other virtual exchanges included Maritime Domain Knowledge (MDA), maritime aviation training and the protection of counterterrorism forces.

Non-military participants included members of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the EU Critical Sea Route off the Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO). UNODC has provided experience and expertise in the interdiction and boarding of vessels against vessels of maritime safety interest, such as drug and human trafficking. EU CRIMARIO has improved the overall understanding of the maritime domain and to promote its safety and security for the countries of the region, with the aim of improving maritime safety and security throughout the Indian Ocean.

US assets that participated in CARAT Sri Lanka included personnel from CTF 72, CTF 73, CTF 75, CTF 76, DESRON 7, the US 7th Fleet Band and a P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The afloat units included Charleston with an air detachment from Maritime Combat Helicopter Squadron 21, and embarked Navy Seabees assigned to CTF 75.

Taking place across South and Southeast Asia, CARAT is expanding bilateral and multilateral exercises; ensures maritime security, stability and prosperity, and underscores the United States’ commitment to the region, the sovereignty of the nations therein, and a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Charleston, attached to DESRON 7, is on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of ​​operations in support of security and stability in the region, and working alongside Allied and Partner Marines to ensure maritime security and stability, key pillars of a free and open the Indo-Pacific.

As the US Navy’s destroyer squadron deployed to Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 is the primary tactical and operational commander of the littoral combat vessels deployed in rotation to Singapore, Expeditionary Strike Group 7’s Sea Combat Commander, and establishes partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements.

Under the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the 7th Fleet is the largest numbered forward deployed fleet of the US Navy, and regularly interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region.


Date taken: 06/30/2021
Date posted: 30.06.2021 13:30
Story ID: 400026
Location: LK

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