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US, Brunei Launch Naval Exercise

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US, Brunei Launch Naval Exercise

Two countries kick off CARAT 2016.

US, Brunei Launch Naval Exercise
Credit: U.S. Navy Photo

The United States and Brunei kicked off a military exercise Monday that will continue for most of this week.

The two countries commenced the 22nd iteration of their Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise on November 14.

CARAT is a bilateral exercise series between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations in South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste. Brunei was one of the original CARAT partners and has been part of the exercise series since it began back in 1995.

This week’s CARAT Brunei 2016, which will continue until November 18, features five days of shore-based and at-sea training events to strengthen.

U.S. forces participating in CARAT Brunei this year include the USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3), USNS Salvor, a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, and staff from Commander, Task Force (CTF) 73 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7.

According to a U.S. Navy statement, during the sea phase, ships from the two countries will conduct deck landing qualifications and formation ship maneuvers, while mobile diving and salvage personnel operate side-by-side while being embarked on USNS Salvor. Ashore, forces from U.S. and Brunei would work alongside each other in a jungle warfare exercise.

Additional activities, including community exchanges and skills symposia, will also occur throughout the exercise.

“We have a very diverse exercise planned this year that includes training and operations in multiple naval warfare areas,” said Capt. Lex Walker, deputy commodore of DESRON 7 which helps plan, organize and support maritime exercises such as CARAT in the Asia-Pacific.

“This is the 22nd year that our navies have trained side-by-side in CARAT, and each year we’ve increased the complexity in an effort to strengthen interoperability between our forces.”

Last year, CARAT Brunei saw over 500 U.S. military members operate alongside their counterparts from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces along with key U.S. assets, with ten days of shore-based and at-sea training events as well as professional symposia (See: “US, Brunei Launch Military Exercise”).

CARAT Brunei 2015 also marked the first time that a P-8 Poseidon aircraft and the USNS Millinocket participated in the exercise.