US, Philippine Navy exercise reels off-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Monday, July 2, 2012
THE 18th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) exercise between the United States Navy and Philippine Navy kicked off Monday in General Santos City.
The US Embassy said Monday that the exercise is designed to enhance maritime security skills and operational cohesiveness among participating forces.
It also focuses on relationship building between military participants through sports and social events, and improving community relations though a community service event, according to the US Embassy.
An estimated 400 American Navy and Coast Guard personnel as well as around 400 members of the Philippine Navy and 150 members of the Philippine Coast Guard are taking part in the naval exercises, according to Philippine Navy Captain Robert Empedrad.
Empedrad has been designated as the Carat 2012 exercise director.
“The Philippine and US navies share a special relationship and history,”
Commodore Dave Welch, Commander Destroyer Squadron 31, said.
“Our bilateral operations and training have matured over the past 60 years, and Carat Philippines is a model for how an exercise series can evolve to bring new value each year,” Welch added.
Welch, whose squadron is based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, leads Carat Task Group 73.1, the US Embassy said.
Carat is a series of bilateral military exercises between the US Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Timor Leste joins the exercise for the first time in 2012.
While the training in each phase of Carat varies based on shared goals of the host country and the US, a common theme is the development of maritime security capabilities, and increasing interoperability among participants.
Skill areas exercised during Carat include maritime interception
operations; riverine, amphibious and undersea warfare operations; diving and salvage operations; naval gunnery and maneuvering events; and disaster response exercises.
Carat 2012 will run from July 2 to 10.