(GULF OF THAILAND – Maritime training was performed by the US and Royal Thai fleets during the 27th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise, which took place from September 6 to 10.)
The contactless exercise, which took place digitally and in the Gulf of Thailand, featured cooperative evolutions that demonstrated the US and Thailand's capacity to work together toward the joint objective of preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific maritime security environment.
Several incidents highlighted the countries capacity to operate together, including divisional tactics meant to improve communication when ships sail together in intricate manoeuvres; maritime domain awareness(MDA). Through the coordinated deployment of surface ships and maritime patrol aircraft, helicopter cross deck landings, and search and rescue drills, the P-8 will improve both fleets capacity to monitor and pursue threats beyond visual range.
Capt. Tom Ogden, commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, said, "The 27th iteration of CARAT Thailand reflects the enduring relationship and friendship between the people of Thailand, the United States, and like-minded allies and partners." While there was no contact with the Royal Thai Navy during this exercise, the chance to sail our ships and fly our planes as a united force had a significant influence on mutual confidence and increased operational capabilities for both nations.
Submarine search and rescue, diving operations, replenishment at sea best practises, the Women Peace & Security Symposium, MDA, anti-submarine warfare, diving operations, and maritime patrol aircraft integrated operations were among the virtual subject matter expert interactions.
Subject matter experts from the European Union's Critical Maritime Routes Indo-Pacific (EU-CRIMARIO) programme contributed subject matter knowledge for the first time. EU-CRIMARIO held a virtual expert exchange on high-seas boarding operations as well as a briefing on MDA.
The at-sea exercise took place at Sattahip and Ko Samui in the territorial and international seas, where the USS Green Bay and the Posedeidon P-8A were joined by ships and planes for alliance training with Thailand. The Royal Thai Navy ships included the Naresuan-class frigates HTMS Naresuan, HTMS Taksin, and HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej.
DESRON 7 acts as the principal tactical and operational commander for coastal fighting ships deployed rotatingly to Singapore, the Commander of the Sea Combat of the ESG 7, and establishes relationships via exercises of training and military-to-military contact. The 7th Fleet is the largest forward-looking many U.S. navy float, operating frequently with and interacting in keeping an open Indo-Space area with 35 maritime states.
The CARAT exercise was started in 1995 and builds on further interactions with each yearly exercise involving professional symposiums and the seas to improve joint operations in South Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific Region, authorities stated.