JAKARTA, Indonesia (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps with the Indonesian navy commenced the 24th Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia exercise with the arrival of the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) with elements from 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 10.
U.S. Sailors and Marines will engage with Indonesian counterparts in complex and cooperative at-sea and ashore exercises designed to incorporate the full range of maritime warfare and increase mutual capabilities while operating as an effective unified maritime force.
“With nearly 70 years of bilateral diplomatic relations, we value the long-lasting close partnership as we head into the first exercise between the U.S. Navy and Indonesia’s newly-designated ‘First Fleet’,” said Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, Commander Task Force 73. “The CARAT exercise builds upon more than 200 military exercises between the two partner nations, and we are excited to work closely with familiar faces and build new friendships towards ensuring maritime security, stability and prosperity.”
“I believe the exercise CARAT 2018 will develop the bilateral relationship and also give a positive effect to strengthen the relationship between both navies,” said Indonesian navy Chief of Staff of First Fleet, First Admiral Heru Kusmanto.
The U.S. and Indonesian navy engage annually in bilateral and multilateral exercises across Southeast Asia including Pacific Partnership, the largest annual humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission, Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) involving nearly a dozen regional partners and Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo (MNEK) in its third iteration.
“The United States and Indonesia have stood side-by-side through CARAT and real-world international and humanitarian crises which highlights the importance of exercises such as this,” said the honorable Joseph R. Donovan Jr., United States Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia.
“This year’s CARAT demonstrates a continued commitment by both navies to increase the complexity and sophistication of exercises that challenge and bring all participants closer together,” said Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7. “Our ships will be sailing side-by-side, bands will be performing throughout the community, and Sailors and Marines will be sharing knowledge and experiences together.”
CARAT Indonesia 2018 will incorporate a robust sea phase involving a gunnery exercise (GUNNEX) to maintain Sailors’ readiness with onboard weapon systems, air defense exercise (ADEX) aimed to increase proficiency in air and missile defense and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercise to increase and maintain proficiency in boarding vessels that may harbor illegal weapons and drugs.
"The 2018 CARAT Indonesia exercise is a great opportunity to practice Rushmore's mission and to work alongside our Indonesian counterparts," said Cmdr. Rob Tryon, Rushmore commanding officer. "Rushmore Sailors and Marines are looking forward to participating in this premier exercise and building upon our partnership with the Indonesian Armed Forces."
Indonesia has been part of the CARAT exercise series since it began in 1995. After more than two decades of annual training events between the armed forces, CARAT Indonesia remains a model for cooperation that has evolved in complexity and enables both navies to refine operations and tactics in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges.
For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf73/.