KAMAMAN, Malaysia (NNS) -- Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1, Det. 11, conducted 44 familiarization dives with divers from the Royal Malaysian Navy Mine Warfare and Diving Center over a three-day period beginning July 8.
The dives are in support of the 13th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2007 exercise.
The three-day session began with classroom time to familiarize the already proficient Malaysian divers with U.S. Navy equipment and terminology before working underwater.
"Initially, the Malayians were afraid to speak up for fear that they might say the wrong thing," said MDSU-1 officer in charge, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dave Davidson. "But, soon both teams of divers were able to communicate easily, and were able to continue with the exercise."
The focus of the exercise was on basics, said Lt. Saufi, the Royal Malaysian Salvage and Diving manager.
"This exercise is really beneficial for us. By going back to basics, they (U.S. divers) are teaching us to be safer."
Aside from classroom time, the exercise included a diving casualty drill with two "unconscious" divers, underwater drilling and exothermic cutting.
"It's good to see how the [United States] does salvage diving so we can get better," said Rosmadi, LCD (lead clearance diver).
In addition to strengthening relationships between the U.S. divers and their Royal Malaysian counterparts through the bilateral diving exercise, MDSU-1 divers are qualifying their own personnel as well. With so many dives occurring, the unit has qualified diving supervisors, console operators and chamber operators.
The 2007 CARAT will proceed next to Singapore, and then Brunei. The MDSU-1 divers are scheduled to train with their counterparts in Singapore and also teach a class in Brunei.
The CARAT Task Group, under the leadership of commander, Destroyer (DESRON) 1, consists of the dock landing ship USS Harper's Ferry (LSD 46), guided missile frigate USS Jarrett (FFG 33), and guided missile frigate USS Ford (FFG 64).
Capt. Alfred Collins, DESRON 1, embarked aboard Harper's Ferry, leads the CARAT Task Group. Approximately 1,400 U.S. Personnel will take part in 2007 CARAT.
CARAT is an annual series of bilateral maritime training exercises between the United States and regional Southeast Asia nations designed to build relationships and enhance the operational readiness of the participating forces.
For more news from Commander Task Force 73, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/clwp/.