SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) arrived in Cambodia to begin the fifth annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia exercise Oct. 25.
CARAT Cambodia's opening ceremony was held at the Royal Cambodian Ream Navy Base Oct. 27.
"Mustin is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to visit Cambodia and participate in CARAT," said Cmdr. Joseph A. Torres Jr., Mustin's commanding officer. "We are looking forward to working and training with the Royal Cambodian Navy in order to build stronger bonds of friendship between our two navies and countries."
This year's CARAT Cambodia will include three days of events in port and two days at sea. While in port, a variety of subject matter expert exchanges, symposiums and community service projects and sporting events will allow members of both navies to share best practices and build friendships. The U.S. 7th Fleet Band will also hold a concert in Kampot Province.
"I'm really looking forward to meeting and interacting with the kids at the children's home we are going to visit," said Ship's Serviceman Seaman Christopher Garcia. "The good-will projects like these are always what I seem to remember most."
During the at-sea phase, U.S. and Royal Cambodian Navy ships will steam together underway to practice and improve interoperability on a range of competencies, including formation maneuvers, gunnery and maritime security exercises.
In its 20th year, CARAT is a series of bilateral naval exercises between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations in South and Southeast Asia.
Mustin is currently on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting regional security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
For more news from Destroyer Squadron 7, visit www.navy.mil/local/ds7/.