U.S. Navy Engineering Aide 3rd Class Quinton Schnarrs, assists members of the Forsa Defesa Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) in putting together a course of action for a simulated mission plan during CARAT Timor-Leste. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Rosalie Chang)

DILI, Timor-Leste - U.S. Navy units from Commander, Task Force 75, U.S. Marines, and Forsa Defesa Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) service members kicked off the 4th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Timor-Leste during a opening ceremony at Port Hera Naval Base, Aug. 1.

U.S. Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, explosive ordnance disposal technicians from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, Riverine Sailors from Coastal Riverine Group 1, and U.S. Marines from the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific, will work hand-in-hand with their F-FDTL counterparts throughout the weeklong exercise.

The exercise will cover a variety of training topics such as information gathering, small craft maintenance and repair, infantry tactics, and staff planning, with each subject covered culminating in the practical application of the skills learned.

"I challenge each of you to leverage your unique talents, to share your knowledge and experience, to listen to each other, and most importantly, get to know one another, as we work toward our shared goals of peace, prosperity and security," said Capt. Jeffrey Kilian, commodore, 30th Naval Construction Regiment.

The training is part of the CARAT series of annual, bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Timor-Leste.

The focus of CARAT Timor-Leste, as well as the overall exercise series, is developing maritime security capabilities and fostering working relationships among participants.

Timor-Leste is among the newest CARAT participants.

While the exercise is designed to enhance maritime security skills and operational cohesiveness among participating forces, it also helps to build relationships between military participants through sports and social events, and improves relationships with the civilian community through civic action projects and community service events.

Commander, Task Force 75 is the primary expeditionary task force responsible for the planning and execution of coastal riverine operations, explosive ordnance disposal, diving, engineering and construction, and underwater construction in the U.S. 7th fleet area of responsibility.