In this file photo, Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Carson Jones reviews evidence collection procedures with Forsa Defesa Timor-Leste service members in August 2016. (U.S. Navy/MCC Lowell Whitman)

DILI, East Timor - U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, Timor-Leste National Police, and Forsa Defesa Timor-Leste will work together during the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise with the arrival of U.S. Navy Task Group 75.5 in Dili, July 31.

CARAT Timor-Leste 2017 is part of a series of bilateral CARAT military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Thailand, Bangladesh, Brunei, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

The focus of CARAT is developing maritime security capabilities and increasing interoperability among participants. Skill areas exercised during the CARAT include small boat maintenance, evidence collection, diving procedures, and antiterrorism security.

CARAT is entering its 23rd year overall and its 5th year in Timor-Leste, demonstrating that our partners share common goals and view CARAT as a valuable way to train toward those goals.

While the exercise is designed to enhance maritime security skills and operations cohesiveness among participating forces, it also focuses on relationship building between military participants through sports and social events.

U.S. Navy assets participating in CARAT Timor-Leste 2017 include Commander, Task Group 75.5, Coastal Riverine Group 1, Underwater Construction Team 2, and U.S. Marines with Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific.