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U.S., Cambodian Navies Take CARAT to Sea

20 October 2011

From Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Robert Clowney

The U.S. and Royal Cambodian navies began their 2nd annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise Oct. 20.

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia - The U.S. and Royal Cambodian navies began their 2nd annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia exercise Oct. 20, with a pierside opening ceremony at the port of Sihanoukville.

"Last year marked an important step forward in the relationships between the U.S. and Cambodian Navies," said Rear Adm. Tom Carney, commander, U.S. Navy's Task Force 73. "This year, for the first time, a ship from the U.S. Navy, one of our newest destroyers, will be getting underway with Royal Cambodian Navy ships for a series of at-sea events."

During the week-long exercise, Sailors and from both countries are participating in training exchanges ashore on topics as diverse as maritime domain awareness, vessel boarding procedures, dive and salvage operations and various maritime symposia. U.S. Navy Seabees are joining royal Cambodian armed forces engineers in renovating a public health clinic and drilling water wells at a local school, while U.S. Navy and Cambodian divers conduct pier inspections and remove hazards to navigation. Additionally, several friendship-building events are planned, including band concerts at public parks and schools in Phnom Penh, and community service projects, receptions and sporting events between forces of both nations.

At sea, both U.S. and several Royal Cambodian Navy ships will conduct communication drills, division tactics, surface gunfire drills and more. Participating U.S. aircraft include the P-3C Orion, and the SH-60 Seahawk.

Approximately 400 U.S. Sailors are participating in CARAT Cambodia 2011. Two U.S. ships, guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) and the dive and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50), are participating.

CARAT is a series of annual, bilateral maritime exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

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