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US Navy and Royal Brunei Armed Forces Commence CARAT Brunei 2023

13 September 2023

From Lt.j.g. Rebecca Moore

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei - The United States Navy and Royal Brunei Armed Forces began the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei exercise Sep. 12, which will focus on advancing interoperability to address shared maritime security challenges and maintain peace and stability in the region.

Capt. Matt Scarlett, deputy commodore of Commander Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 rings the ceremonial gong with Royal Brunei Air Force Brig. Gen. Dato Seri Phlawan Alirupendi, joint force commander, during the opening ceremony of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei 2023 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Sept. 12.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (Sept. 12, 2023) Capt. Matt Scarlett, deputy commodore of Commander Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 rings the ceremonial gong with Royal Brunei Air Force Brig. Gen. Dato Seri Phlawan Alirupendi, joint force commander, during the opening ceremony of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei 2023 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Sept. 12. CARAT Brunei is the premier bilateral exercise held annually between the United States and Royal Brunei forces. The exercise focuses on improving interoperability to address shared maritime challenges and advance security in the region. As the U.S. Navy’s destroyer squadron forward-deployed in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7’s Sea Combat Commander and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Rebecca Moore)
Capt. Matt Scarlett, deputy commodore of Commander Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 rings the ceremonial gong with Royal Brunei Air Force Brig. Gen. Dato Seri Phlawan Alirupendi, joint force commander, during the opening ceremony of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei 2023 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Sept. 12.
230912-N-UW931-6953
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (Sept. 12, 2023) Capt. Matt Scarlett, deputy commodore of Commander Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 rings the ceremonial gong with Royal Brunei Air Force Brig. Gen. Dato Seri Phlawan Alirupendi, joint force commander, during the opening ceremony of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei 2023 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Sept. 12. CARAT Brunei is the premier bilateral exercise held annually between the United States and Royal Brunei forces. The exercise focuses on improving interoperability to address shared maritime challenges and advance security in the region. As the U.S. Navy’s destroyer squadron forward-deployed in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7’s Sea Combat Commander and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Rebecca Moore)
Photo By: Lt.j.g. Rebecca Moore
VIRIN: 230912-N-UW931-6953


U.S. assets participating in CARAT Brunei includes staff from U.S. 7th Fleet, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 76/3, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron SIXTEEN (VP-16) and U.S. Embassy Brunei. The exercise focuses on innovative naval capabilities and features cooperative evolutions that highlight the ability of Brunei and the U.S. to collaborate on common goals maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.

U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter USCGC Munro (WMSL 755) will take part in the exercise while on her rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

"Military-to-military ties are the cornerstone of the U.S.-Brunei relationship, and CARAT remains one of our most important annual exercises,” said U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Her Excellency Caryn R. McClelland. “It’s particularly fitting that the U.S. Coast Guard will join CARAT this year as the U.S. continues to support Brunei in increasing their Maritime Security and Maritime Domain Awareness,"

The exercise includes a variety of symposia and hands-on training ashore and at sea including humanitarian assistance and disaster response scenarios, underwater medical tactics, and maritime security operations.

“CARAT Brunei is a highlight to the robust training DESRON 7 coordinates throughout the year in 7th Fleet. Our strong partnership is based on our many shared regional priorities and consistent collaboration,” said Capt. Sean Lewis, commanding officer, DESRON 7. “Brunei was one of our original CARAT partners when the exercise series began in 1995. Our partnership and coordination are even stronger today and it shows in the highly professional in-depth training that we are seeing this week.”

This year, training will also include aviation training involving maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA). MPRA provide a unit the ability to patrol and monitor their exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and assist in search and rescue (SAR) missions. During CARAT, VP-16 will work with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) to enhance interoperability and tactics related to maritime domain awareness. These events further strengthen the growing relationship we have with Brunei and allow for our collective armed forces to grow together.

"CARAT Brunei is a unique opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and to exchange knowledge and ideas on how to protect the maritime community," said Lt. Elizabeth Millward, the detachment officer in charge of the P-8A aircrew while in Brunei. "We're excited to support and be a part of this bilateral exercise."

As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed DESRON in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, functions as Expeditionary Strike Group 7’s Sea Combat Commander and builds partnerships through training and exercises and military-to military engagements.

U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

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