Cmdr. Edward Rosso, commanding officer of USS Montgomery (LCS 8), is greeted by traditional Indonesian dancers as U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Bob Little, commanding officer of USCGC Stratton (WMSL 752), looks on during a welcoming ceremony hosted by the Indonesian Navy, July 31. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Christopher A. Veloicaza)

SURABAYA, Indonesia - The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and the Indonesian Navy and Marine Corps began Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2019 during an opening ceremony at the Indonesian Navy’s 2nd Fleet Training Command in Surabaya Aug. 1.

The Indonesian Navy, known as Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkat Laut (TNI-AL), has been a part of the annual CARAT series since the exercise began in 1995.

“We’re proud to continue sailing alongside our important partner and friends” said Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander, Task Force 73. “This year marks 70 years of U.S.-Indonesian diplomatic relations and the silver anniversary of CARAT -- 25 years of dedicated commitment -- between our navies to address our shared maritime concerns.”

This year’s exercise will feature hundreds of Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from both nations. Evolutions will include both on shore and at-sea training, such as visit board search and seizure drills, mobile dive and salvage training, gunnery exercises, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) drills, jungle warfare training and subject matter expert knowledge exchanges in maritime domain awareness, medicine, aviation, law, and explosive ordnance disposal.

Additionally, several community outreach events are scheduled throughout the exercise, including a number of engineering civic action projects, a sports day and joint public performances by the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Band and the TNI-AL Eastern Fleet Band.

“Twenty five years of training together through the CARAT exercise series marks a great milestone,” said Capt. Ann McCann, deputy commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. “This year’s exercise represents the adaptation and evolution of what we have learned working with each other this past quarter-century.”

U.S. assets participating in CARAT Indonesia 2019 include staff from CTF 73 and DESRON 7, the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8), the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4), the Legend-class Coast Guard cutter USCGC Stratton (WMSL 752), MV Carolyn Chouest, Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit 6, Naval Construction Regiment 30, Naval Special Warfare Unit 1, Mobile Dive and Salvage Unit 1, the U.S. 7th Fleet Band and a P-8 Poseidon aircraft.

Participating assets from TNI-AL include corvette class frigate KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda, Fatahillah class frigate KRI Nala and fast attack craft KRI Sampari, as well as additional aircraft, staff and special operations forces.

CARAT, the U.S. Navy's longest running regional exercise in South and Southeast Asia, strengthens partnerships between regional navies and enhances maritime security cooperation throughout the Indo-Pacific.

CARAT builds upon other engagements in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands including Pacific Partnership, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission, Maritime Training Activity Malaysia, Maritime Training Activity Philippines, Pacific Griffin with Singapore and Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), which involves nearly a dozen partner nations. These engagements bring like-minded naval forces together routinely based on shared values and maritime security interests.

USS Montgomery (LCS 8) arrives in the port of Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, July 31. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Christopher A. Veloicaza)

Indonesian Navy sailors watch as USS Montgomery (LCS 8) arrives in Surabaya, July 31. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Christopher A. Veloicaza)