Daily Mirror - Print Edition

United States and SL Navy collaborate in CARAT 2024 exercise in Trincomalee

22 Apr 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

The United States Navy, U.S. Marine  Corps, and Sri Lanka Navy will partner for the Cooperation Afloat  Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka 2024 exercise. CARAT Sri Lanka  will feature the expertise of the U.S. Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security  Team (FAST), a U.S. Marine Corps unit specialized in security and  anti-terrorism for naval assets, engaging alongside their Sri Lanka Navy  Marine counterparts on a full spectrum of naval capabilities. The CARAT  Sri Lanka exercise includes a Women, Peace, and Security Symposium on  April 24 to promote the vital roles women play in peace negotiations,  conflict management, and resolution.  With approximately 70 U.S.  personnel working with their Sri Lanka military partners, this fifth  iteration of the CARAT Sri Lanka bilateral maritime exercise underscores  the strong partnership and shared commitment of the United States and  Sri Lanka to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.  

U.S.  Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung emphasized the significance of the  exercise: “Since Sri Lanka began participating in CARAT in 2017, it has  grown to become the most significant bilateral military engagement  between the United States and Sri Lanka, reflecting our shared  commitment to the peace and stability of the Indian Ocean Region. 
The  Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera stated  that: “Taking part in exercises of this nature enables the Sri Lanka  Navy to gain confidence, experience and operational training by working  alongside an experienced and well-equipped navy like the U.S. Navy. This  can be particularly valuable in situations where the Sri Lanka Navy is  required to engage with multiple array of navies for combined operations  in the establishment of freedom of navigation and rules-based order in  the ocean region, as well as responding to traditional and  non-traditional threats in the maritime domain.”
Senior Defence  Official at the U.S. Embassy Anthony Nelson praised the collaborative  people-to-people spirit that the upcoming CARAT exercise exemplifies:  “The aim of CARAT is to enhance the ability of our navies to defend our  own nations and uphold the international standards that serve our mutual  interests. But it’s not just about honing our naval capabilities; CARAT  Sri Lanka 2024 stands as a powerful symbol of our partnership, building  lasting friendships and mutual understanding by working shoulder to  shoulder with our Sri Lankan counterparts.” 
Initiated in 1995,  CARAT is a series of bilateral and multilateral exercises between the  United States and Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia,  Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.  Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this exercise series is designed to  enhance the operational collaboration between the U.S. and partner  navies’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and  non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region  and build relationships through sports, cultural, and information  exchanges.