Monday, September 19, 2011

Bangladesh, US Navies Join CARAT Exercise in Bay of Bengal

Dhaka: The navies of Bangladesh and the United States began a joint exercise yesterday in the Bay of Bengal near Chittagong under the name of "Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Bangladesh 2011", or CARAT.

The exercise involves eight days of maritime safety and security exercises in this first ever CARAT exercise with Bangladesh, said press release from the US embassy in Dhaka.

There are four US Navy ships and approximately 500 US personnel participating in the exercise. The ships include a guided missile destroyer, a frigate, a mine countermeasures ship, and a dive and salvage rescue ship.

The exercise formally began at BNS Issa Khan, marking the first time Bangladesh has participated in the 17-year-old CARAT exercise series.

The at-sea phase of CARAT focuses on developing maritime security capabilities in areas such as maritime interdiction, information sharing, combined operations at sea, patrol operations and gunnery exercises, plus anti-piracy and anti-smuggling exercises, stated the press release.

The US Navy conducts CARAT exercises with navies of seven Southeast Asian nations, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

CARAT Bangladesh 2011 combines training events both onshore and at sea, with onshore events focused on dive training, riverine warfare, ship boarding training, and medical and community service projects.

The training events include helicopter operations, shipboard communications, maneuvering drills, surface gunnery exercises, and tactical free play.
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