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Boxer Begins CARAT at Sea

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050720-06
Release Date: 7/20/2005 10:47:00 AM

By Photographer’s Mate Airman Paul Polach, USS Boxer Public Affairs

KEMAMAN, Malaysia (NNS) -- More than 150 Malaysian service members began the third phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) July 12 when they left Kemaman, Malaysia, aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4).

Boxer, commanded by Capt. Thomas Culora, is serving as the flagship for CARAT operations, during which Malaysian and U.S. forces will build cooperative military proficiencies.

“CARAT is not only important to the Navy, but to the nation,” said Boxer Executive Officer Cmdr. Adrian J. Jansen, “whether training to combat terrorism, provide mutual defense or humanitarian assistance relief, building a working relationship with the CARAT nations is important. CARAT helps to build a solid working relationship for any situation.”

CARAT’s general focus is on interoperability of sea services in areas such as operational planning, command and control, tactics, logistics support and maritime law.

“During CARAT, we will do a drone presentation, which will basically be giving the Malaysians an aerial target to shoot at,” said Chief Warrant Officer Douglas Park, officer in charge, Fleet Activities Okinawa Drone Detachment. “The drone is a versatile piece of equipment, which can be used to simulate virtually any aerial threat”

Okinawa’s 15-person Drone Detachment, embarked aboard Boxer, maintain and operate a BQM-74E aerial drone, along with other target technologies that will be incorporated into exercises for training.

Other exercises will include a tactical freeplay, medical evacuation exercise and a night encounter exercise. The night encounter exercise will put orange and blue forces against each other, with the orange forces attempting an amphibious landing on claimed blue force territory.

A key training opportunity during CARAT Malaysia will be an amphibious assault by a Royal Malay Regiment incorporating landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) from Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5, also embarked aboard Boxer. Also, divers from both navies will learn from each other during a combined salvage exercise.

“By participating in CARAT, it will give us a lot of valuable training for those who need it,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class William Henslee. “Also, as two military forces work together, it will build professionalism.”

CARAT, a series of bilateral exercises held annually throughout Southeast Asia, began in 1995 and is designed to to improve relations and capabilities of the participating forces through training and shared technologies. CARAT 2005 participants include Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines.


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