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Harpers Ferry Sails Off for CARAT 2007

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070514-13
Release Date: 5/14/2007 3:57:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mark R. Alvarez, USS Harpers Ferry Public Affairs

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- Dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) left its forward-deployed home of Sasebo on May 11 to participate in the annual exercise series Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2007.

CARAT is a sequence of bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei. Each phase of the exercise is designed to enhance the interoperability between the U.S. Navy and its Southeast Asian counterparts.

In addition to CARAT’s military operations, Harpers Ferry will take part in numerous community friendship building events as well as medical/dental projects.

“CARAT is going to be a great opportunity for Harpers Ferry in a number of ways,” said Harpers Ferry Commanding Officer Cmdr. David L. Bossert. “Our Sailors are looking forward to training with foreign navies and show[ing] the world that we can work together, if need be, to accomplish any mission that may arise. We will also be fostering new relationships with our Southeast Asian counterparts through various community friendship endeavors making this underway very rewarding on a personal level.”

Harpers Ferry participated in CARAT 2005, so for some Harpers Ferry Sailors, CARAT is very fresh in their minds. But for many of the junior Sailors in the deck department, as well as other departments, this is an interesting first-time opportunity.

“I can’t wait to get underway,” said Seaman Jacob P. Dieckmann, of 2nd division. “In deck department, we will be handling a lot of evolutions and working with other countries up close and personal. I’m looking forward to getting the job done.”

Harpers Ferry is en route to meet up with USS Jarrett (FFG 33), USS Ford (FFG 54), and to embark the commander of Destroyer Group 1 to become the flagship of this year’s CARAT series. After the completion of CARAT, the task group will participate in Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism.

Harpers Ferry is part of the Navy’s forward-deployed amphibious force serving under Task Force 76. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, with an operating detachment in Sasebo.

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