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Bilateral Training in Brunei Preps Forces for Global Humanitarian Ops

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090811-01
Release Date: 8/11/2009 3:35:00 PM

By Lt. Ed Early, Commander, Task Group 73.5 Public Affairs

MUARA, Brunei (NNS) -- From disaster relief to maritime security, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei 2009 provided the armed forces of Brunei and the United States with a week's worth of invaluable training and cooperation.

"What is most important is that the positive relationship and understanding between our armed forces which has developed these last few days through this exercise will continue to flourish well beyond today," said Col. Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Rosli, joint forces commander, Royal Brunei Armed Forces, during the CARAT closing ceremony Aug. 10 aboard dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49).

Rear Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific, congratulated participants from Brunei and the United States for a job well done.

"I think this year's CARAT exercise was one of our best ever," said Tyson, "because the tailored training addressed realistic scenarios that our militaries have faced in recent years and are quite likely to face again in the future."

During CARAT Brunei, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard combined for seven days of exercises on land, at sea and in the air, providing both countries' armed forces the opportunity to exchange knowledge and expand and sharpen maritime security through shared training, equipment and manpower.

The highlight of CARAT Brunei was a combined humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exercise Aug. 6.

During the exercise, Royal Brunei Land Forces (RBLF) and U.S. Marines from the 24th Marine Regiment conducted a search-and-rescue operation following simulated storms and landslides. Marines and RBLF soldiers evacuated the "injured" to the Harpers Ferry using U.S. Navy helicopters.

"This year, Exercise CARAT focused more on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises, with search and rescue at sea, conducted as a joint operation," said Dato. "Although new to some, HADR presented a real challenge that helped increase the armed forces' cooperative efforts."

The underway phase saw Task Group 73.5 – consisting of Harpers Ferry, the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) and the guided-missile frigate USS Crommelin (FFG 37) – engage in maneuvering exercises with the Royal Brunei Navy patrol vessels KDB Waspada and KDB Pejuang.

Crommelin also served as a training platform for visit, board, search and seizure exercises carried out ashore and at sea by RBN Sailors and a Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team from Miami.

A P-3C Orion patrol aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 45, based in Jacksonville, Fla., participated in the HADR exercise, flying a simulated search-and-rescue mission with observers from the Royal Brunei Air Force.

In addition, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1, operating from the rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50), engaged in valuable dive familiarization training with their counterparts from the RBN.

Approximately 1,600 U.S. personnel are taking part in CARAT 2009. Task Group 73.5, the U.S. Navy task group for CARAT, is under the command of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31.

For more news from Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, visit

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