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Combined Beach Assault the Pinnacle of CARAT Brunei 2010

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100508-08

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Michael Ard, Combined Task Group73.1 Public Affairs

BINTURAN, Brunei (NNS) -- Approximately 140 U.S. Marines and Royal Brunei Landing Force infantrymen simultaneously landed on Binturan Beach in a combined live-fire air/land/sea landing, the pinnacle event of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei 2010.

"Training side by side increases the operational readiness between Royal Brunei military forces and the United States Navy and Marine Corps," said Capt. Richard L. Clemmons, commodore of Combined Task Group 73.1. "This is the outcome of a 16-year relationship between our forces; cooperation and working together in many areas of shared security concerns. This is what CARAT provides, the chance to build relationships and trust in each other's abilities."

Approximately 80 Marines and 30 Royal Brunei Landing Forces attacked the beach from Landing Craft Units (LCU) dispatched from the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) with additional RBLF soldiers arriving by air support. Simulated artillery rounds exploded near the beach, giving arriving forces a taste of realism as they fought their way to their objectives.

"This is the first time I've trained beside the Royal Brunei Land Forces," said Equipment Operator 2nd Class (SCW) Brian Krause, part of the LCU landing team. "From the time we dropped the ramp until the last infantryman stepped off was less than five minutes. It was one of the smoothest operations I've ever taken part in. Very quick and safe."

After the RBLF and Marines were directed off the LCUs by the landing team, they took cover before storming the beach. Additional RBLF members were inserted into the assault area by the air by the Royal Brunei Air Force, which provided simulated air cover. Moving from the beach to their objective included small-arms live-fire exercises for both countries' forces.

"This is my second year to participate in CARAT," said Staff. Sgt. Ken Fall, company gunnery sergeant for Alpha Co., 2d Bn. 24th Marine Regiment, who is also range safety officer for the amphibious assault. "I've been looking forward to it since last year, and this year we seem to be doing more detailed training. The Royal Brunei Land Forces are some of the most professional soldiers I've worked with."

CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises, now in its 16th year, held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance force readiness.

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