September 13 (UPI) – The U.S. and Royal Thai Marines conducted an annual maritime training exercise to bolster their work in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2021 a difficult year due to the health restrictions imposed to control the spread of the virus,” said Captain Anurak P, chief of staff of Frigate Squadron 2 of the Royal Thai Navy, in a virtual ceremony.
“Despite the impedances, we still manage to successfully complete the plan which shows the hard work and professionalism we have put into this exercise,” said Anurak.
The exercise demonstrated the ability of the U.S. and Thai navies to work together toward the common goal of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific maritime security environment, said Destroyer Squadron or DESRON, 7th Lt. Commander Lauren Chatmas in a statement from the US Pacific Fleet.
“The 27th edition of CARAT Thailand represents the long-standing partnership and alliance between the Thai people, the United States and like-minded allies and partners,” added Captain Tom Ogden, Commander of DESRON 7 in the communicated.
“While this exercise was non-contact with the Royal Thai Navy, the opportunity to sail our ships and operate aircraft together as a unified force had an impact and developed mutual trust and additional operational capability of our two countries. ”
The exercise included division tactics to improve communication in complex maneuvers when ships sail together, Maritime Domain Knowledge, or MDA, a follow-up exercise with military patrol aircraft and P-8A Poseidon surface ships , helicopter cross-landings and search and rescue exercises.
A virtual expert exchange showcased professional training opportunities, such as submarine search and rescue, diving operations, a symposium on women’s peace and security, MDA, anti-submarine warfare. -marine and integrated maritime patrol aircraft operations.
The at-sea phase of the exercise took place in territorial and international waters near Sattahip and Ko Samui, where the USS Green Bay and a P-8A Poseidon aircraft joined Thai ships and planes for training. ally.
Royal Thai Navy ships included the Naresuan HTMS Naresuan, HTMS Taksin and HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej class frigates.
During the virtual exchange of subject matter experts, intergovernmental staff from the European Union’s Indo-Pacific Critical Maritime Routes initiative provided subject matter expertise for the first time.
The EU CRIMARIO exchange included a brief presentation on MDA and an exchange on boarding operations on the high seas.
Exercise CARAT began in 1995 and builds on other engagements in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific region, with each annual exercise including a professional symposium and an at-sea phase to strengthen combined operations, officials said.