S'pore, US armed forces begin 11-day joint exercise

S'pore, US armed forces begin 11-day joint exercise
US 7th Fleet Vice-Admiral Robert L. Thomas (left) and Rear-Admiral Timothy Lo shaking hands at the Exercise Carat’s opening ceremony.

About 1,400 soldiers and several battleships and aircraft from the Singapore Armed Forces and the United States Navy and Marine Corps began an 11-day joint exercise yesterday.

The 20th annual Singapore-US Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) exercise aims to sharpen conventional maritime warfare capabilities such as anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine operations.

It also aims to enhance cooperation between Singapore and US armed forces.

Republic of Singapore Navy Fleet commander Timothy Lo and the commander of the US 7th Fleet, Vice-Admiral Robert L. Thomas, were both at the opening ceremony at Changi Naval Base yesterday morning.

This year's exercise will, for the first time, involve the US Navy's P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft.

The P-8A is among the aircraft used by the international coalition involved in attempts to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing somewhere over in the Indian Ocean in March.

The US Navy's fleet of P-8A, first deployed last November, shows the US' "commitment to the Pacific rebalance", it has said.

Rear-Admiral Lo, in his opening address, said: "Carat Singapore has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1995.

"Today, it features an array of serials spanning all dimensions of maritime warfare, maritime security, force integration and base defence." Said Vice-Admiral Thomas: "As a key part of our longstanding navy-to-navy partnership, Carat stands out as our premier bilateral exercise.

"It remains a credible platform to address shared maritime security challenges and enhance practical cooperation across the spectrum of naval operations."


This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
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