Singapore and US navies launch joint sea drills

SINGAPORE - The Singapore and United State navies launched a joint maritime warfare exercise on Monday.

A total of 1,400 soldiers and several ships, submarines, helicopters, and aircrafts from the Republic of Singapore Navy and United States Navy will be participating in the exercise, which will be held from July 13 to 24.

The 21st Singapore-US Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) exercise focuses on honing conventional maritime warfare capabilities such as anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine operations, as well as maritime air and base defence operations.

Republic of Singapore Navy Fleet Commander Lew Chuen Hong and the United States Navy Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific Charles Williams were both at the opening ceremony at Changi Naval Base on Monday morning.

For the first time, both navies will employ their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle systems for conventional maritime warfare operations as part of the exercise.

In his opening address, Rear-Admiral Lew said the joint exercise has provided both navies with "invaluable training and enhanced interoperability".

"I believe that it is this close friendship and deep mutual understanding that form the basis of trust."

Rear-Admiral Williams added that the exercise provides both navies with a complex and dynamic training environment and continues to enhance the capabilities of both navies.

"This marks the 21st year that our armed forces have come together for Exercise Carat and our enhanced military partnership today reflects the maturity of this relationship."