The arrival of four U.S. Navy ships and several aircraft at various ports marks the beginning of 18th Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2012.
CARAT is a series of bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the Armed Forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Additionally, Vietnam participates in a CARAT-like skills exchange. The commander overseeing the exercise for the US Navy is Rear Admiral Thomas Carney who joined Vice Admiral Surachai, Fleet Chief of Staff for the Royal Thai Navy at the opening ceremony at Sattahip Navy Base.
The Thai phase of the nine-day exercise which began, not only strengthens relationships between theUS Navy’s and Thai but also ensures battle readiness for both sides.