SURABAYA – The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps began exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2022 on December 7 with the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) and Marine Corps (KORMAR RI) in Surabaya. Lasting through December 21, the CARAT Indonesia joint, bilateral maritime exercise will take place both onshore in Surabaya and in the Java Sea.
The exercise commenced with an opening ceremony attended by Rear Admiral Rachmad Jayadi, deputy commander of TNI-AL Education and Training Doctrine Development Command, and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Joaquin J. Martinez de Pinillos, vice commander of U.S. 7th Fleet.
“The purpose of CARAT is to make each of our navies more capable of both defending our own nations and defending the international norms that both of our governments consider in our national interests,” said Rear Admiral Martinez.
This year’s iteration of CARAT Indonesia will focus largely on amphibious operations with an onshore bilateral command and control center made up of Indonesian and U.S. service members. U.S. support for the amphibious operations include the Makin Island Amphibious Squadron with embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
“The 28th year of the CARAT series exercise shows the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” said Capt. Tony Chavez, commanding officer of USS Makin Island, one of the ships participating in the exercises. “We share maritime security priorities with Indonesia and will continue to share knowledge, skills, and information to enhance interoperability and promote regional security cooperation.”
The exercise will feature three distinct phases over the next two weeks. Phase one will primarily take place in the classroom setting, with a series of subject matter expert exchanges. These will include topics such as maritime domain awareness and intelligence, unmanned aircraft systems, band, public affairs, diving and underwater construction, force protection, legal, and medical.
Phase two will include practical application of the information shared in classroom exchanges, as well as standing up the bilateral command and control center. In phase three, the bilateral command and control center will provide control over the at-sea and beach landing operations by the participating Indonesian and U.S. forces.
“Our navies have been maintaining a strong bilateral relationship over decades,” said Rear Admiral Jayadi. “Numerous bilateral meetings and exercises have been executed with high level performances in order to enhance strategic mutual understanding.”
CARAT Indonesia is a bilateral exercise between Indonesia and the United States designed to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships, and enhance maritime interoperability. In its 28th year, the CARAT series is comprised of multinational exercises, designed to enhance U.S. and partner navies’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
U.S. Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and the 13th MEU are trained to operate in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) will also participate in CARAT 2022.