05, June 2012
CARAT 2012 (Co - operation Afloat Readiness and Training) is another co-exercise between US Navy and alliance in Southeast Asia started by US Navy in 1995. CARAT focuses on sea operations exercise which makes it different from other co-exercise between Thai and US. This year Commander Logistics Group Pacific and CTF73 participate in CARAT2012 along side the Royal Thai Navy. CARAT exercises are separate into 2 main phases, ground and sea phase. There is also big change in schedule when HADR is included. HADR (Humanity Assistance and Disaster Relief) becomes one of the key exercises since many parts of the world are now effected or at risk of less predictable disaster, include Southeast Asia. HADR aims to increase readiness among both sides in order to adapt to the situation and provide necessary relieves in time when need.
The heart of CARAT 2012 also lies in sea. Sea phase is the most important part since CARAT focuses on sea operation. Not only combat situation simulation, but both Royal Thai Navy and US Navy also practice resupplying, diving and aircraft landing operation. The Royal Thai Navy vessels participate in CARAT2012 sea phase are HTMS Chaophaya, HTMS Saiburi, HTMS Longlom and supply vessel HTMS Similan and the vessels from US Navy are USS LASSEN, USS GERMANTOWN, USS WAESCHE, USNS WASHINGTON CHAMBERS and USNS SAFEGUARD. CARAT sea phase will increase capability of both countries' combat readiness to deal with illegal activities, terrorism, pirate or even sea rescue operation.