Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training or CARAT is scheduled to be held on June 26 to June 29 between US and PH naval troops near the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea.
“There is nothing to worry about. This has nothing to do with Philippine-China dispute or the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea,” Lieutenant Junior Grade Rommel Rodriguez, Philippine Fleet spokesman said as reported.
“Both our navies have conducted CARAT activities in different areas in the Philippines. The CARAT exercise in 2009 was in Cebu, 2010 in Subic, 2011 in Palawan, 2012 was held in Mindanao, in 2013 and 2014 back in Subic,” the fleet spokesperson said.
CARAT is an annual bilateral military exercises conducted by United States Pacific Fleet with different Southeast Asian countries including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The training aims to enhance regional cooperation, build friendships, and strengthen professional skills of both navies.
CARAT Philippines 2014 is the 20th installment of the said training. US will be sending USS Halsey, USNS Ashland and USNS Safeguard and for Philippines the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, BRP Emilio Jacinto, two Augusta helis, and one Islander.