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US and SL Naval Forces to conduct CARAT 2024 Exercise in Trincomalee

April 22, Colombo (LNW): The United States Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and Sri Lanka Navy are set to collaborate in the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka 2024 exercise, scheduled to take place from April 22-26 in Trincomalee.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, CARAT Sri Lanka will witness the participation of the U.S. Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST) alongside their Sri Lanka Navy Marine counterparts.

This exercise aims to enhance naval capabilities through joint training sessions covering various aspects of maritime security and anti-terrorism operations.

A key highlight of CARAT Sri Lanka 2024 is the Women, Peace, and Security Symposium scheduled for April 24, emphasising the crucial role of women in peacekeeping efforts and conflict resolution.

Approximately 70 U.S. personnel will collaborate with their Sri Lankan military counterparts during this bilateral maritime exercise, showcasing the strong partnership between the United States and Sri Lanka in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung emphasised the significance of CARAT, describing it as the most substantial bilateral military engagement between the two nations since Sri Lanka’s participation began in 2017.

She highlighted the exercise’s role in nurturing partnerships, promoting cooperation, and enhancing maritime capabilities to address security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, expressed the value of participating in exercises like CARAT, citing the opportunity for operational training and collaboration with a well-equipped navy like the U.S. Navy.

He emphasised the importance of such joint exercises in fostering freedom of navigation and upholding maritime order.

Anthony Nelson, Senior Defense Official at the U.S. Embassy, praised the collaborative spirit underlying CARAT, emphasising its role in building lasting friendships and mutual understanding between the U.S. and Sri Lanka.

CARAT, initiated in 1995, celebrates its 30th anniversary and aims to enhance operational collaboration between the United States and partner navies in addressing maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

Beyond military cooperation, CARAT fosters relationships through sports, cultural exchanges, and information sharing.

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