Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Successful Conclusion of 2024 Mini CARAT Exercise Strengthens US-Sri Lanka Naval Cooperation

April 28, Colombo (LNW): The Mini Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) bilateral exercise for 2024, involving the United States Pacific Fleet and the Sri Lanka Navy, wrapped up triumphantly on April 26th. Beginning on April 22nd, Mini CARAT–2024 unfolded across various strategic locations including Marine Headquarters, Special Boat Squadron Headquarters, Naval Dockyard, and Upparu in Trincomalee, with additional segments hosted at the Lighthouse Galley in Colombo.

The closing ceremony, held at the Marines Headquarters in Sampoor, was graced by Commander Sean Jin from the Office of Defence Cooperation at the U.S. embassy in Colombo, and Captain Upul Samarakoon, Acting Director of the Sri Lanka Navy Marines. The exchange of mementoes underscored the significance of this collaborative endeavor.

Throughout the Force Protection exercises within CARAT, operations encompassed a spectrum of tasks from hostage rescue and managing arrested individuals to tracking, weapon proficiency, and even demonstrations on native Sri Lankan flora and fauna, including snake handling. Furthermore, exercises involving Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), and live firing drills were conducted.

In parallel to the main exercises, a seminar focusing on Women, Peace, and Security took place at the Lighthouse Galley in Colombo. This important event saw the participation of Mrs. Mala Lamahewa, President of the Navy Sava Vanitha Unit, adding a valuable dimension to the discussions.

The Sri Lanka Navy anticipates significant benefits from the exchange of knowledge, skills, and experiences garnered during these exercises. This collective learning is poised to bolster the Navy’s capabilities in addressing common maritime challenges within the region, further solidifying bilateral naval cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka.

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