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U.S. and Sri Lanka Navy to Conduct CARAT Exercise 2024 in Trincomalee

The United States Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and Sri Lanka Navy will collaborate for the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka 2024 exercise from April 22-26 in Trincomalee.

CARAT Sri Lanka will showcase the expertise of the U.S. Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST), a specialized U.S. Marine Corps unit in security and anti-terrorism for naval assets. They will engage alongside their Sri Lanka Navy Marine counterparts on a full spectrum of naval capabilities, stated the US Embassy in Colombo.

The CARAT Sri Lanka exercise will feature a Women, Peace, and Security Symposium on April 24 to highlight the crucial roles women play in peace negotiations, conflict management, and resolution. With about 70 U.S. personnel collaborating with their Sri Lanka military partners, this fifth iteration of the CARAT Sri Lanka bilateral maritime exercise underscores the strong partnership and shared commitment of the United States and Sri Lanka to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung stressed the significance of the exercise, stating, “Since Sri Lanka began participating in CARAT in 2017, it has grown to become the most significant bilateral military engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka, reflecting our shared commitment to the peace and stability of the Indian Ocean Region.”

Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, highlighted the importance of such exercises, stating, “Taking part in exercises of this nature enables the Sri Lanka Navy to gain confidence, experience, and operational training by working alongside an experienced and well-equipped navy like the U.S. Navy.”

Senior Defense Official at the U.S. Embassy Anthony Nelson praised the collaborative spirit of the upcoming CARAT exercise, emphasizing its significance in building lasting friendships and mutual understanding between the U.S. and Sri Lanka.

Initiated in 1995, CARAT is a series of bilateral and multilateral exercises between the United States and several partner nations in the Indo-Pacific region, aimed at enhancing operational collaboration and building relationships to address maritime security challenges.


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