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US, Bangladesh navies begin CARAT exercise

USS Defender (MCM 2) arrives in Chittagong for the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Bangladesh 2011 exercise. Photo: US Navy.

CHITTAGONG (BNS): The US and Bangladesh navies have begun the eight day Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Bangladesh 2011 at Bangladesh Navy Base Issa Khan.

For the first time Bangladesh has participated in the 17 year-old CARAT exercise series, which the US Navy conducts with navies of seven other Southeast Asian nations.

"I look at 2011 as the first of many successful years of engagement between the US and Bangladesh Navies," Rear Adm. Tom Carney, Commander, Task Force 73 and the executive agent for the exercise, said on Sunday.

Four US Navy ships and approximately 500 US personnel are participating in the exercise. The ships include the guided missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100); the frigate USS Ford (FFG 54); mine countermeasures ship USS Defender (MCM 2); and the dive and salvage rescue ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50).

Training events at sea will occur between US and Bangladesh Navy ships, and includes helicopter operations, shipboard communications and maneuvering drills, surface gunnery exercises and tactical free-play events.


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