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PIA Press Release

Zambo hosts CARAT '07

Zamboanga City (4 June) -- The Philippine Navy (PN) and the US Navy (USN) formally opened the 2007 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Exercise (CARAT) yesterday at the Headquarters Naval Forces Western Mindanao Officers Club.

CARAT is a bilateral naval exercise held annually, which is designed to enhance interoperability and to exchange knowledge and skills needed for engaging threat of terrorism and transnational crimes at sea.

PN-USN CARAT Exercise 2007 is a combined naval tactical operations exercise involving Fleet Forces of the Philippines and the United States. This exercise is one of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT)-related activities approved by the RP-US Mutual Defense Board (MDB) for implementation this year.

CARAT is a model of how navies can cooperate and work together to address issues of shared concern in each other's countries. Each exercise is design to enhance the ability of our nations to work either in maritime situations that range from natural disasters to maritime interception of criminals and terrorists.

The exercises include a tactical scenario where the U.S. and the Philippine navies will operate together in teams, focusing on improving communication and information sharing. Examples of other skill areas that the navies will practice are amphibious operations, diving and salvage.

Three ships, three PN Islander, a PN chopper and NAVSOG team from the PN will see action with their US counterparts during the CARAT Exercise. The Phil Coast Guard will also participate in this year's CARAT.

The exercises also focus on relationship building through social and community service events such as providing free medical, dental and veterinary care in host communities. The U.S and the Philippine Armed Forces will also visit schools and community centers to donate school supplies, food, books, sporting equipment and toys.

CARAT is being conducted in various training sites in Zamboanga City and Basilan from May 31 to June 9, 2007. (PIA Zamboanga) [top]

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