The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the United States Navy (USN) have successfully conducted the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2020 Exercise from 9 to 14 December 2020. Exercise CARAT 2020 saw the participation of over 450 personnel from both countries, and involved the RSN's Endurance-class landing ship tank RSS Endurance and the USN's San Antonio-class landing platform dock USS Somerset embarked with a UH-1 Huey helicopter. There were no physical in-person interactions between the crew of both ships during the sea phase of the exercise. Personnel from both countries also conducted a series of professional sharing through video conference.
The RSN's Commander Third Flotilla Colonel (COL) Ang Jeng Kai and USN's Commander Expeditionary Strike Group 7 Rear Admiral (RADM) Fred Kacher co-officiated the closing ceremony of Ex CARAT 2020 earlier today via virtual teleconference. Commenting on the successful completion of the exercise, COL Ang said, "Our two navies have built a strong understanding over the years. I am glad that we are still able to conduct exercises together, even though the planning for Exercise CARAT 2020 had to be done virtually. The successful conduct of Exercise CARAT 2020, which included drills that required close coordination between the ships, also bears testament to the firm professional rapport we have established."
RADM Kacher said, "The professional execution of CARAT Singapore during these challenging times is a testament to the resiliency of the bond between our nations and our Navies." He further highlighted that "Singapore continues to be a trusted and valued partner with whom we share a deep commitment to the maritime security and stability of an absolutely vital part of the world."
First conducted in 1995, Exercise CARAT highlights the strong navy-to-navy relations between Singapore and the US, as well as the excellent and long-standing bilateral defence relations between both countries. Both navies also engage in a wide range of activities, including professional exchanges, cross-attendance of courses and participation in bilateral and multilateral exercises. These regular interactions have enhanced cooperation and mutual understanding between the two militaries, and deepened personal and professional ties between the personnel.