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U.S. and Malaysian Armed Forces Strengthen Partnerships through CARAT Malaysia 2022


December 1, 2022

Kuala Lumpur, December 1, 2022 – U.S. and Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) strengthened their maritime security cooperation by participating in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Malaysia 2022, November 21-29, in Kuantan, Pahang.

This year represents the 28th anniversary of the United States holding CARAT events with allies and partners.  The training demonstrates the U.S. Navy strengthening relationships throughout South and Southeast Asia and highlights the U.S. commitment to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) partners.

“Thank you to the Royal Malaysian Navy’s hospitality and personnel who planned, coordinated, and contributed to the CARAT Malaysia 2022,” said CAPT. Walter Mainor, Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15.  “Training and continued lessons learned and developed during CARAT Malaysia provide maximum readiness and skills to respond to multi-national responses to natural, man-made disasters, and other crises in the future.  We value our long-lasting relationship with the Royal Malaysian Navy, strengthened by routine participation in bilateral and multilateral exercises that focus on shared security priorities towards security, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.”

“I am proud of our security cooperation and military partnership with Malaysia,” said U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters.  “We look forward to continuing our friendship and further enhancing our strong relations as we work towards our common goal of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

CARAT Malaysia 2022 consisted of a shore phase and an at-sea phase, which included anti-surface and anti-submarine operations, antiterrorism defensive measures, and surface warfare training.  A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft provided airborne training featuring the first LINK-16 military tactical data link network engagement between the Royal Malaysian Air Force Air Defense Squadron and a U.S. Navy P-8A since the installation of the U.S.-funded Link-16 ground stations in September 2022.  During the at-sea phase, 14 MAF officers flew on P-8A aircraft and conducted maritime domain awareness and Link-16 training with the aircraft crew.

Additionally, Naval Special Warfare’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems unit and the littoral combat ship USS Charleston conducted joint maritime security training with the Royal Malaysian Navy and Air Force, and engaged in expert exchanges on issues ranging from combatting piracy and drug trafficking to military operations scenarios.  CARAT participants also engaged in exchanges in the medical and dental fields.  Associated with CARAT Malaysia,  the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet Band performed at the East Coast Mall and other locations in Kuantan.

USS Charleston, an Independence-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy, is on a rotational deployment, operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.  The U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 70 years, providing credible, ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.