Taking part in the sea phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise 2023, SLNS Gajabahu and SLNS Samudura of the Sri Lanka Navy and ‘USS Anchorage’ of the U.S. Navy successfully conducted a series of naval exercises off Negombo on 22nd and 23rd January 2023.

Pre-sail conference on the sea phase of CARAT – 2023 was held on board ‘USS Anchorage’ on 20th January, with the partition stakeholders of the exercise. The Commanding Officers of ships taking part in the exercise, pilots assigned to ‘USS Anchorage’ and from the Sri Lanka Air Force exchanged views on the objectives and goals of the exercise, scenario to be used, rules of engagement and communication protocols, during the pre-sail conference.

The exercises conducted in the sea phase mainly focused on Divisional Tactics (DIVTACs), Visit Board Search & Seizure (VBSS) Operations, Replenishment at Sea (RAS), Overhead Reconnaissance Exercises and Gunnery Exercises (GUNEX).

Apart from that, ship borne helicopters of ‘USS Anchorage’ successfully carried out embarkation and disembarkation of men and material on helo decks of ships and Helicopter Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (HVBSS) exercises with the ships engaged in the sea phase.

The theoretical and practical knowledge and experience exchanged through this nature of exercises will help the Sri Lankan Navy to collectively overcome common challenges in the ocean region in the future. Besides, it will also help Sri Lanka Navy to nurture a stable ocean region by eliminating various forms of illegal activities, including drug trafficking, in the island waters.