Military personnel from Malaysia and the U.S. Naval forces conduct Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Malaysia 2022, Nov. 18-30.

Representing the U.S. Navy are the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), a P-8A maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, staff from Commander, Task Force (CTF) 71, CTF 72, CTF 73, CTF 75, CTF 76, and U.S. 7th Fleet Band. These units will integrate with 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and the Royal Malaysian Navy.

CARAT Malaysia 2022 highlights the 28th anniversary of CARAT among Allies and partners. CARAT demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s long-term commitment to strengthened relationships throughout South and Southeast Asia, and highlights U.S. commitment to key 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, commodore, commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15. “Training and continued lessons learned 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 regional security, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.”

CARAT Malaysia features anti-submarine, air and surface warfare training, coupled with medical, dental, antiterrorism defensive measures and additional events to demonstrate interoperability.

“Charleston is eager to work side by side with our gracious Royal Malaysian Navy hosts to conduct operations at sea,” said Cmdr. Clay Beas, commanding officer of Charleston. “CARAT Malaysia is an excellent opportunity for our navies to learn best practices from each other and to focus on our shared belief that freedom of the seas is in the best interest of our nations.”

Charleston, part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, 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.

As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed destroyer squadron in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7’s Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements.

Under Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet in the world, and with the help of a network of alliances and partners from 35 other maritime-nations, 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.