CARAT 2012 exercises begin in Sattahip

Friday, 25 May 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 21 By  Patcharapol Panrak

Thai and American naval forces again are shooting up the skies near Sattahip as the annual CARAT exercise gets underway.

Rear Adm. Paithoon Prasopsin, commander of the Royal Thai Navy’s Frigate Squadron 2, and Rear Adm. Thomas F. Carney, commander of the U.S. Logistics Group for the Western Pacific, kicked off the games at the Sattahip Naval Base. The exercise is scheduled to conclude May 25.

Rear Adm. Paithoon Prasopsin, commander of the Royal Thai Navy’s Frigate Squadron 2, and Rear Adm. Thomas F. Carney, commander of the U.S. Logistics Group for the Western Pacific address the troops at the beginning of the exercises. Rear Adm. Paithoon Prasopsin, commander of the Royal Thai Navy’s Frigate Squadron 2, and Rear Adm. Thomas F. Carney, commander of the U.S. Logistics Group for the Western Pacific address the troops at the beginning of the exercises.

Rear Adm. Supong Sirisonthi, deputy commander of the base, said that the Combat Afloat Readiness and Training games give Thailand the chance to exchange information and expertise with their counterparts in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The exercise focused on increasing experience levels for gunships, amphibious attack units and focus on marine security and target practice in Thai territorial waters.

Paithoon added that CARAT this year also would focus on use of unmanned aerial vehicles and mobile medical services training.

CARAT, held for 18th year, employed five U.S. ships and nine Thai vessels. “Special Forces Missions” were created, using sailors, divers, staff from the Thai Naval Ordinance Department. A total of eight aircraft and 2,500 personnel took part.

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