2013 CARAT exercise sweeps through Sattahip

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Thai and American naval forces again blasted it out near Sattahip in the annual CARAT joint military exercise.

Rear Adm. Paithoon Prasopsin, commander of the Royal Thai Navy’s Frigate Squadron 2, and Rear Adm. William C. McQuilkin, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, kicked off the war games at the Sattahip Naval Base.

Four ships from the South Korean command and 1,300 U.S. sailors and marines joined 2,200 Thai forces for the June 3-12 Combat Afloat Readiness and Training exercise.

Rear Adm. William C. McQuilkin (left), commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, and Rear Adm. Paithoon Prasopsin (right), commander of the Royal Thai Navy’s Frigate Squadron 2, salute the troops during the opening ceremonies for CARAT 2013.Rear Adm. William C. McQuilkin (left), commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, and Rear Adm. Paithoon Prasopsin (right), commander of the Royal Thai Navy’s Frigate Squadron 2, salute the troops during the opening ceremonies for CARAT 2013.

Officials said CARAT gives Thailand the chance to exchange information and expertise with their counterparts in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The exercise focuses on increasing experience levels for gunships, amphibious attack units and focus on marine security and target practice in Thai territorial waters.

The influx of U.S. sailors was expected to add 200 million baht to the local economy.