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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh, US navies begin joint exercise in Chittagong

Update : 30 Sep 2015, 06:50 PM

The five-day joint exercise of Bangladesh Navy and US Navy titled the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) 2015 began in Chittagong Naval Area yesterday.

The US Navy Logistics Group Western Pacific Commander Rear Admiral Charles Williams, also the commander of task force 73, inaugurated the exercise at the School of Maritime Warfare and Tactics in Chittagong Naval Area’s BNS Isha Khan.

He said both countries would be benefited by such exercise while the continuation of such activities would also assist personnel from both countries to review their previous training sessions.

“Besides, navy personnel of the two countries can gain technological and warfare knowledge through this exercise. The US Navy always helps the navies of the developed countries to address their local problems.”

Chittagong Naval Area Commander Rear Admiral Akhter Habib, who was the special guest at the inaugural session, said the main objectives of the exercise were to enhance regional cooperation, build friendship and strengthen professional skills between the navies of Bangladesh and the US.

Commodore Commanding BN Flotilla Commodore M Khaled Iqbal presided over the programme.

The two-phase exercise - Shore phase from September 29 to October 4 and Sea Exercise phase from yesterday to October 2 - would end on October 4.

US navy ships USNS Fort Worth and USNS Safeguard with an organic helicopter MH 60R, P 3C MPA and Special Forces Units are taking part in the exercise while Bangladesh navy ships BNS Bangabandhu, BNS Somudra Joy, BNS Abu Bakar, BNS Bijoy, BNS Dhaleshawary, BNS Shah Jalal and BNS Khadem, Maritime Patrol Aircraft and special force SWADS are also participating.

The joint exercise in the Bay of Bengal includes a number of bilateral exercises and training packages, search and rescue operations at sea, disaster management, emergency medical treatment, appropriate implementation of military law and special training on maritime patrol aircraft and helicopter operations.

The Carat series has been regularly conducted among the US Navy and the armed forces of nine partner nations in South Asia and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Bangladesh, which is taking part in the exercise since 2011 and continues to make steady progress each year, stands out as the only South Asian nation in the Carat series, speakers said at a press briefing after the inaugural ceremony. 

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