CARAT Bangladesh 2021 concludes, reinforces shared commitment to regional security

CHATTOGRAM, Bangladesh - As part of the 27th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) series, CARAT Bangladesh 2021 concluded Dec. 9, following nine days of virtual, in-person and at-sea engagements that enhanced collaboration between the Bangladesh Navy and U.S. Navy and focused on shared maritime security challenges of the region. U.S. assets participating in CARAT Bangladesh included the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS 16) and embarked MH-60S Seahawk helicopter of Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) Squadron 21. U.S. personnel included staff from Commander Task Force (CTF) 72, CTF 75, CTF 76, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, U.S. 7th Fleet Band and U.S. Embassy Dhaka. The exercise focused on the full spectrum of naval capabilities and featured cooperative evolutions that highlight the ability of Bangladesh and the U.S. to work together towards the common goal of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. “As maritime nations with a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, we used CARAT to contribute to regional maritime security by enhancing our ability to work side-by-side at sea as well as in the planning process,” said Capt. Tom Ogden, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7.

The at-sea phase took place in the Bay of Bengal, where U.S. Navy assets were joined by ships and aircraft from the Bangladesh Navy for partnered training focused on building interoperability and strengthening relationships. The exercise featured complex at-sea training to demonstrate the bilateral force’s ability to work together through numerous events including divisional tactics designed to practice maneuvering as ships sail together in complex formations. Other focus areas included surface warfare, replenishment-at-sea, search and rescue, a gunnery exercise, and exchanges between Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians.