According to a press release issued by the US embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday, the exercise demonstrates U.S.’s continuing commitment to work with the Bangladesh military to address shared maritime security concerns in the region and strengthen partnership to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Speaking during the online inaugural programme, Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, Commander Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 of US said that they will continue to operate with and learn from the Bangladesh Navy. He further said that the US navy stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Bangladesh in its commitment to a free and open maritime commons.
Presiding over the opening ceremony, Commander, Bangladesh Navy Fleet Rear Adm. M Mahbub-Ul Islam said that CARAT has become a unique forum to work with US Navy. He said that mutual cooperation and partnership is essential to make the maritime domain safe.
Historically, the CARAT exercises involve people to people interactions and a variety of professional exchanges. These will take place online this year due to the COVID 19 pandemic, said the press release.
The sea-phase of the exercise will take place in the Bay of Bengal with ships from both countries. The events are designed to enhance interoperability between the two navies. U.S. and Bangladesh will work through coordinated deployment of surface ships, to include tactical maneuvers among other activities.
The press release asserted that CARAT 2020 underscores the shared vision of US and Bangladesh for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and secure Indo-Pacific region.
By Rajesh Jha