SINGAPORE – The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, aboard the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, completed Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT)/Marine Exercise (MAREX) Singapore 2023 in Singapore, Jan. 13.
CARAT/MAREX Singapore was conducted ashore at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base (CNB), and in the waters off Pulau Sudong, Jan. 9-13.
The exercise consisted of planning a bilateral ship-to-shore movement, a reception aboard the USS Makin Island, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Singapore, wargaming an amphibious assault using a simulation trainer, conducting the ship-to-shore movement with one of our landing craft utility and two of the Republic of Singapore Navy’s fast craft utility, and some friendly competition with a sports day.
“CARAT Singapore, a bilateral exercise between Singapore and the United States designed to promote regional security and cooperation, is one of the ways we demonstrate our shared commitment,” said Rear Adm. Mark Melson, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific/Task Force 73. “We do that by maintaining a strong mil-to-mil bilateral relationship, one that is rooted in a shared vision of operating in a rules-based international order.”
The main event was the planning and execution of the bilateral amphibious landing on Sudong Island. One LCU from the USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) and two FCU’s from an Endurance-class landing ship tank RSS Endurance (207) conducted a simultaneous landing, projecting the joint force ashore. Throughout the planning and execution for the amphibious landing, techniques, tactics and procedures were exchanged on how the partner forces conduct ship-to-shore movements.
Prior to the execution of the amphibious landing, the RSN conducted a simulated, bilateral amphibious assault, using their Naval Tactical Trainer. The NTT enables the RSN to rehearse amphibious landings prior to execution. This event further enhanced maritime cooperation between the partner forces and increased mutual understanding of bilateral amphibious capabilities.
“One of my favorite things about CARAT/MAREX Singapore was the relationships we developed,” said Col Samuel L. Meyer, commanding officer, 13th MEU. “Singapore feels like a second home after the warm welcome from the Singapore Armed Forces and people of Singapore. We cherish the bonds we’ve made and look forward to the next opportunity to work together.” Through events like sports day, where friendships were formed over dodgeball, tug-of-war, and obstacle courses, Marines and Sailors of the MKI ARG/13th MEU and Singaporean service members made lasting memories from the exercise.
CARAT/MAREX Singapore is a bilateral exercise between Singapore and the United States designed to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships, and enhance maritime cooperation. In its 28th year, the CARAT series is comprised of multinational exercises, designed to enhance U.S. and partner navies’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is embarked on the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and amphibious transport dock ships USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) and USS Anchorage (LPD 23), and operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.