BRUNEI – Marines and Sailors from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed their participation in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei, Oct. 20.
The exercise’s main purpose was to promote integration between the United States Marine Corps and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF).
Marines and Sailors with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 11th MEU, focused on small-unit training by conducting urban operations and jungle warfare training at the Penanjong Garrison. The training exercised ARG/MEU’s amphibious capability and allowed U.S. Marines and Sailors to exchange knowledge, skills and information with RBAF to enhance individual and team capacity. The ARG/MEU safely conducted combined training, enhanced bilateral interoperability, and reassured partner-nation relations with the RBAF. The ARG/MEU is now better postured for follow-on operations and potential crises.
“We came ashore in Brunei to increase our interoperability and promote cooperation with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces,” said Maj. Victor Garcia, the commanding officer of India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 11th MEU. “By focusing our training on integrating with the RBAF down to the lowest levels, our Marines were able to benefit from one-on-one interactions with an important regional partner.”
CARAT, the U.S. Navy's oldest and longest continually-running regional exercise in South and Southeast Asia, strengthens partnerships between regional navies and enhances maritime security cooperation throughout the Indo-Pacific. The ARG/MEU’s two-week training was the first stage in a larger partnership exercise in Brunei.
“Our participation in CARAT Brunei afforded us training and subject matter expert exchanges with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces across a wide spectrum of operations,” said Cmdr. Janice Pollard, the commanding officer of the Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49). “We successfully launched our Marines from the well-deck of the ship and conducted land based training while also participating in partnership building activities such as ship tours and sporting events with local residents.”
The Boxer ARG/11th MEU is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations. The ARG/MEU departed their home port of San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment on May 1, and entered the U.S. 7th Fleet on Sept. 22 after roughly two months deployed to Central Command’s area of operations.
For additional information contact the 11th MEU Communication Strategy and Operations Officer, Capt. Jim Stenger at email@example.com or Lt. Andrew Bertucci, Amphibious Squadron FIVE Public Affairs Officer, at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org.