Indonesia and US Join for CARAT Exercise

Indonesian and US Maines 13th MEU pose CARAT 2018
Indonesian and US Maines 13th MEU pose CARAT 2018.

Indonesian and United States military forces commenced their joint exercise CARAT 2022 on 7 December. According to the US Embassy “CARAT Indonesia is a bilateral exercise between Indonesia and the United States designed to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen the partnerships, and enhance interoperability.”

This year the focus is on the conduct of littoral operations. It includes participation by US Naval and Marine Corps units of the Makin Island Task Force with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and Indonesia’s Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL), Korps Marinir Repuiblik (KORMAR), plus Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU) (Air Force). The exercise will last through 21 December 2022.

The exercise which is conducted in three phases aims toward practicing interoperability, honing capabilities, and strengthening relationships:

  • The first phase consists of classroom based exchange of information and share experiences in domain self-awareness and intelligence, unmanned aerial systems, public affairs, diving and underwater construction, force protection, legal, and medical.
  • Phase two applies these skills and knowledge in practical applications. This includes standing up a bi-lateral command and control center that will provide exercise control of of actual combat forces of both countries in Phase three.
  • In the last phase units of both county’s forces will conduct amphibious operations including beach landings and subsequent maneuver ashore, as well as, supporting air and naval operations.
Indonesian (KOMAR) and US Marines on joint patrol during CARAT Exercise
Indonesian (KOMAR) and US Marines on joint patrol during CARAT Exercise.

Rear Adm. Rachmad Jayadi, deputy commander of TNI-AL Education and Training Doctrine Development Command shared of CARAT , “Numerous bilateral meetings and exercises have been executed with high levels of performance in order to enhance strategic mutual understanding.”

CARAT Indonesia is but one of a series of CARAT Exercises which have been conducted with various Indo-Pacific militaries. The 2022 exercises are the twenty-eighth year in which these have occurred. CARAT exercises were first organized in 1995 and have since been executed with Thailand. Brunei, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka; all members of ASEAN regional organization.

The CARAT exercise has taken on increased importance with concerns over potential encroachment and expanding influence by China into the region.

by Stephen W. Miller