CARAT is entering its twenty-third year, and Sri Lanka is among the newest CARAT partner nations, demonstrating a shared commitment to maritime security in the Indian Ocean.CARAT Sri Lanka 2017 is part of a series of bilateral CARAT military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Thailand. U.S. Navy assets participating CARAT Sri Lanka 2017 include Commander, Task Group 75.5, Coastal Riverine Group 1, Underwater Construction Team 2 and U.S. Marines with Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific. Robert Hilton, Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, noted that, “as the Government of Sri Lanka continues to make progress on reconciliation, justice, and human rights, cooperation between our militaries will continue to grow to include further opportunities like this.” The week-long exercise enhances maritime security skills and operational cohesiveness among participating forces. CARAT training encompasses small boat operations, evidence collection, diving procedures, and anti-terrorism security. It also builds relationships between military participants through community development projects, sports, and social events. The US Navy and Marines and Sri Lankan Navy and Marines launched the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in Trincomalee, the US Embassy in Colombo said today.“The U.S. Navy is pleased to add Sri Lanka to our list of CARAT partners in 2017 as part of our larger efforts to expand both bilateral and multilateral maritime security engagement across the Indo-Pacific region,” said Commodore Robert Baughman, Commander, Task Force-75.