In the midst of reservist now, and a little maxed out from all the writing.
The most exciting news to come out from the news stands is the start of Exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) between the United States Navy (USN) and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), which marks the 20th year of cooperation between the two navies. The exercise involves the Arleigh Burke class Flight IIA 5″/62 variant destroyers, USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Halsey (DDG 97). USS Halsey, named after the famed WWII Pacific Admiral William F Halsey, and USS Meyer are part of Destroyer Squadron 7 also known as DESRON 7. Participating sea forces in this series includes;
USS Halsey (DDG 97)
USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108)
USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204)
Unknown Los Angeles Class- Attack Submarine.
Formidable Class Frigate: RSS Stalwart, RSS Formidable- First Flotilla 185 Squadron
Victory Class Corvette: RSS Victory, RSS Vigor- First Flotilla 188 Squadron
Fearless Class Patrol Vessel- Maritime Security Task Force
Unnamed Submarine (Archer Class?) – 171 Squadron
From the skies, the USN is for the first time supported by a P-8A Poseidon from VP-5 “Mad Foxes”, which was spotted at Paya Lebar airbase following the Thai Gripen’s arrival yesterday. Also organic to the destroyers are MH-60R Seahawks. RSAF and RSN military officials will watch closely on the performance and capability of the Poseidon, which is one of the next-generation maritime patrol platform available in the market. The RSAF will muster their Fokker 50 MPA of 121 Squadron and S-70B Seahawk from 123 Squadron, the latter will operate organic from the frigate.
The amongst the CARAT nations, which are Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Timor-Leste, the RSN has one of the more advanced and established ASuW capabilities, and the crew of the LA-class sub will be keen to pit their skills against the Seahawks from both navies and sonar operators from the Formidable-class frigate. Similarly, USN will be keen to exercise their sub hunting skills against a AIP-equipped submarine, which only the RSN operates amongst the CARAT nations. This exercise will also have a strong focus on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) where the RSN frigates and Seahawks will conduct live firing of its Whitehead torpedoes against a simulated target.
Update: The RSN’s RSS Stalwart and her Seahawk helicopter, together with USN MH-60R has completed a live firing of their torpedoes against a simulated target in South China Sea. Pictures from RSN
Since its mid-life upgrade, the Victory-class corvette has its sub-hunting features removed, and it will be interesting to see how they will be made relevant in the ASW portion of CARAT.
I will continue to update this post as more of CARAT unfolds.