Coast Guard Cutter to Deploy to Asia

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Alameda-based Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau will depart Monday at approximately 2:30 p.m. to participate in the international training exercises, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) and South East Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism (SEA-CAT) 2008.

The departure of the 378-foot high endurance cutter represents the 14th time the U.S. Coast Guard has participated in these bilateral training exercises. From 1995 to 2001, the Coast Guard provided support with deployed teams to provide maritime law enforcement and search and rescue training to the host nations.

This year, CARAT will be hosted in the countries of Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The Morgenthau will be acting as the leading unit for most of the security boarding team events that include visit, board, search and seizure exercises, and legal discussions. The focus is to foster cooperation between the various nation’s naval and Coast Guard forces.

The primary Coast Guard mission is to provide maritime law enforcement and search and rescue training to the host nation forces. CARAT’s focus is on improving combat oriented operational interoperability among U.S. Naval forces and each host nation’s naval forces.

In an attempt to combat the global maritime terrorist threat and introduce a multi-lateral exercise to the region, the Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism (SEA-CAT) was created in 2002. While technically a separate exercise, SEA-CAT involves the same six countries and is conducted during the same time frame and utilizing the same U.S. assets as CARAT. The SEA-CAT exercise focuses on refining maritime security skills, which includes training related to boarding team tactics/techniques, small boat skills, boarding-at-sea and joint boarding capabilities.

This year, the 179-member crew of Morgenthau will participate in each phase of CARAT, conducting training with foreign nations and the U.S. Navy. The Coast Guard’s background in international maritime law enforcement and homeland security will be utilized during each of the training sessions. Morgenthau crewmembers will provide training in shipboard damage control, maritime law enforcement and search and rescue.

In addition to professional exchanges and training, the crew of the Morgenthau will also get an opportunity to interact socially with the various host nations.

While the Coast Guard normally performs its homeland security, maritime law enforcement and search and rescue missions close to home, the service is also called upon at times to support Department of Defense missions like CARAT.

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