The U.S. Navy and Sri Lankan Marine Corps including Airforce and Navy will commence a joint military exercise in Colombo from Jan.19 to 26.
The US embassy said the CARAT/MAREX Sri Lanka is a bilateral exercise between Sri Lanka and the United States designed to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships, and enhance maritime interoperability. This is the fifth CARAT/ MAREX exercise between the United States and Sri Lanka, and this year includes participants from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Maldives National Defence Force. Training exchanges will occur in Colombo and on the Sri Lanka Navy bases in Trincomalee and Mullikullam.
“The United States, in our 75th year of bilateral relations with Sri Lanka, is proud to partner with the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force for this training. These yearly exercises are an important opportunity for training to prepare for disaster relief and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific. We are grateful for the invitation to host the exercise together,” said U.S. Ambassador Julie Chung regarding the upcoming exercise.
The week-long exercise is designed to enhance U.S. and partner navies’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and build relationships through sports, cultural, and information exchanges. In addition to training for humanitarian disaster relief and lifesaving training, U.S. and Sri Lankan servicemembers will participate in a Women, Peace and Security roundtable with the Ambassador Chung. During the exercise, the 7th Fleet Navy band, in partnership with the Sri Lankan Navy band, will give a series of free performances in Colombo.