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Sri Lanka, U.S. counterparts continue relationship building in preparation for CARAT 19

Sri Lanka, U.S. counterparts continue relationship building in preparation for CARAT 19

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Mark Alvarez

Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 and 15 Sri Lankan Navy Sailors participated in a three-day dive training evolution at Naval Base Guam, February 19-21, 2019.

The training was in preparation for exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka 19.

“This exercise benefits us a lot,” said Sri Lankan Navy Capt. Varuny Ferdinandusz. “We have learned about new equipment and safety precautions. It will help us in the future when we buy similar equipment.”

During the training, Sri Lankan divers gained firsthand experience with the advanced diving equipment and safety procedures they will be using during CARAT 19. (Pictured: Rabideau Andre, left, a U.S. Navy safety diver assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1, and Sri Lanka Navy Capt. Varuny Ferdinandusz prepare to submerge during training, in preparation for exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka 19 in February 2019.)

“It was really important for us to get the Sri Lankan divers out here because it gave us the opportunity to give them a refresher course on the dive equipment,” said Chief Navy Diver Kevin Chinn. “Safety is a major concern when it comes to diving, and having the ability to train to safety makes all the difference in the world.”

While in Guam, the Sri Lankans participated in classroom instruction, physical training and team-building events to help strengthen team cohesion.

“This really helps build those partner relations with our counterparts in the Western Pacific,” Chinn said. “That is one of the biggest challenges because if we are not doing it, someone else will.”

CARAT is an annual series of bilateral military exercises between the United States and Southeast Asia nations designed to boost cooperation and interoperability.

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