US Military Drills During Sri Lanka Easter Bombings
Tue, May 14, 2019 | link
US-Sri Lanka week long joint military exercises began on April 19 with the arrival of the USS Spruance and USNS Millinocket
in Hambantota port south of Colombo.
The Cooperation Afloat and Readiness Training (CARAT) drills were opened by Commander
Task Force 73 as part of a series between the USMC, US Navy and Sri Lankan armed forces. Exercises focused on an onshore phase
of anti-terror interdictions, explosive ordnance disposal and live gunnery practice; culminating with search & rescue
scenarios. The USNS Millinocket lent support to disaster relief, humanitarian efforts and lifesaving training.
second phase, joint countries' naval personnel conducted underwater diving sessions and small boat maneuvers. Community welfare
outreach also included sports and social activities. US Navy Seabees assisted Sri Lankan civil engineers in renovations of
adjacent structures, including a nearby elementary school.
US 7th Fleet's Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7 conduct
advance planning, organize resources and directly head the Pacific Partnership which is the largest annual humanitarian assistance
and disaster relief preparedness mission in the Southeast Asia-Indo Pacific region.
Though the exercises were terminated
2 days early due to the Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka, US troops were prepositioned to help, and US military officials
remained to assist afterwards.