| Aziz Idris |
USS Rodney M Davis, a US Navy frigate (FFG 60) which will be decommissioned in early 2015, is currently at the Muara Commercial Port to participate in the last Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT).
The Commanding Officer of the ship, Commander Todd Whalen expressed his enthusiasm to local media yesterday on the joint military exercise and revealed that the ships’ 200 crew will conduct training afloat and ashore with their Brunei Navy counterparts to enhance interoperability and build maritime partnerships.
Rodney M Davis has been on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility since August in support of maritime security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region as well as various other operations in the Western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea.
Rodney M Davis has also worked with foreign Navy throughout the patrol. In August, the ship participated in a 50-ship parade of sail in Sail Raja Ampat, Indonesia. More recently, the ship performed Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure training with the Maldives National Defence Force and manoeuvring exercises with the Indonesian Navy.
During CARAT in Brunei, sailors from Rodney M Davis will participate in training events afloat and ashore. In Muara Port, the ship will meet with sailors from RBN to conduct training in medical practices, aviation maintenance, damage control techniques, and other areas. At sea, Rodney M Davis and the RBN will conduct flight operations, boarding, and live gunnery exercises, said the Commanding officer.
Commander Todd Whalen further said, “Rodney M Davis has a rich history of close integration with our partners in the Asia-Pacific region. My crew and I worked with several previous joint and multi-national exercises. We are excited to visit Brunei and build our communication and interaction, foster closer relationships and make new friends.”
The 20-decade old ship is equipped with a combat system which includes air and surface radar, integrated anti-submarine e warfare, fire control and electronic warfare system and also aircraft capability to carry SH-60B helicopter.
The frigate was named after Sergeant Rodney M Davis, a Vietnam War hero who saved his fellow marines while fighting North Vietnamese force in Quang Nam Province by throwing himself upon a grenade.
This selfless act earned him the highest military decoration in the United States – the Medal of Honour.
CARAT is part of an annual bilateral exercise series with the US Navy and the armed forces of nine partner nations including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.