Indonesian, US navies hold joint military drill

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Indonesian navy and US navy commenced a joint military drill program held in Indonesia's East Java province, aimed at improving ties and military operation professionalism between the two navies, local media reported on Wednesday.

The 8-day joint drill operation, called "Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2012" (CARAT), beginning from Wednesday is held on waters off East Java province's coast cities of Surabaya and Situbondo.

U.S. navy dispatched 830 mariners and three navy vessels called USS Germantown (LSD-42), USS Vandegrift (FFG-48) and USCG Waesche in the annual program.

Meanwhile Indonesian navy engaged three vessels KRI Diponegoro- 365, KRI Banjarmasin-592 and KRI Sutedi Senoputra-378, several helicopters and navy surveillance planes. The navy also deployed some 1,244 mariners in the program, the Antara news service reported.

According to Indonesian Navy's Eastern Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Agung Pramono, this year the mariners and navy ship crews will undertakes several exercises, among others Medical Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE), SMEE intelligence operation, SMEE Engineering and symposium aimed at honing up the navy's operational skills.

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