USS Montgomery at Sea for First International Exercise Since LCS Deployments Restarted

August 5, 2019 10:12 AM
Indonesian Navy sailors watch as the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) arrives in the port of Tanjung Perak as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2019 on July 31, 2019. US Navy Photo

A Littoral Combat Ship operating in the Pacific is participating in its first international exercise since the LCS program reorganized and rebooted its deployments to Singapore.

USS Montgomery (LCS-8) is at sea for the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2019, which kicked off Aug. 1 off Surabaya in the Java Sea.

The exercise pairs the Independence-variant LCS with American Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4) and Legend-class Coast Guard cutter USCGC Stratton (WMSL 752), as well as Indonesian Corvette Class Frigate KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda, Fatahillah Class Frigate KRI Nala and Fast Attack Craft KRI Sampari.

Additionally, an American P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, Mobile Dive and Salvage Unit 1, special operations forces from both countries and other personnel were involved.

Lt. Cmdr. Sean Riordan, a spokesman for the Navy’s Logistics Group Western Pacific and Task Force 73, told USNI News that Montgomery, which deployed with the LCS surface warfare mission package, would be fully integrated into the operation and contributing to maintaining maritime domain awareness.

“USS Montgomery, along with USNS Fall River and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, are training hull-to-hull with the Indonesian Navy during the sea phase. Events include formation ship-handling, replenishments-at-sea, gunnery exercises and [visit, board, search and seizure],” he said.
“A P-8 from VP-5 will work with Montgomery, as well as the other ships and aircraft, and a combined U.S.-Indonesian watchfloor to support maritime domain awareness.”

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, right, commander, Task Force 73, and Indonesian Navy First Adm. Ahmadi Heri Purwono, chief of staff, Indonesian Navy 2nd Fleet, speak to exercise participants and media members on Aug. 1 during the opening ceremony for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2019. US Navy photo.

The exercise began Aug. 1 with tabletop discussions and subject matter expert exchanges, Riordan said, and then moved into the at-sea phase.

Aside from Montgomery’s participation, the CARAT Indonesia event includes mobile dive and salvage training, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) drills, jungle warfare training and subject matter expert knowledge exchanges in maritime domain awareness, medicine, aviation, law, and explosive ordnance disposal, according to a news release.

“We’re proud to continue sailing alongside our important partner and friends” Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, the commander of Task Force 73, said in the news release.
“This year marks 70 years of U.S.-Indonesian diplomatic relations and the silver anniversary of CARAT – 25 years of dedicated commitment – between our navies to address our shared maritime concerns.”

Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is the former deputy editor for USNI News.

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