Rimba Air Base, Brunei - Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, Commander Task Force 73, along with members from the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF), flew a Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopter during maritime exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2019 at Rimba Air Base, Brunei, October 22.

The flight marks the second time Rear Adm. Tynch has piloted an RBAirF Black Hawk helicopter, further strengthening the close partnership between the U.S. and Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and mutual commitment to the CARAT exercise series. With the U.S.-Brunei relationship entering its fourth decade, the U.S. and RBAF have participated in the CARAT exercises for 25 years.

“In a time of crisis, we can surge equipment and we can surge aircraft, but what we can’t surge - is trust,” said Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander Logistics Group Western Pacific. “During exercises like CARAT, we continue to develop, strengthen and build trust.”

Tynch, a career H-60 pilot, flew alongside Royal Brunei Air Force Lt. Col. Muhammad Walee Bin Haji Roslie, with whom he flew with during last year’s iteration of CARAT Brunei. The flight consisted of simulated tactical maneuvers and combat landing practice in a remote jungle environment.

“I flew with the Royal Brunei Air Force squadron just as I did last year, because I absolutely trust the professionalism and expertise of the Royal Brunei Air Force,” said Tynch. “It was breath-taking to see the beauty of Brunei, from an altitude that few can experience.”

“It has been a privilege to work side-by-side with the Brunei Air Force for this year’s 25th anniversary of CARAT Brunei,” said Lt. John Kipper, air operations officer for Destroyer Squadron 7 and lead exercise planner. “Working with the Brunei Armed Forces is always a great experience and it was the highlight of the exercise coordinating to have Rear Adm. Tynch, one of our most senior helicopter aviators, airborne to strengthen the partnership.”

The U.S. and Royal Brunei Navy continue to participate in a growing number of bilateral and multilateral maritime exercises including this year’s 18th annual Southeast Asia Cooperation Training (SEACAT). In August, the U.S. and Brunei Armed Forces held their first-ever army exercise in an effort to expand military engagements between both partner nations.

CARAT builds upon other engagements in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands including Pacific Partnership, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission, Maritime Training Activity Malaysia, Maritime Training Activity Philippines, Pacific Griffin with Singapore and Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), which involves nearly a dozen partner nations. These engagements bring like-minded naval forces together routinely based on shared values and maritime security interests.

As U.S. 7th Fleet's executive agent for theater security cooperation in South and Southeast Asia, Commander, Task Force 73 and Destroyer Squadron 7 conduct advanced planning, organize resources, and directly support the execution of CARAT and other engagements in the region.