Ukrainian-American Exercise Sea Breeze Begins in Black Sea

The 20th iteration of the joint Ukrainian-American multinational training exercise Sea Breeze has begun in the Black Sea.

Sea Breeze 2020 is taking place from July 20-July 26 and focuses on multiple warfare areas including maritime interdiction operations, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, damage control, and search and rescue operations.

This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the exercise will be limited to the maritime phase with the involvement of aircraft. All joint events will take place in the Black Sea with strict limitations of personnel contact. At the same time, this year’s Ukrainian-American Sea Breeze exercise, as always, promises to be multifunctional and undoubtedly very useful for its participants.

“The participation of the United States in this multinational exercise reaffirms the commitment of the US Navy and, in particular, the 6th Fleet, to our allies and NATO partners. The Sea Breeze exercise is a real demonstration of the United States’ determination to defend Europe collectively. Therefore, this exercise together with our partners will be held in the Black Sea region,” – said the Commander of the 6th Fleet of the US Navy Vice Admiral Eugene H. Black.

According to the Commander of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Rear Admiral Oleksii Neizhpapa, the core purpose of the Sea Breeze is to maintain stability and security in the Black Sea region. Therefore, the main task for the maritime component of the exercise is to perform operations aimed at ensuring peace and security in the crisis region in line with Alliance standards.

According to the plan of the National Navy Command, one of the training tools of the Sea Breeze series, which they will utilize as effectively as possible, is the transition of the Ukrainian Navy to NATO standards. In other words, during the exercise, ship-boat tactical groups of the Ukrainian Navy must acquire the necessary level of interoperability, combat and operational capabilities to act in accord with Allied ships.

It is expected that in the process of training at sea, the ships of the participating countries will carry out joint tactical manoeuvres, train in the organization of communications, minesweeping, and transfer of cargo on the move. The crews of ships and boats will work out the issues of interaction with tactical and naval aviation, will conduct a series of exercises on anti-aircraft, anti-ship, and anti-boat defence at the sea crossing, and will work on the tasks of interception and inspection of the offending vessel. In addition, they will perform tasks to strengthen the protection and defence of important marine infrastructure and maritime economic complex.

An important test for military sailors will be the combat exercises of artillery fire on sea and air targets, as well as exercises to fight for survival and rescue the crew of a ship in distress at sea.

The international exercise will last seven days. The exercise will include the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class missile destroyer USS Porter and P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft, as well as NATO permanent naval group ships that have already arrived in the Black Sea.

In total, it is planned to involve in Sea Breeze 2020 about 2,000 servicemen and women from nine countries, more than 20 ships, as well as aircraft, helicopters, etc. In addition to Ukraine and the United States, the military from Bulgaria, Georgia, Norway, France, Romania, Spain and Turkey will take part in the exercise.




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