Sea Breeze 2020 international exercises kick off in the Black Sea
On Monday, July 20, the international naval exercises Sea Breeze 2020 started off the coast of Odesa in the Black Sea.
The commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, said that in addition to Ukrainian forces, the maneuvers will involve sailors from the United States, Bulgaria, Georgia, Spain, Turkey, Norway and Romania.
He noted, however, that the length of the exercises had been reduced to one week due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to Neizhpapa, the main goal of the exercises is ensuring international maritime security operations in the crisis area.
During the exercises, the ships of the participating countries will conduct joint tactical maneuvers, train on the organization of communications, mine clearing, transfer of cargo during the ship movement. The sailors will perform artillery firing at sea and air targets and also practice survivability and rescue the crew of a ship in distress at sea.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Porter and the U.S. Navy's P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft, as well as Standing NATO Maritime Group ships will take part in the exercises. In total more than 20 ships and aircraft will be involved in the maneuvers.
On July 15, NATO ships entered the Black Sea to participate in a joint exercise with Ukraine and Bulgaria.