Large NATO-Ukraine Naval Drills Under Way in Black Sea

2500 servicemen participating, including 1,000 Americans and 1,000 Ukrainians

Mon, Sep 7, 2015 | 933 Comments
Held on most years since 1997

MOSCOW, September 3 (TASS) - The multinational naval drills Sea Breeze 2015 began on Monday in the Odessa and Nikolayev regions of Ukraine and in the north-western part of the Black Sea.

The current Sea Breeze 2015 exercise will be the largest in its history. The drills will involve up to 2,500 military from various countries. The Ukrainian army’s participating force will comprise 1,000 troops, 9 ships, 8 planes and helicopters, up to 50 wheeled vehicles and about 10 patrol boats from the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service.

The US forces will be represented by up to 1,000 troops with weapons and military equipment, 5 warships, 2 submarines, 6 planes and helicopters and 40 wheeled vehicles.

In addition, other NATO member states and countries participants in the Partnership for Peace Program will send to the manoeuvres up to 500 troops with weapons and military equipment, 6 ships, 3 submarines, 6 planes and helicopters and 10 wheeled vehicles.

"The drills will be conducted in the Black Sea area and ranges of the Ukrainian armed forces, as well as the military airfields Shkolny (Odessa), Kulbakino (Nikolayev), Chernobayevka (Kherson), landing areas of the Tendrovskaya spit (Ochakov) and the Pervomaisky Island, Odessa international airport, Odessa commercial seaport, Yuzhny commercial seaport and the military port of Ochakov (Nikolayev region," the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said.

#SeaBreeze 2015, an annual multinational #drill in #BlackSea, co-hosted by #US & #Ukraine https://t.co/rwv5OsHNvy pic.twitter.com/8LjMmdbe9B

— Velina Tchakarova (@vtchakarova)
September 1, 2015

The US Naval Forces Europe-Africa, US 6th Fleet Command reported that "Maritime forces from 11 maritime nations will begin the US-Ukraine co-hosted multinational maritime exercise Sea Breeze 2015 in Odessa, Ukraine, and the Black Sea, Aug. 31. Sea Breeze, now in its 14th iteration, is an annual exercise held in the Black Sea which seeks to enhance interoperability and strengthen regional security."

According to NATO sources, participating nations include Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The at-sea phase will focus on maritime interdiction operations as a primary means to enhance maritime security.

Specific skill sets tested in the at-sea phase will include maritime interdiction operations, anti-submarine warfare, and self-defense against small boat attacks. Other warfare areas to be tested include air defense, damage control, search and rescue, and other tactical maneuvers.