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Exercise Sea Breeze 2018 Begins
The 18th iteration of exercise Sea Breeze kicked-off following opening ceremonies in Odessa and Shiroky Lan training range, Ukraine, July 9, 2018.
Sea Breeze is designed to enhance interoperability among participating nations and strengthen regional security by focusing on a variety of warfare areas.
“This annual multinational maritime exercise has enhanced our interoperability and capabilities among participating forces,” said Capt. Matthew Lehman, commodore of Task Force 65. “The exercise seeks to build combined capability and capacity to ensure regional security and foster trust among participating nations.”
Some of the training areas include maritime interdiction operations, air defense, antisubmarine warfare, damage control tactics, search and rescue and amphibious warfare.
“This year’s Sea Breeze is the first time we will take the staff to sea and embark the U.S. 6th Fleet flag ship, USS Mount Whitney,” said Lehman. “We will be operating our flag ship alongside our NATO allies and partner nations in the Black Sea. The maritime portion will incorporate all warfare areas to continue to build on last year’s successes while pushing the exercise to become more advanced to adhere to the ever-changing operational environment.”
U.S. participation includes the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20); the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78); a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 10; Marines from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment; Navy Underwater Construction Team 1 divers; and members of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and U.S. 6th Fleet staff.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security and stability in Europe and Africa.