By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
Sailors assigned to Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1 participated in a media day focusing on dive mission capabilities during exercise Sea Breeze 2019 (SB19) in Odesa, Ukraine, July 2.
The event gave 47 media representatives the opportunity to see and meet with divers from several nations participating in SB19. Nations present at the event included the United States, Ukraine, Latvia, Romania and the United Kingdom.
“We had a great time planning Sea Breeze 19 with Capt. Nesterov, the lead Ukrainian diver, and our other Black Sea Partners for Peace,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Silas Wallace, Mobility Troop Commander for Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 8 and officer in charge of U.S. Navy divers at SB19. “And now that we are here and working together, everyone is learning a lot and enjoying the chance to become better friends with our allies.”
During the training, one U.S. Navy diver and one Ukrainian navy diver participated in a simulated scenario involving an unconscious diver in the water. Trainings like this improve the interoperability between the U.S. and partner nations by exchanging best practices.
“Today’s events went extremely smoothly,” said Construction Mechanic 1st Class Ian Lemarbre, dive supervisor for the event. “It’s important for the U.S. divers to be here at Sea Breeze with the Ukrainian divers so we can showcase our capabilities and help enhance their capabilities. Today, they showed great promise and a lot of potential, and we are looking forward to participating in future Sea Breeze exercises with Ukrainian divers.”
Ukraine and U.S. are cohosting the exercise in the Black Sea with participation and support coming from 17 other countries to include: Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
U.S. participation includes the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64), the expeditionary fast-transport ship USNS Yuma (T-EPF 8), a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, U.S. Marines from Marine Rotational Force-Europe; Navy Underwater Construction Team UCT-1B, and members of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and U.S. 6th Fleet staff.
U.S. 6th Fleet conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, to advance U.S. national interests, security and stability in Europe and Africa.