By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
Sailors assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, alongside maritime forces from eight nations, are participating in the 20th iteration of the Ukrainian-U.S. co-hosted multinational training exercise Sea Breeze 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.
“Every participant involved in the exercise is professional, efficient, and responsible,” said Lt. j. g. Hannah Hughes, a Navy pilot assigned to VP-47. “We will all acquire new skills, experience and knowledge because of Sea Breeze.”
The exercise is an annual event designed to enhance interoperability amongst participating nations and strengthen regional security. Beginning in 1997, the exercise brings Black Sea nations together to train and operate with NATO members in the pursuit of building increased capability.
“Sea Breeze serves to build a rock-solid foundation of partnership in the Black Sea,” Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, said during the opening day press conference. “Our ships, aircraft, and personnel train together unified in our goal of maritime security and stability.”
The eight nations participating in Sea Breeze 2020 are Bulgaria, Georgia, Norway, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States.
“Sea Breeze challenges us to hone our skills in real time operations,” said Lt. j. g. Joel Davis, assigned to VP-47. “The events are dynamic, requiring both operational and tactical decision making that not only furthers our own training, but improves the standing relationships with our allies.”
U.S. participation includes one P-8A Poseidon from VP-47 and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78). Total service member participation from the U.S. is approximately 400 Sailors.
VP-47 is currently assigned to commander, Task Force (CTF) 67 and is deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations. CTF 67 is composed of land-based maritime patrol aircraft that operate over the waters of the Mediterranean in anti-submarine reconnaissance, surveillance, and mining roles.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with joint, allied, and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.