By U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
Naval and political leaders from countries participating in exercise Sea Breeze 2020 dialed into a virtual Distinguished Visitor (DV) day on July 24, 2020, to discuss this year’s iteration and future exercises.
Participating leaders included:
- Chargé d'Affaires Kristina Kvien, U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Ukraine
- U.S. Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet
- French Vice Adm. Didier Piaton, deputy commander, NATO Maritime Command
- Turkish Vice Adm. Ercüment Tatlioğlu, Turkish Fleet Forces Commander
- Ukrainian Rear Adm. Oleksii Neizhpapa, commander, Ukrainian Naval Forces
- Romanian Rear Adm. Mihai Panait, commander, Romanian Naval Forces
- Bulgarian Naval Staff Representatives
- Spanish Rear Adm. Manuel Aguirre Aldereguia, commander, Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO
- Georgian Capt. Ramaz Papidze, director of the Georgian Coast Guard
- Capt. Joseph Gagliano, commander, Task Force 65
“The display of professionals from eight nations, 26 ships, 19 aircraft, and 2,000 service members during Sea Breeze really is a tangible demonstration of our readiness and resolve,” said Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, during the DV day. “I am confident that Sea Breeze 2020 has improved the capability of all participating elements; it has demonstrated our commitment to Ukraine's territorial sovereignty, and it has built cohesion across the Black Sea region.”
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.
“The value of our partnerships doesn't stop at Sea Breeze,” said Black in closing. “Our partnerships matter on the world's oceans. And our partnerships matter when it comes to responding to challenges that threaten security and stability on those oceans.”
The eight nations participating in Sea Breeze 2020 are Bulgaria, Georgia, Norway, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States. The exercise is scheduled to conclude on July 26, 2020.
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.
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.