By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trey Fowler
Exercise Sea Breeze 2021 kicked off following opening ceremonies in Odesa and Oleshky Sands, Ukraine, June 28, 2021.
Sea Breeze, now in its 21st iteration, will run through July 10 and is designed to enhance interoperability among participating nations and strengthen regional security in the Black Sea by focusing on a variety of security and stability scenarios in the areas of land, sea and air.
“Today, we have up to 30 countries from all over the globe, participating and observing an exercise, that for over two decades has demonstrated a growing cooperation between nations, and a shared commitment to peace and stability in the Black Sea Region,” said Capt. Kyle Gantt, deputy commodore, Commander Task Force 65. “Exercise Sea Breeze 2021 is all about a Global Partnership for Peace and you can see that when you look around this room seeing all the different uniforms and flags.”
Ukraine and U.S. are cohosting the exercise in the Black Sea with participation and support coming from NATO allies and partners from around the globe.
“We bring together 5,000 troops, 30 ships, 40 aircraft and 18 special operations and dive teams that will work for the next two weeks alongside other nations from around the world in Ukraine and the Black Sea,” said Gantt. “This exercise is clear demonstration of our joint resolve and shared commitment to promoting a peaceful and stable Europe.”
Some of the training areas where in Ukraine and throughout the Black Sea and included maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special forces training, anti-submarine warfare, damage control tactics, search and rescue, amphibious warfare, and diving and salvage operations.
U.S. participation includes the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71), a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, U.S. Marines from 2D Marine Division and 2ND Marine Logistics Group, Navy Underwater Construction Team UCT-1B, and members of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and U.S. Sixth Fleet staff.
Exercise Sea Breeze is a multinational maritime exercise cohosted by U.S. Sixth Fleet and the Ukrainian Navy in the Black Sea since 1997. Sea Breeze 2021 is designed to enhance interoperability of participating nations and strengthen maritime security and peace within the region.
U.S. Sixth 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.