The Sea Breeze 2018 international drills with the participation of the US Navy will start today, 9 July, in Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, as well as in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.
Servicemen from 19 countries - Bulgaria, Great Britain, Italy, Greece, Georgia, Denmark, Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, Norway, the UK, Romania, Poland, the USA, Turkey, Sweden, India, the United Arab Emirates and Moldova - will take part in the exercise, the press centre of the Navy Command told UNIAN.
"The topic of the exercise is the planning and implementation of a multinational maritime security operation in a crisis region. The person in charge of the exercise on behalf of Ukraine is Deputy Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Navy, Oleksiy Neyizhpapa, and on the American side, Commander of Task Force 65 of the US Navy's 6th Fleet, Commodore Matthew J. Lehman," the press centre said.
Ukraine will be represented by about three dozen ships, boats (not only of the Navy, but also coast guards), aviation, and a 1,500-strong force.
In addition to the Ukrainian Navy and the 6th US Fleet, ships, submarines and units of NATO Allies and members of the Partnership for Peace program will participate in the maneuvers.
"One of the main tasks of the exercises is to work out control of the forces of sea, air and land components directly from the sea. On board the USS Mount Whitney out in the sea, the naval headquarters of the Ukrainian Navy will be stationed in order to gain practical experience in planning and managing operations under NATO standards," Ukraine Navy notes.As reported earlier, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter DDG78 had arrived in Odesa to take part in the Sea Breeze-2018 multinational exercise. On 7 July, the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), which will host the joint headquarters during the drills, entered the Black Sea as well. The Sea Breeze international exercises have been held annually since 1997.