2016 military exercises that involve warships from the United States and other countries are beginning in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, in the Odessa and Nikolayev regions of Ukraine on Monday. According to the press service of the Ukrainian Navy command, this year the manoeuvers’ “geography has been significantly expanded”.
“More than 25 ships, boats and support vessels from Ukraine, the United States, Turkey and Romania have been put to sea. In addition to the aviation component, the range of operations of the onshore component – a multinational task force – will be expanded, compared to previous years”, Navy Acting First Deputy Commander Roman Gladky said.
Marines and special forces of Ukraine, the United States, Moldova and Georgia will take part in the “stabilization actions during an operation in a crisis region according to NATO standards” on the base of a multiservice troops training center in the Nikolayev region, as well as in the south of the Odessa region.
The manoeuvers that will last until 30 July include drilling combat sea landing and airborne assault operations, anti-landing defense artillery drills, negotiating water obstacles with the assistance of engineer units, special actions to ensure maritime sector security and assault landing air support. The Getman Sagaidachny frigate and Koretz tugboat will take part in the maneuvers from Ukraine.
Last year, the Sea Breeze manoeuvers were held the period from August 31 to September 12. They involved up to 2,500 troops, including about 1,000 Ukrainian troops (up to 9 ships, 8 planes and helicopters, 50 combat vehicles). The number of US personnel was some 1,000 soldiers (up to five ships, two submarines, eight planes and helicopters, 40 combat vehicles).