Exercise Sea Breeze 2018 Kicks Off in Ukraine

The 18th iteration of exercise Sea Breeze kicked off following opening ceremonies in Odessa and Shiroky Lan training range, Ukraine, July 9. Sea Breeze is designed to enhance interoperability among participating nations and strengthen regional security by focusing on a variety of warfare areas, officials said. “This annual multinational maritime exercise has enhanced our interoperability and capabilities among participating forces,” said Navy Capt. Matthew Lehman, commodore of Task Force 65. “The exercise seeks to build combined capability and capacity to ensure regional security and foster trust among participating nations.” Some…

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The Black Sea region: a critical intersection

What is happening in and around the Black Sea and how does it affect NATO? The Black Sea region is of crucial significance for Europe, being a major crossroads and critical intersection of east-west and south-north corridors. Many experts believe that whoever controls or dominates the Black Sea can easily project power to the European continent, mainly in the Balkans and Central Europe, but also in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as the South Caucasus and the northern Middle East. Russian special forces troops in unmarked uniforms stand guard at…

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NATO Ships Complete Romanian Naval Exercise

Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) completed annual Romanian multinational exercise Sea Shield 2018 today in the Black Sea. The NATO Group includes flagship Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan, Spanish frigate SPS Victoria, Bulgarian frigate BGS Drazki, Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand and Turkish frigate TCG Gimlik and joined ships, submarines, aircraft and soldiers from Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and the United States to conduct the exercise off the coast of Romania in the Black Sea. The exercise participants enhanced interoperability by practicing NATO standard procedures for defence against aircraft,…

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USS Carney Exits the Black Sea

USS Carney (DDG 64) departed the Black Sea, March 3, after conducting maritime security operations, enhancing regional maritime stability, and strengthening combined readiness and naval capability among NATO allies and partners. Carney entered the Black Sea, Feb. 17. The ship’s crew visited Varna, Bulgaria, Feb. 18-22, for a scheduled port visit to strengthen ties and demonstrate the mutual trust and respect between the U.S. and Bulgaria. While in Varna, members of the crew hosted a luncheon for the Bulgarian chief of naval operations and experienced the city’s historical and cultural…

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SNMG2 Exercises with Bulgarian Navy

Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) conducted a Passing Exercise with the Bulgarian Navy earlier this month in the Black Sea to increase interoperability and practice tactics and procedures. Exercises such as this, are part of the specific measures for a strengthened NATO maritime presence in the region. NATO is increasing the regularity of its patrols in the Black Sea region as part of a larger reinforcement for the collective defence of Allies referred to as tailored Forward Presence (tFP). SNMG2, consisting of flagship Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS…

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Frigate Admiral Essen, patrol ships Pytlivy and Smetlivy carry out exercises in Black Sea

In accordance with the combat training plan, the frigate Admiral Essen as well as the patrol ships Smetlivy and Pytlivy is carrying out tasks in the Black Sea Fleet naval training zones. After their departure from Sevastopol, the ships navigated a complex of ship exercises practicing joint actions in various orders, maneuvers and signal communications regimes. Later on, the ships started to perform tasks in various ranges in accordance with the training course of single ships of the Navy. After these tasks, the crews are to carry out a joint…

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USS Carney Joins Ross in the Black Sea

USS Carney (DDG 64) joined USS Ross (DDG 71) in the Black Sea to conduct maritime security operations Feb. 17, 2018. A second U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea is part of an operational schedule that helps sustain the U.S. Navy’s operational presence in the region. These naval activities will be conducted in accordance with international law, including the 1936 Montreux Convention which regulates maritime traffic through the Dardanelles and Bosphorus international straits. “Our decision to have two ships simultaneously operate in the Black Sea is proactive, not reactive,”…

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AS-28 underwater vehicle trains in Black Sea

The crew of the AS-28 underwater vehicle carried by the search-and-rescue vehicle Kommuna has undergone an obligatory course to confirm the personnel’s rescue skills. The trainings took place at the training station where the personnel improved its skills using inflatable rescue boats and exit through the torpedo tube. Following the result of the passed training year, the AS-28 crew has accomplished all scheduled events of the combat training. These also included search actions and real leaving of a mock submarine in distress resting on the bottom.

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USS James E. Williams Exits Black Sea

USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) exited the Black Sea December 9th. While in the Black Sea, James E. Williams pulled in to Odessa, Ukraine, Nov. 29, for a scheduled port visit. Sailors took liberty and explored the city of Odessa. “I had a really fun time in Odessa,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Meaghan Moore, from Baltimore. “There was a lot to do, and it was great to have an opportunity to see a culture that not many people get to experience.” Following the ship’s departure from Odessa, James…

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USS Porter Conducts Replenishment-at-Sea with Turkish Navy

While Porter usually resupplies through United States Naval Ships, the RAS allowed Porter to work with Turkey, a NATO ally in the region, increasing interoperability and strengthening international ties. “It’s important to continue to work with our allies in the Black Sea and develop these evolutions of mutual support for each other,” said Cmdr. John Tobin, commanding officer of Porter. “If we practice a replenishment-at-sea whenever we’re able to, we only strengthen our interoperability for future operations.” “Porter and TCG YB. Kudret’s replenishment in the Black Sea demonstrates the professionalism…

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USS Porter Departs Black Sea

February 13, 2017 – Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departed the Black Sea, Feb. 11, after conducting maritime security operations, theater security engagements with allies and partners, and participating in the multinational exercise Sea Shield 2017. Porter’s operations in the Black Sea demonstrated the U.S. commitment to collective security with NATO allies and partners in the region. “The Porter crew thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Black Sea, including our port visit to Constanta, Romania,” said Cmdr. Andria Slough, Porter’s commanding officer. “Participating in Sea Shield 2017 provided…

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USS Porter Commences At-Sea Portion of Exercise Sea Shield 2017

February 8, 2017 – USS Porter (DDG 78) began the at-sea portion of exercise Sea Shield 2017, Feb. 8, in the Black Sea. Sea Shield is an annual, Romania-led multinational exercise in the Black Sea designed to improve interoperability and combat proficiency of participating units. The U.S. participation in this exercise demonstrates the commitment to deploying leading technology and combat capability in support of allies and partners and collective defense of the Black Sea region. “We’ve already strengthened our interoperability through the in-port planning phase of Sea Shield 2017, and Porter…

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