Ukranian Naval Exercise Sea Breeze 17 Has Started

US Navy cruiser USS Hue City and Turkish frigate F-241 TCG Turgutreis, off the coast of Ukraine. Photo: US Navy

Sea Breeze 2017 naval exercise has started in Odessa, Ukraine. This is the 17th edition of exercise which takes place in the Black Sea between 10. and 23. July 2017.

This year over 3,000 military personnel, 31 ship and 29 aircraft from the following nations is taking part: Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Unlike previous events this year’s exercise will have no previously written scenario.

The specifics of the Ukrainian-U.S. exercise Sea Breeze 2017 are an altered structure of the headquarters, which this year will make up the exercise control headquarters and a separate naval command headquarters, which is developed in compliance with NATO standards. The method used in holding the exercise will be different from that of the previous exercises as well: the international maneuvers will be held in a “free play” mode,” the press center quoted the head of the working group on planning the exercise nominated by the Ukrainian Navy, Deputy Navy Commander on Training Captain Oleksiy Neizhpapa, as having said.

Neizhpapa added that during the Sea Breeze-2017, the multinational naval command headquarters will exercise planning and control of forces under given conditions, as well as decision-making and supervising with regard to ship tactical groups and coastal and air force components. This will allow for testing the advanced naval command headquarters’ capability of managing forces and operations to meet NATO standards, he said.

Every year, we complicate the exercise program. It’s like in sport. After so many years of cooperation and practice, we are ready for a “free game”. We will work out various scenarios , – said the head of the Sea Breeze-2017 from the American side, Navy Captain Tate Westbrook, the commander of U.S. 6th Fleet’s Task Force 65 and of the U.S. forces on scene.

Under the scenario, as explained by Captain Westbrook, the fleet of surfaces ships will conduct anti submarine warfare, try to find and neutralise the enemy submarine, the role played by the Turkish submarine TCG Batıray.

Well good luck to the ships in their effort against TCG Batıray.  This exercise shows  Turkey as the only NATO nation that can deploy submarines to the Black Sea. Romania has one Kilo class submarine on its naval register but no one has seen that boat deployed and Bulgaria disband its submarine force in 2013.

Here is the list of the participants as far as I could find:

Number Name Type Nationality
S-343 TCG Batıray Submarine Turkey
NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey Landing ship Turkey
F-241 TCG Turgutreis Frigate Turkey
CG-66 USS Hue City Cruiser USA
DDG-64 USS Carney Destroyer USA
265 ROS Contraamiral Horia Macellariu Corvette Romania
111 Maresesti Frigate Romania
U-130 Hetman Sahaidachny Frigate Ukraine
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Sea Breeze 2015 Naval Exercise Concludes In Ukraine

TCG Bozcaada arriving ODeesa for Sea Breeze 2015 exercise.

TCG Bozcaada arriving Odessa for Sea Breeze 2015 exercise. Photo: Igor More.

The Ukrainian led exercise Sea Breeze 2015 finished today. The exercise had stared on 31 August 2015 and had a land and a sea phase.

Warships from Romania, Turkey, USA and Ukraine has participated to the sea phase of the exercise. The exercise was attended by 2,5 thousand military personnel not only from the United States and Ukraine, but also from Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, the UK, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and Moldova. According to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the purpose of the exercise is to develop of a multinational security operations in crisis region.

This is the list of the participating ships. The number of the ships was vague. Some publications cited 19 ships other 14 ships. Some even wrote that there would be submarines. But since Turkish Navy did not deployed a submarine to this exercise the anti submarine warfare training had to be done by a simulator.

Number Name Type Nationality
111 Mărăşeşti Frigate Romania
264 ROS Cam. Eustaţiu Sebastian Corvette Romania
F-500 TCG Bozcaada Corvette Turkey
U-130 Hetman Sahaidachny Frigate Ukraine
U-153 Priluki Missile boat Ukraine
U-360 Genichesk Mine sweeper Ukraine
U-401 Kirovgrad Landing ship Ukraine
BG-109 BG-109 Patrol boat Ukraine
U-120 Skadovsk Patrol boat Ukraine
U-705 Kremenets Tug Ukraine
BG-63 Pavel Derzhavin Patrol boat Ukraine
BG-50 Grigory Kuropiatnikov Patrol boat Ukraine
75 Donald Cook Destroyer USA

Sea Breeze 2014 Participants

U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs shared the list of the ships that take part in the naval Exercise Sea Breeze 2014.

As reported earlier, the Turkish frigate TCG Oruçreis and the French frigate Commandant Birot are not taking part in the exercise though both ships are currently deployed in the Black Sea. The list of US Navy fails to clarify if the Georgian patrol boat Sukhomi is taking part in the exercise as reported by Russian.

It is also noteworthy that there are no Bulgarian participants.

Number
Name
Country
Type
F-512
TCG Büyükada
Turkey
Corvette
F-102 ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon  Spain Frigate
F-333 HMCS Toronto Canada Frigate
DDG-71 USS Ross USA Destroyer
P-24 Sukhumi Georgia Patrol Boat
F-221 ROS Regele Ferdinand Romania Frigate
F-264 Contraamiral Eustatiu Sebastian Romania Corvette
U-130 Hetman Sahaidachniy Ukraine Frigate
U-153 Priluki Ukraine Patrol Boat
U-120 Skadovsk Ukraine Patrol Boat
U-512 Pereyaslav Ukraine Intelligence Gathering Ship
U-542 Nova Kahovka Ukraine Training Ship
U-782 Sokal Ukraine Ambulance launch
BG-50 Kuropyannikov Ukraine Coast Guard Vessel
B-57 Mikolaiv Ukraine Coast Guard Vessel

Sea Breeze 2014 Naval Exercise Starts Next Week (UPDATED)

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F-512 TCG Büyükada heading to the Black Sea to take part in Sea Breeze 2014 exercise on 7 September 2014. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permisson.

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F-512 TCG Büyükada heading to the Black Sea to take part in Sea Breeze 2014 exercise on 7 September 2014. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permisson.

Despite my previous reporting and expectations the Turkish frigate TCG Oruçreis is not going to take part in the exercise Sea Breeze. Her deployment to the Black Sea must a regular one with national interests at heart.

The Milgem class corvette F-512 TCG Büyükada is going participate in the Sea Breeze according to the Turkish General Staff.

Click here to read about the previous Sea Breeze Exercises.

I have compiled the list of the ships that will take part in the exercise:

Number
Name
Country
Type
F-512
TCG Büyükada
Turkey
Corvette
F-102 ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon  Spain Frigate
F-333 HMCS Toronto Canada Frigate
DDG-71 USS Ross USA Destroyer
P-24 Sukhumi Georgia Patrol Boat
F-221 ROS Regele Ferdinand Romania Frigate
F-796 Commandant Birot France Frigate

Sea Breeze 2014 Naval Exercise Starts Next Week

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Turkish Barbaros class frigate F-245 TCG Oruçreis heading to the Black Sea on 4 September 2014. She is obviously going to take part in the Sea Breeze 2014 exercise. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Note that TCG Oruçreis is carrying full Harpoon load. This is not a common sight. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

The Ukrainian led naval exercise Sea Breeze 2014 will start on 8 September 2014, according to a statement made by U.S. European Command.

Exercise Sea Breeze 2014, a multinational maritime exercise in the Black Sea, is set to start Sept. 8, as representatives from five participating nations and Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO Task Unit 02 (SNMG2 TU.02) will gather at sea aboard USS Ross (DDG 71) for the exercise’s opening ceremony.

Approximately 280 U.S. service members will participate in the event.

The exercise is scheduled to take place Sept. 8-10, with naval forces from participating countries working together in order to strengthen interoperability and improve maritime security.

Leaders from Ukraine and the U.S., co-hosts for the 13th iteration of the exercise, share sentiments about the progress of both the exercise and maritime security in the Black Sea that have occurred since the exercise’s inception.

Much of the exercise will focus on maritime interdiction operations as a primary means to enhance maritime security. The other key components of the exercise focus on communications, search and rescue, force protection and navigation.

This year’s participants include Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, and the U.S., as well as three ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO Task Unit 02 (SNMG2 TU.02): Canadian Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto (FFH 333); Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon; and Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand.

Click here to read about the previous Sea Breeze Exercises.

I have compiled the list of the ships that will take part in the exercise:

Number
Name
Country
Type
F-245
TCG Oruçreis
Turkey
Frigate
F-102 ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon  Spain Frigate
F-333 HMCS Toronto Canada Frigate
DDG-71 USS Ross USA Destroyer
P-24 Sukhumi Georgia Patrol Boat
F-221 ROS Regele Ferdinand Romania Frigate
F-796 Commandant Birot France Frigate

Sea Breeze 2013 Naval Exercise

P-334 TCG Meltem.

P-334 TCG Meltem.

While the Breeze 2013 naval exercise has started in Bulgaria, Ukraine is hosting the Sea Breeze 2013 naval exercise. The choise of names and the timing makes it very easy to confuse the two exercises. The Sea Breeze 2013 starts today and will end on 20 July 2013.

Germany, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Canada, Italy and Bulgaria will take part in the exercise.

It is not a coincidence that the two exercise are running almost simultaneously as the non Black Sea participants of these exercises such as the Spanish Frigate F-103 Blas De Lezo and the Greek fast attack boat P-263 Aittios may only stay in the Black Sea for a limited amount of days. Therefore it was necessary to organize the two exercises near simultaneously.

For those who like to create conspiracy theories the simultaneous start of two naval exercise in The Black Sea might be seen as the NATO’s response to Russian actions in the Med.

In the first day of activity of the conference around 70 military officers from countries-members worked out issues of planning forces during the training and started planning operation. In particular, it was determined that from Ukrainian side divisions and subdivisions of all groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will take part in the exercise. In general, it will be exercised in See Breeze-2013 interaction of over 20 ships and vessels, around 15 planes and helicopters, united brigade of marine corps, subdivisions of special units and search and rescue forces etc.

“The peculiar attention in planning of the following Sea Breeze is paid to cooperation with forces of the State Service for Emergency Situations of Ukraine which in 2013 will exercise for the first time,” told co-director of exercise of the Ukrainian part, Capitan of 1 rank Ihor Teryohin.

It should be noted that Sea Breeze-2013 exercise is targeting holding maritime security operations with the emphasis on evacuation measures. The participants of the maneuvers will exercise a series of joint trainings in liquidation of consequences of natural disaster and man-made accidents and also improve skills of interaction in the course of humanitarian actions directed to keeping security among civil population.

I was able to identify 5 of the 15 warships mentioned above.

Number
Name
Country
Type
F-246
TCG Salihreis
Turkey
Frigate
F-103
Blas De Lezo
 Spain Frigate
P-334 TCG Meltem Turkey Fast Attack Craft
A-572 TCG Yzb. İhsan Tulunay Turkey Tanker
P-24 Sukhumi Georgia Patrol Boat

Any additional information about the participating units is as always welcomed.

The Naval Exercise Sea Breeze 2012 Has Ended

The landing ship U 402 Konstantin Olshansky, disembarking the Ukrainian marines. Photo: Ukraine Armed Forces

The Sea Breeze 2012 naval exercise (not to be confused with Breeze naval exercise organised by Bulgaria) organized by Ukraine and held in Odessa has finished. It is  the largest multinational maritime exercise in the Black Sea.

1,500 troops from 16 countries, including U.S., Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Algiers, Bangladesh, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Israel, Canada, Moldova, Germany, Sweden, Portugal, Qatar, Turkey.

The list of the ships participated in the exercise is as follows:

Number
Name
Type
Country
U 130 Hetman Sagaidachny Frigate Ukraine
U 402 Konstantin Olshansky Landing Ship Ukraine
U 360 Genichesk Mine Sweeper Ukraine
U 705 Kremenets Salvage Tug Ukraine
T-ARS 51 USNS Grasp Salvage Tug USA
DDG-109 USS Jason Dunham Destroyer USA
P-331 TCG Kalkan Fast Attack Craft Turkey
P-333 TCG Tufan Fast Attack Craft Turkey
A-572 TCG Yzb. İhsan Tolunay Tanker Turkey
P-24 Sokhumi Coast Guard Craft Georgia

BlackSeaNews has a good coverage of the exercise with many interesting photos:

The Sea Breeze 2012 (Part 1)

The Sea Breeze 2012 (Part 2)

>Order Of Battle For Exercise Sea Breeze 2010

>

The exercise Sea Breeze will end today. But finally I was able to find the names of (almost) all participating ships:

US Navy:
FFG-50 USS Taylor, frigate

Turkish Navy:
F-240 TCG Yavuz, frigate
P-330 TCG Kılıç, missile boat
P-331 TCG Kalkan, missile boat

Ukrainan Navy:
U-402 Konstantin Olshansky, landing ship
U-401 Kirovograd, landing sahip
U-311 Cherkassy, minesweeper
U-331 Mariupol, minesweeper
U-360 Genichesk, minesweeper
U-206 Dnieper, frigate
U-209 Ternopil frigate
U-705 Kremenets, tug
Plus 3 unidentified border guard ships.

Special Thanks to: Dave Shirlaw.

Sources: Here and here.

>Sea Breeze 2010

> The exercise Sea Breeze 2010 is about to begin in Ukraine this week. The annual exercise Sea Breeze was usually held as a bilateral organization where Ukraine and the United States are the main participants. Other countries are invited as necessary.

This year’s main focus will be fighting sea piracy. The exercises will involve about 1,000 Ukrainian servicemen and almost 500 servicemen from twelve countries – Azerbaijan, Belgium, Greece, Georgia, Denmark, Moldova, Germany, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Sweden and the United States. The exercises will be held until July 23.

According to various news portals, there will be a land phase of the Sea Breeze drills, which will focus on fighting sea piracy, will be held at a military training area in the Nikolayev region, while the sea drills will take place in northwestern Black Sea.

I find it interesting that a military exercise that has fighting sea piracy as its main focus will have a land phase. What will be exercise in this phase? Landing marines to the shores of a pirate territory and fight them on land? Doesn’t it sound a little bit far stretched?

I was not able to find more information about the naval units taking place in the Sea Breeze. Some reports mention about three dozen warships and cutters.

From Turkish Navy, the frigate F-240 TCG Yavuz and fast attacks boats P-330 TCG Kılıç and P-331 TCG Kalkan will take part in the exercise.

NATO Naval Taskforces End Their Deployment To The Black Sea

The flagship of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two FGR Rhein, during her southbound transit through Istyanbul.

Turkish contribution to Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two, TCG Anamur making her southbound passage through Istanbul as the taskforce departs from the Black Sea. A new minehunter will replace her for the future deployment of SNMCMG-2.

On early July, flagships of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) HNLMS De Ruyter and FGS Rhein arrived in Bulgarian port Burgas for the Bulgarian led exercise Breeze 2018. Replenishment ship FS Marne of Marine Nationale and Greek fast attack craft HS Daniolos followed them. BREEZE 2018 from 13 to 20 July.

The exercise was designed to enhance the interoperability of the participating units and strengthen cooperation by practicing different warfare techniques in a multi-dimensional scenario. Multinational participating forces and their crews will be tested in a wide range of warfare tactics focusing on regional security.

Bulgaria as host took part with 16 combat and auxiliary ships and cutters, 2 helicopters and staff of 930 members. Two aircraft of the Bulgarian Air Force and units of the Land Forces were also involved in the exercise with most ships. Turkey was the second largest contributor to the exercise with TCG Fatih for SNMG-2 and minehunter TCG Anamur for SNMCMG-2, submarine TCG Gür, fast attack craft TCG İmbat and one patrol plane.

In total 25 combat and auxiliary ships and cutters, 1 submarine, 4 aircraft, 5 helicopters and 2,340 service members from the navies of Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, the USA, Turkey, France, the Netherlands took part in the exercise, which was held from 13th to 20th July.

Following the conclusion of the exercise Sea Breeze Greek fast attack craft HS Daniolos and French replenishment tanker, FS Marne exited the region while the remaining ships of both NATO Standing Maritime Groups made a port visit in Odessa between 23rd and 25th July. During this port visit, the warships were warships were open to the public. According to the Turkish Navy, TCG Fatih and TCG Anamur have hosted 2413 visitors for 6 hours when they were open to the public.

After the port visit, all NATO warships conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) with Ukrainian naval forces. The flagship of the Ukrainian Navy Hetman Sagaidachny and warships BerdyanskVyshgorod, Kremenchuk, Lubny, and Pochaiv also took part in this PASSEX.

Upon leaving Odessa, NATO naval task forces separated. While SNMCMG-2 sailed towards Constanta Romania to conduct mine warfare exercise with Romanian Navy, SNMG-2 sailed to Samsun Turkey.

On the first day of August 2018, both HNLMS De Ruyter and FGS Rhein departed from the Black Sea ending their deployment in the region.

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