Bulgarian Naval Exercise Breeze 2017 Has Started

Super Vita class fast attack craft, HS Anthypoploiarchos Ritsos passed through Turkish Straits to participate in Breeze 2017 naval exercise.

Naming of military operations and exercises has always been a controversial topic. So it does not help much when Bulgaria names the naval exercise as Breeze when there is Ukrainian – USA joint exercise called Sea Breeze. It is not easy to distinguish between them two. The timing of these exercises makes it even more difficult.

Breeze 2017 is the Bulgarian exercise. The warships participating to this exercise have gathered in Varna.The exercise started on 14 July 2017 and will end on 23 July.

The purpose of the exercise is to develop cooperation and interoperability by performing actual maritime training among the multinational forces in the Black Sea. Besides the host, Turkey, USA, England, Italy, Poland, Romania and Greece are participating After Bulgaria, Turkey has the second largest number of units taking part in the exercise.

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

Number Name Type Nationality
S-343 TCG Preveze Submarine Turkey
P-330 TCG Kılıç Fast attack craft Turkey
P-1214 TCG Karadeniz Ereğli Patrol boat Turkey
F-241 TCG Yıldırım Frigate Turkey
D-37 HMS Duncan Destroyer UK
P-71 HS Anthypoploiarchos Ritsos Fast attack craft Greece

Breeze 2014 Naval Exercise

The Bulgarian Navy is hosting a nine day long naval exercise Breeze 2014.

The military exercise is to be held in the Western section of the Black Sea and is aimed at improving the tactical compatibility and collaboration among naval forces of the alliance’s member states.

Bulgaria’s port city of Burgas has peen picked to host the staff of the drills.

While Breeze 2014 is taking place, the staff of the Bulgarian Naval Forces will be certified for conformity of the level of planning independent operations to NATO criteria, according to the website pan.bg, specialized in defense issues.

The exercise, which ends July 13, starts amid stepped-up presence of alliance forces in the Black Sea over the Ukraine crisis and Russia’s decision to incorporate the Crimean peninsula in March this year. 

According to the information I have the following ships are taking part in the exercise:

 Number Name Type Country
F-582 ITS Aviere Frigate Italy
5561 ITS Rimini Mine Hunter Italy
M-37 HSM Chiddingfold Mine Hunter UK
M-270 TCG Akçay Mine Hunter Turkey
P-266 HS Machitis Patrol Craft Greece
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
P-332 TCG Mızrak Fast Attack Craft Turkey
P-1200 TCG Tuzla Patrol Craft Turkey

As always I will appreciate any additional information about the participants.

Here is a nice video showing the arrival of the NATO SNMCMG-2 ships to Burgas.

Finaly: US Navy Warships On Black Sea

After week of discussions and very cold war like tug of words between Russia and USA, two US Navy warships have passed through the Turkish Straits.

The first ship, LCC-20 USS Mount Whitney, the flag-ship of the US 6. Fleet made her passage on 4 February 2014.


USS Mount Whitney passing through the Bosphorus on 4 February 2014, as seen from a web cam. Photo: seabreeze.org.ua

The second ship turned out to be not a Arleigh Burke Class destroyer but a Perry class frigate. FFG-50 USS Taylor made her passage through the Turkish Straits on 5 February 2014.


The choise of the warships by US Navy is very odd. These ships are send under the context of providing security for the Olympics, but both ships have no offensive weapons other than their helicopters are carrying. I assume that these helicopters can carry a Penguin Mk2 missile

The USS Mount Whitney is a command and control ship. She has excellent communication suits and enough rooms and people to organize and command a fleet. But the ship has only short-range self-defence weapons.

The frigate USS Taylor was a more potent warship compared to USS Mount Whitney, before the frigate was gilded before the only guided weapon launcher of the frigate was deactivated. USS Taylor carries like USS Mount Whitney short ranged self defence weapons. One may regard the 76mm gun the frigate has an offensive weapons but is it wise to bring a gun to fight in the missile age?

Like I said before the only long range weapon both ships have are the helicopters they are carrying and I assume that these helicopters can be armed with guided missiles and other weapons (though Mk46 / Mk54 torpedoes may not be suitable for securing the Olympics)

I personally find the notion of two inadequately armed US Navy warships protecting the Olympics as absurd as the notion of Russian nuclear cruiser Petr Veliky providing security for the Olympics from the Mediterranean.

The whole show of force between USA and Russia over the security of the Olympics is not about the security of the Olympics.





Photos From Breeze 2013 Exercise


The participants of the Bulgarian Naval exercise Breeze 2013 together in Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.


Turkish submarine TCG Birinci İnönü in Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.


Turkish frigate TCG Salihreis outside of the Spanish frigate Blas De Lezo. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.


Turkish mine sweeper TCG Sığacık outside of the Turkish fast attack craft TCG Bora. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.


Bulgarian mine sweeper Priboy entering the Port of Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

Mr. Nikolay Zlatev who creates the very informative blog Sea Dog, kindly shared his photos.

More On Breeze 2013 Naval Exercise

The Breeze 2013 Naval Exercise -not to be confused with the Sea Breeze 2013 naval exercise hosted by Ukraine- has started in Varna Bulgaria.

In the period July 6-15 the international Breeze 2013 naval drill will take place in the western part of the Black Sea. Over 15 different vessels, helicopters and planes take part in the exercise. Ships from Spain, Turkey, Greece, as well as a US P-3C Orion plane will take part in the exercise. Improving coordination is one of the tasks of the exercise, which also aims at preparing teams for working in joint international operations in cases of crises.

According to Turkish Naval Forces and Bulgarian Defence Ministry following warships will participate to the exercise:

TCG Salihreis
Blas De Lezo
 Spain Frigate
Fast Attack Craft
TCG 1. İnönü
TCG Bora
Fast Attack Craft
TCG Sığacık
Mine Sweeper
F-42 Verni Bulgaria Frigate

Breeze 2013 Naval Exericse


P-338 TCG Bora will take part in the Bulgarian naval exercise Breeze-2013 in the Black Sea.

Bulgarian Naval Forces are hosting an international naval exercise called Breeze 2013 between 6 and 15 July 2013.

According to Turkish Navy Turkish Gür class (Type 209/1400 Mod) submarine S-360 TCG Birinci İnönü is taking part in the exercise as well as the fast attack craft TCG Bora and the minesweeper TCG Sığacık.

NATO’s SNMG-2 will take part in this exercise along with Bulgarian units.

As Bulgaria decommissioned its last submarine in 2011 Turkey is the only NATO nation in the Black Sea that can provide submarines for the naval exercises.

The Breeze 2012 Naval Exercise Starts Tomorrow

M-501 TCG Finike will take part in naval exercise Sea Breeze 2012

According to Sofia News Agency, the Bulgarian Navy will host the Breeze 2012 naval drills in the Western Black Sea.

The Breeze 2012 training will take place June 22-July 1, 2012, with the southern Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas serving as a base.

The goal of Breeze 2012 will be to improve the interoperability of multinational naval forces of NATO nations.

It will feature participation by the Bulgarian Navy, the Turkish Navy, the Greek Navy, a US patrol air plane, and three ships from the Second Permanent Naval Group of NATO.

During the Breeze 2012 drills, the Bulgarian frigate Drazki will have its NATO MAREVAL certification affirmed.

Turkish Navy announced participation of the following vessels to the Sea Breeze 2012. One Turkish frigate currently assigned to SNMG-2 will also take part.

S-355 TCG 18 Mart Submarine
P-340 TCG Doğan Fast Attack Craft
P-343 TCG Volkan Fast Attack Craft
M-500 TCG Foça Mine Hunter
M-501 TCG Finike Mine Hunter
A-571 TCG Albay Hakkı Burak Tanker

8 Days After She Has Entered Black Sea, Russia Objects To US Navy Cruiser

 According to news reports, the Russians protested the arrival of US Navy cruiser CG-61 USS Monterey in Ukraine on 12 June 2011, saying the ship was a treat to the Russian national security.

The foreign ministry noted it understood that the stationing of the Monterey in European waters was part of the U.S. missile defense shield plan but added it did not see why the warship had to be so close to its borders.

The Russian foreign ministry said Monterey’s arrival in the Black Sea demonstrated blatant disregard for Moscow’s concerns.

“We have a number of questions regarding the arrival in the Black Sea of the U.S. Navy cruiser Monterey equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system to participate in the Ukrainian-U.S. Sea Breeze 2011 exercises,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

“The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that we will not let pass unnoticed the appearance of elements of U.S. strategic infrastructure in the immediate proximity to our borders and will see such steps as a threat to our security,” it said in a statement.

So the Russian Foreign Ministry knew that USS Monterey was in European waters. It is interesting to note that the ship passed through Turkish Straits on 4 June. She was in Black Sea for more than a week before the Russians submitted their protest. If the Russians have read this humble blog they would be more updated what is going on in the region.  Russian information agencies used to work better.

Two US Navy Cruisers And One Salvage Ship Are In Black Sea

USS Monterey passing under the Bosphorus Bridge

Two US Navy cruisers CG-61 USS Monterey and CG-68 USS Anzio are in Black Sea currently.

USS Anzio is on the east end of the Black Sea. She will dock in Georgian harbor Batumi tomorrow and will stay there till 12 June 2011. The U.S. warship and the Georgian Coast Guard will engage in damage control exercises as well as engine and electronics maintenance work, according to Georgian news portal civil.ge.

The other cruiser, USS Monterey is in Constanta, Romania will stay till 9 June there. According to the US Embassy in Bucharest, the ship will donate eight pallets of school supplies, sports equipment and medical items will be distributed to orphanages, kindergartens and clinics in Constanta and Tulcea counties.

The eight pallets, weighing almost two tons, contain soccer balls and nets, health kits, hospital linens and school bags.  In the school bags are notebooks, pens, erasers, rulers, pencil sharpeners, pencils, crayons and scissors.

Those cruisers are not the only US Navy ships in the Black Sea. The salvage ship T-ARS 51 USS Grasp is in Odesa, Ukraine to take part in the naval exercise Sea Breeze 2011. She will stay in Odesa till 16 June 2011.


This is a rare concentration of US Navy warships in the region, since the Russo – Georgian war in 2008.

>Romania joins Operation Black Sea Harmony

>Today with a ceremony a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Turkish and Romanian navies. Thus Romania becomes the third Black Sea country after Russia and Ukraine to join the Operation Black Sea Harmony (OBSH).

The Commander of Romanian Naval Forces, Admiral Danila (Left) signed the MoA on behalf of his country. Admiral Ataç signed on behalf of Turkey.

Admiral Ataç mentioned in his speech, the increasing importance of sea trade for Romania. He expressed that the volume of container handled in Constanta harbor increased 10 times in the last eight years.

With Romanian naval forces joining, the OBSH will get a fresh breeze and the naval securty in the Black Sea will be tighter.

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