Sea Breeze: US sends missile warships, Navy SEALs to massive war games off Ukraine coast

Monday, July 10, 2017
By Paul Martin
10 Jul, 2017

Several US missile warships, over 800 sailors and a Navy SEALs team have arrived in the Black Sea to take part in the 12-day Sea Breeze 2017 naval exercise off Ukraine, which will include maritime forces from 16 countries.

The multinational war games are taking place in the northwestern part of the Black Sea near the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. They will feature 31 vessels, 29 aircraft and over 3,000 troops, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

Naval forces from 16 nations, including the US, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Norway, Poland and Turkey will practice “planning and conducting operations in compliance with NATO standards,” focusing on anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, air defense, mine clearance and hostage rescue.

The US Navy has sent its Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser ‘USS Hue City’ and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer ‘USS Carney’, along with a P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft, the Sixth Fleet said in a press release.

Bomb disposal teams from the Naval Special Warfare Unit 2, otherwise known as Navy SEALs, as well as combat divers are also expected to arrive in Ukraine, as are some 800 US sailors and marines.

“We’re building strong relationships here which are crucial to peace and stability in the region,” said Captain Dan Gillen, a commanding officer of the ‘USS Hue City’.

“Our presence and participation in Sea Breeze bolsters confidence and reassures our allies and regional partners of our commitment to security in the Black Sea,” he added.

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