USS Whidbey Road and USS Ross hosted the American diplomat while their crews take part in the large-scale multi-national drills Sea Breeze 2016. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv uploaded the photos on the Twitter account.
The Sea Breeze 2016 exercise began on July 18 and will continue through July 30. The exercise involves up to 4,000 personnel from 16 countries: Ukraine, the U.S., Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Greece, Georgia, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Sweden and Finland. Twenty aircraft and over 140 automobile and armored vehicles are employed (Interfax-Ukraine).
The sea stage of the drill involves over 25 ships, boats and supply vessels from Ukraine, the U.S., Turkey and Romania. The exercise's plan envisages a bigger coastal stage than in the previous years, with a multi-national tactical group conducting an operation in a crisis region in accordance with the NATO standards, involving marines and Special Forces from Ukraine, the U.S., Moldova and Georgia.
In addition, troops practice landing operations, both from sea and from the air, artillery operations during anti-landing defense, river crossing with engineering troops' participation and a special operation to provide coastal safety and air support for landing troops.
The Sea Breeze exercise has been held annually since 1997 under a 1993 memorandum of understanding and cooperation on defense and military relations between the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the U.S. Department of Defense. The exercise aims to train the Ukrainian naval forces and increase their combat readiness on a bilateral basis while being open to other countries.