This year, the Sea Breeze international exercises in Ukraine will be held in non-contact mode and limited only to the marine phase involving aviation. This was announced by the head of the drills from the Ukrainian side, 1st rank captain Oleksiy Doskato in a comment to ArmyInform.
"On behalf of the commander of the Ukrainian Navy, we turned to the command of the 6th US fleet with a proposal to change the format of Sea Breeze in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. They fully supported our initiative, because the main thing is to preserve the life and health of the military. Therefore, this year we will be involved in the so-called contactless 'Sea Breeze," Doskato noted.
According to him, we are talking about the complete exclusion of the coastal phase from the action plan so that the military personnel of partner countries and Sea Breeze participants do not contact with each other.
In addition, the multinational headquarters will not be deployed. International exercises in 2020 will be limited only to the marine phase with the involvement of aviation. That is, the ships will meet at a certain point and work out activities without personnel contact. Ships of partner countries will be at Ukrainian ports only if refueling is necessary.
The number of participating countries that will take part in the exercises has changed: today there are about 10 of them.
We recall that in 2019 the ships and units of Ukraine, the United States of America, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Greece, Georgia, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Romania, Poland, France, Turkey, and Sweden took part in the drills.
Sea Breeze is an annual multinational exercise that has been held since 1997.