The solemn opening ceremony of Ukrainian-American Sea Breeze 2021 drills took place in Odesa on June 28. About 30 countries-members participated in it. Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine rear-admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa headed the event as the Defense Ministry of Ukraine reported.
“This year, the representatives of almost all world continents participate in the Sea Breeze as the sign that the whole civilized world supports Ukraine. The drills that have a great history since 1997 contain a powerful message – support of stability and peace in our region. Our goal is to make the Black Sea safe for countries of all continents,” Neyizhpapa noted.
The international naval operation on safety in the crisis region will take place in accordance with the standards of NATO to support peace and safety. The operation will be lead by Deputy Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine Captain 1st rank Oleksiy Doskato from the Ukrainian side and Captain 1st rank Stuart Bauman from the American side.
This year, the drills will last from June 28 until July 10. They will take place in Odesa, Ochakov, Dniester Estuary, Kinburn Spit, Zmiinyi and Pervomaysky islands, and other areas of Ukraine. About 30 ships, boats, and vessels, over 30 planes and helicopters, up to 5,000 members of personnel, and 50 units of armament and hardware participate in the drills.
Earlier, it was reported that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) entered the Black Sea to participate in the 21st iteration of Exercise Sea Breeze 2021 (SB21), June 26, 2021.