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U.S. 6th Fleet and Royal Navy Kick Off Exercise Sea Breeze 2024-1

24 June 2024

From Courtesy Story

GLASGOW, Scotland – U.S. 6th Fleet and the Royal Navy commenced the 23rd iteration of Exercise Sea Breeze 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland, June 24, 2024.

This marks the first of three serials of Exercise Sea Breeze, scheduled to run from June 26 to July 5, 2024 in the Firth of Clyde Sea near Glasgow and Loch Ewe, Scotland. Sea Breeze 2024 is a joint mine countermeasure exercise between the U.S. Navy, Royal Navy and Ukrainian Navy. The exercise was first held in 1997.

“Sea Breeze 2024 provides an opportunity for Allies and partners to improve interoperability and train for a post-conflict era Black Sea region,” said Commander, Task Force (CTF) 68 Commodore Capt. Geoffrey Townsend. “It is crucial for Allies and partners to have a venue to work side-by-side on mine countermeasures, especially with the great threat floating mines pose to maritime safety and security in the Black Sea as a result of the war in Ukraine. Sea Breeze brings together NATO Allies and partners to conduct maritime, air and land command and control and security operations, improving readiness and responsiveness.”

The purpose of the exercise is to address the challenges that mines pose to maritime safety and security, global food security and commerce.

“Our ability to train and rehearse, whilst growing the capability of the Ukrainian Navy, will support the globally shared long-term goal of creating a safe and prosperous maritime environment in the Black Sea,” said Royal Navy Commodore Steven Banfield MBE, Co-Chair of the Maritime Capability Development Coalition for Ukraine. “This activity will be essential to support the economy of Ukraine through ensuring the free flow of maritime trade. I have been hugely impressed and inspired by the crews of the Chernihiv and Cherkasy. The amount they have achieved in such a short period of time is truly remarkable.”

Sea Breeze 2024-1 focuses on the integration and command and control of Mine Countermeasure Vessels and a Ukrainian task group HQ augmented by international staff officers and mentors.

“There is a huge need to train with NATO and our partners throughout the European theater,” said Commodore Dmytro Kovalenko, Chief of Training Command of Ukrainian Navy Command. “The Black Sea is a major hub for imports and exports, and training for a post-conflict era Black Sea is key to preserving security and stability. Participating in exercises like Sea Breeze supports maritime security and our fight for democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.”

Countries and organizations scheduled to participate, observe, or mentor during Sea Breeze 2024-1 include Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Japan, NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM), Poland, Romania, Sweden, Türkiye, Ukraine, U.K. and U.S.

U.S. participation in Sea Breeze 2024-1 includes 10 exercise support personnel from 6th Fleet’s CTF-68 and four personnel from a U.S. Expeditionary Warfare Training Group (EWTG).

U.S. 6th Fleet and Bulgarian Naval Forces will co-host Sea Breeze 2024-2 and 2024-3 in Bulgaria later this year.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. 6th Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.


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