ODESSA, Ukraine (NNS) -- Exercise Sea Breeze 2011 successfully finished after a closing ceremony and combined press conference at the Ukrainian Officer's Club in Odessa, June 18.
Air, land and naval forces from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in Sea Breeze, the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Black Sea, co-hosted by the Ukrainian and U.S. navies.
"We are honored to once again have co-hosted the annual multinational Sea Breeze exercise with our Ukrainian colleagues," said U.S. Ambassador James McGee, political advisor to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. "Sea Breeze is about strengthening maritime partnerships in the Black Sea region in the spirit of Partnership for Peace, and I am happy to report that this year's exercise was our most successful yet."
Sea Breeze's full-bodied training agenda included counter-piracy training operations; non-combatant evacuation operations and visit, board, search and seizure training. Additionally, ground forces conducted non-lethal weapons training designed to combat unlawful fishing, piracy, trafficking in persons, drugs and illegal weapons.
"Sea Breeze gave us the opportunity to increase the interoperability of our forces in their actions in multinational peace keeping, anti-terrorism and anti-piracy which are all threats we face in these times," said Ukrainian Adm. Viktor Maksymov, commander in chief of Ukrainian naval forces. "I wish all of the participants of this year's Sea Breeze all the best, good health, and fair winds and followings seas in all future activities until we meet again at next years' exercise."
Sea Breeze was conducted to improve maritime safety, security and stability actions in the Black Sea by enhancing the capabilities of Partnership for Peace and Black Sea regional maritime security forces.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.