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US, UK Ships Start Mine Countermeasure Training With Ukrainian Navy

Home Defense Security Cooperation US, UK Ships Start Mine Countermeasure Training With Ukrainian Navy
US, UK Ships Start Mine Countermeasure Training With Ukrainian Navy

The U.S. Navy said it has started Exercise Sea Breeze 2024, a joint mine countermeasure naval training with the British Royal Navy and the Ukrainian Navy.

Sea Breeze aims to address the challenges that mines pose to maritime safety and security, global food security and commerce, the military service said.

The latest edition, which runs from June 26 through July 5, will focus on enhancing mine countermeasure operations and integrating Ukranian vessels into NATO’s maritime operations.

According to Capt. Geoffrey Townsend, commodore of Commander, Task Force 68, the event allows participants to improve interoperability.

“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 captain said.

Royal Navy Comdr. Steven Banfield, co-chair of the Maritime Capability Development Coalition for Ukraine, added that the exercise is designed to improve the Ukrainian Navy’s capabilities and establish a safe and prosperous maritime environment in the Black Sea.

During Sea Breeze, two Ukrainian mine hunters, Cherkasy and Chernihiv, will participate in the naval drills to ensure that Ukrainian sailors receive the necessary skills and knowledge to safely operate the new vessels, which were U.K. donations.

Once they are ready, the vessels will be deployed in the Black Sea to clear mines from sea lanes and protect Ukraine’s economic and food security, the Royal Navy explained.

The 6th Fleet’s CTF-68 and the Expeditionary Warfare Training Group will headline the United States’ participation in the naval drill, which will also welcome representatives from Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Japan, the NATO Maritime Command, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Turkey.

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