By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Howard, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
As the Ukrainian PTS-2 amphibious assault vehicles deployed into the water toward Ukrainian navy vessel Konstantin Olshanski (U 402), invited local and national Ukrainian media observed the demonstration in order to understand better what this exercise is about, and were given an opportunity to speak to some of the exercise participants.
"This is my second time to participate in Exercise Sea Breeze," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Mitchell, U.S. Navy Sea Breeze 13 participant. "I have already seen vast improvements over last year's exercise - especially in communication." Continued improvements in operating together is one reason for exercises such as Sea Breeze 13.
The local media saw how the multinational troops would handle one method of delivering disaster relief supplies were one to occur in real time.
"In this simulation, our troops are assisting a simulated neutral nation in disaster relief efforts after an earthquake," said Ukrainian Rear Adm. Denis Berezovsky, dxercise director. "This is just one of many simulations to come during Sea Breeze 2013."
Working together to streamline this and other scenarios is key to protecting nations in the Black Sea region according to U.S. Navy Capt. James Aiken, exercise deputy director.
"The partnerships we have developed over the course of this exercise will pay dividends for a long time," said Aiken. "The exercise this year is more complex than previous years in that, in addition to the other training exercises, the coalition will conduct simulated humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."
This year's participants include Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and U.S., along with France, Germany, Libya, Lithuania, Qatar, and UAE, as observers.
Sea Breeze 13, an annual multinational exercise in the Black Sea, is a combined air, land and maritime exercise designed to improve maritime safety, security and stability in the Black Sea by enhancing the capabilities of Partnership for Peace and Black Sea regional maritime security forces.