Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Multinational Exercise Sea Breeze 2008 Begins

ODESSA, Ukraine (NNS) -- Ships from numerous nations, including USS McFaul (DDG 74), have been arriving Odessa, Ukraine since July 11 as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 367 in support of Exercise Sea Breeze.

The guided-missile destroyer is one of 14 ships participating in Sea Breeze, a joint invitational and combined maritime exercise involving 16 countries and held in the spirit of partnership for peace.

The exercise is an annual event which occurs in the Black Sea and at various land-based Ukrainian training facilities. The exercise includes enhancing multinational interoperability, developing Black Sea-nation maritime security capabilities and improving involvement in Navy Europe's larger Black Sea theater security cooperation strategy.

"This exercise is a key part of the U.S. Navy's strategy to enrich our partnerships in the region and work together to improve maritime safety and security," said Cmdr. Tim Schorr, commanding officer of McFaul. "Both myself and the entire crew are excited to work with our friends from all over the world."

The exercise, scheduled to continue through July 26, includes 14 ships, 17 aircraft and more than 2,200 personnel.

"Exercise Sea Breeze demonstrates U.S. and partner nation commitment to regional stability and maritime security," said U.S. Navy Capt. John Moore, exercise deputy commander and commodore of CTF 367.

"During this exercise, Sailors and Marines will work side-by-side with other personnel from partner ships while they are underway and ashore and will become familiar with the other militaries' operating procedures and practices."