The US-Ukraine joint Exercise Sea Breeze 2021 (SB21) that will take place from June 28 to July 10 in the Black Sea region will be the largest drill of the kind in over 20 years, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Col-Gen. Ruslan Khomchak said on Wednesday.
“This exercise will be the largest since 1997. Their goal is to train the headquarters and subdivisions of the Ukrainian Navy to perform assigned tasks in accordance with NATO standards and procedures, as well as gain experience in joint actions in multinational operations … 31 participating states will take part in the exercise that will involve a total of about 30 ships, boats and vessels, up to 30 aircraft and helicopters, up to 3,000 personnel and 50 units of weapons and military equipment,” Khomchak said as quoted by the Ukrainian National News Agency.
According to the commander-in-chief, about half of the personnel participating in the Sea Breeze 2021 drills will be Ukrainian servicemen. About 50 military personnel from 17 foreign countries will act as advisers and observers.
“To participate in the Sea Breeze 2021 exercises, the Ukrainian armed forces and other security and defense forces will provide 24 ships (boats), 17 aircraft, 12 helicopters, 80 units of weapons and military equipment and 1,500 personnel. In addition, one search and rescue vessel will be involved, ” Khomchak said.
Exercise Sea Breeze has been held since 1997, involving NATO states and their allies in the Black Sea region. The drill is aimed at improving naval and land operations and improving cooperation among participating counties.
Earlier, The American Sixth Fleet had officially announced its participation in the annual Ukraine-hosted Exercise Sea Breeze-2021, which will see its largest edition on record this year.
“This year’s iteration has the largest number of participating nations in the exercise’s history with 32 countries from six continents providing 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft, and 18 special operations and dive teams scheduled to participate,” the US Sixth Fleet had said in the statement.