Mykolaiv, Ukraine - Ukrainian naval forces participated in the Sea Breeze 2016 air component demonstration at the Kulbakino Air Base in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, July 22.
The air component of the exercise is designed to showcase the air-based capabilities of the Ukrainian Naval forces and training conducted by allies and partners.
"The exercises are bringing together elements of the land and air components, and that training is allowing our partner nations the ability to provide safety, security, and stability operations in their regions." - U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ken Engle, U.S. Exercise Chief of Staff
"What I like to see is the mission execution between our aircraft and Ukrainian aircraft with no fall-off in tactical situational awareness. Our main training goal is getting through the language barrier and getting data transferred between aircraft so we can share the tactical picture." - U.S. Navy Lt. Robert Johnson, Sea Breeze 2016 Air Tasking Officer
Ukrainian aircraft involved in the air demonstration included the Antonov An-26 tactical transport aircraft, MI-14 Haze anti-submarine warfare helicopter, KA-27 Helix search and rescue helicopter, and the Antonov An-2 support aircraft.
Ukrainian naval forces conducted a casualty medical evacuation, emergency resupply, special forces parachute insertion, and anti-submarine warfare detection formation flight.
Sea Breeze, now in its 15th iteration, began in 1997 as an annual exercise held in the Black Sea and is co-hosted by Ukraine and the United States. The exercise seeks to enhance interoperability with Black Sea and regional partners and strengthen regional security through air, land and sea components, which tests forces' capabilities throughout the full spectrum of operations. Sea Breeze 2016 forces will undergo training both ashore and at sea.
The exercise seeks to create realistic training that will allow forces to execute air defense, anti-submarine warfare, damage control, search and rescue, and other missions in support of maritime security and regional stability.
Approximately 2,300 personnel from 13 nations are scheduled to participate in this year's exercise.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.