Ukrainian paratroopers, multinational troops train during exercise Sea Breeze 2008

ODESSA, Ukraine — A German Primary Jumpmaster checks the parachute of a Ukrainian Paratrooper. This parachute is a German parachute and is being used by the paratroopers for the first time. This jump is a part of parachute familiarization training provided by the German jumpmasters aboard a German C160 Aircraft Transall. This instruction is a part of Sea Breeze 2008. Sea Breeze 08 is an invitational joint and combined maritime exercise with the goals of enhancing multinational interoperability, developing Black Sea-nation maritime security capabilities, and improving involvement in the larger Black Sea Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) strategy. Sixteen participating nations in the 11th anniversary exercise include the Ukrainian hosts and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. (Department of Defense photo by Navy Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eddie

SHIROKIY LAN, Ukraine — More than 100 Ukrainian paratroopers conducted a jump exercise over the Shirokiy Lan training camp July 19 in support of Exercise Sea Breeze 2008. The jumps provided the paratroopers with the opportunity to jump from not only their aircraft, but also a German C-160 flying over 1,000 feet, which provided the Ukrainian paratroopers with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with German aircraft and static-line paradrop procedures. The paratroopers, who parachuted from the C-160, were conducting their first jump with German parachutes deployed by static lines.

The paratroopers are part of the Land Component Command for Sea Breeze 2008, led by Ukrainian Lt. Col. Sergei Stevschenko.

"I very much like participating in multinational peace keeping exercises like the ones conducted here at Shirokiy Lan training camp," said Stevschenko. "There should be more of these exercises throughout the year and I am really looking forward to working on other partnership for peace exercises in other countries as well," he added.

In addition to paratrooper drops, the Land Component Command also conducted joint ground operations with Macedonian and Georgian Infantry Platoons, and Ukrainian Army and Marine Infantry personnel. Part of training included Improvised Explosive Device (IED) awareness, building entry procedures and checkpoint and urban operations.

"The operations being conducted here provide the opportunity for multinational armed forces to learn from one another," said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mark Wood, Sea Breeze 2008 Deputy Commander of the Multinational Battalion.

The combined ground operations will begin scenario-based operations as the exercise progresses.

Maritime, air and land forces from 16 countries are participating in the largest multinational naval exercise this year in the Black Sea from July 12-28. Annually hosted by the Ukrainian Navy, Exercise Sea Breeze 2008 aims to improve maritime security in the Black Sea through increased interoperability and cooperation among regional allies.

Nations participating in this 11th anniversary of Exercise Sea Breeze include host country Ukraine as well Armenia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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