SHIROKY LAN, Ukraine — More than 240 multinational service members participated in a land based exercise on Shiroky Lan training field July 17, as part of exercise Sea Breeze 2010.
The exercise was held in preparation for a larger final two-day anti-piracy exercise scheduled to take place July 21-22 on Shiroky Lan training field and Tendra Island.
“This is really developing into an impressive exercise,” said U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Tom Gordon, commanding officer, Black Sea Rotation Force. “Right now we are doing the virtual portion of the exercise. The actual exercise will be executed as part of an amphibious assault on guard hill [Tendra island]. The portions of the exercise where we will be assaulting urban areas will be done constructively from Shiroky Lan training field.”
The Black Sea Rotation Force are working with Georgian, Modevian, and Ukrainian forces to augment a multinational battalion with the mission of defeating piracy in the Black Sea area.
“We have two Ukrainian marine infantry companies conducting urban combat, field training, combat medical evacuation, and small and heavy weapons training,” said Ukrainian marine Lt. Col. Andry Andry, commander, special marine battalion. “A-company is combined with 34 Georgian marines and B-company with 30 Modevian Marines. We also have 45 U.S. Marines Corps spotters.”
In the exercise, land forces are supplied with intelligence gathered by 75 Ukrainian paratroopers dropped from a German C-160 and Ukrainian An-26 transport planes.
“We brought 230 Parashoots with us so the Ukrainian troops can learn to jump with our equipment, out of our plane,” said German 1st Lt. Nikolai Bujanow, airborne support platoon leader. “We held two training days, both today and yesterday… all to train them for the final exercise.”
The German airborne service members have also been parachuting with Ukrainian aircraft and equipment. By working together, militaries were able to familiarize themselves by using each other’s equipment, which also strengthens partnerships, added Bujanow.
“The jump went really well and no one got hurt,” said Ukrainian Staff Sgt. Vitalimirovich Norikov, 2nd Fire Support Company. “I learned how to use their [Germans] equipment and how to work in a joint environment.”
Sea Breeze is a two-week maritime exercise designed to enhance interoperability and maritime security operations of developing Black Sea-nations. 1,600 mllitary and civilian members from Azerbaijan, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and United States will be participating in Sea Breeze, making it the largest exercise in the Black Sea this year.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. 6th Fleet visit www.c6f.navy.mil.