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A multinational military exercise dubbed “Sea Breeze 23.3” is set to take place from September 11-15 in the Black Sea and the Danube Delta, spearheaded by the Romanian and US navies.
Led by Vice Admiral Ioan Georgescu, Command of the Navy, forces from Bulgaria, France, the UK, Romania, the US, Turkey, and Ukraine will join efforts focusing on combating explosive devices, particularly drifting sea mines, with the goal of securing freedom of navigation.
In a detailed inventory of participation, the Romanian Navy disclosed its deployment of a wide range of assets, including the maritime minesweeper 30 Sublocotenent Alexandru Axente, the fast-diving ship Venus, and EOD specialists. Meanwhile, the US contingent is set to include a P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, alongside EOD divers equipped with specific boats and hardware. Representatives from the remaining countries will offer support in the form of divers, EOD specialists, and staff officers.
Before the official commencement of “Sea Breeze 23.3”, a significant meeting occurred on September 5-6 in Constanta, Romania. This meeting gathered commanders from NATO member states’ navies bordering the Black Sea and officials from the British Royal Navy, the commander of the US 6th Fleet, the French Naval Forces commander in the Mediterranean, and Ukraine. According to a statement, the discussion facilitated by Romanian Navy Chief of Staff Mihai Panait and US Sixth Fleet commander Thomas E. Ischee aimed to foster a “synchronized vision” concerning the security concerns in the Black Sea region, particularly highlighting the threat posed by drifting sea mines and the “ongoing Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”