Growing in popularity over the years, this year's iteration will host the largest number of participating nations in the history of the exercise with more than 30 countries from six continents providing 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft, and 18 special operations and dive teams scheduled to participate.
NATO Allies and Partners, improve their ability to conduct the full range of naval and land operations by participating in exercises like SEA BREEZE 2021. The exercise will provide the opportunity for personnel to engage in realistic maritime training to build experience and teamwork and strengthen our interoperability as we work toward mutual goals.
Since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, NATO has increased its presence in the Black Sea. NATO supports Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters. NATO does not and will not recognize Russia's illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and denounces its temporary occupation.
NATO continues to operate in international waters and the Alliances actions are always defensive in nature, proportionate in posture, and in line with international laws and conventions. The multinational character of NATO deployments, and transparency in all of its exercises and activities, reflects Allies' fundamental commitment to the principles of collective defense, transatlantic unity, and interoperability in order to maintain peace and preserve security.