Sea Breeze series is a multinational maritime exercise, led by the USA, to enhance the Black Sea maritime capabilities with Allies and partners. It has been held since 1997. Sea Breeze 2023 brought together 15 NATO Allied and Partner nations to conduct maritime and land command and control and security operations with an emphasis on mine countermeasure and dive operation mission areas.
The crews of SNMCMG1 feel privileged and deeply honoured to be in a position where we can assist our Ukrainian partners reach new milestones with their mine countermeasures vessels
Allied and partner nations take every opportunity to train together to refine tactics, techniques, and procedures to improve effectiveness, demonstrating the shared commitment to security in the Black Sea region through interoperability with NATO.
“During this exercise our full focus and effort has been directed towards supporting the build up of a Ukrainian mine countermeasures capability,” said Commander SNMCMG1, Norwegian Commander Ole Torstein Sjo. “The crews of SNMCMG1 feel privileged and deeply honoured to be in a position where we can assist our Ukrainian partners reach new milestones with their mine countermeasures vessels. I am deeply impressed with what they have achieved so far.”
The exercise aims to build maritime security and stability operations with multinational partners, to enhance the capabilities of Black Sea and Partnership for Peace maritime security forces, while progressively training and preparing the Ukraine Maritime Command staff.
“Providing Ukraine with a capability and tools to secure and safeguard the country’s future after the war is equally important,” continued Commander Sjo. “To be a part of this endeavor is truly something we are proud of, as we stand with our Ukrainian friends.”
During Sea Breeze 2023, the ships of SNMCMG1 included HNLMS Vlaardingen, HNLMS Makkum, and HNLMS Snellius (The Netherlands), ENS Sakala (Estonia), HMS Pembroke (UK), FS Sagittaire (France) and the HNoMS Nordkapp (Norway).
The Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One is a multinational naval task force dedicated to ensuring the safety of maritime navigation by providing a constant and credible MCM capability to the Alliance. The group currently operates in the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean.