Four NATO warships, that entered the Black Sea earlier this month, are taking part in the multinational Exercise BREEZE 2014 to enhance NATO solidarity and readiness.
The ships are from the Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group Two (SNMCMG2), one of the four NATO fleets that operate on a rotational basis.
During the Bulgarian Navy-led exercise that began on 4 July, SNMCMG2 will engage with ships and aircraft of the Bulgarian Navy and air and naval units from Greece, Italy, Romania, Turkey and the United States.
Led by Captain Giovanni Piegaja (Italian Navy), SNMCMG2 is currently composed of an Italian frigate ITS AVIERE (flagship), ITS RIMINI (Italian Navy), TCG AKÇAY (Turkish Navy), HMS CHIDDINGFOLD (UK Royal Navy).
The aim of Exercise BREEZE 2014 is to improve operational and tactical interoperability of participating units and commands, to enhance interagency cooperation in a multi-threat environment. The exercise is also an opportunity for NATO to exercise its warfare procedures and tactics in a multinational environment.
The exercise is based on a fictitious scenario and designated to support exercise aim and objectives. During the ashore phase, the group will participate in a number of workshops and conferences in order to be prepared for the part of the exercise taking place at sea.
The operation undertaken by the Bulgarian Navy headquarters for planning and conducting maritime operations will be carried out according to NATO standards.
“Our deployment is a clear demonstration of our commitment to the Alliance’s solidarity and collective defence,” said Captain Giovanni Piegaja, commander of the SNMCMG2.
Exercise BREEZE 2014 will continue until Sunday, 13 July.
Press Release, July 09, 2014; Image: NATO