American cruiser USS Hue City and destroyer USS Carney have arrived in Odessa, Ukraine.
Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City and the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Carney have arrived for what the US Navy say is a scheduled port visit in support of exercise Sea Breeze 2017.
Sea Breeze is a US and Ukraine co-hosted multinational maritime exercise held in the Black Sea and is designed to enhance ‘interoperability of participating nations and strengthen maritime security within the region’.
Hue City, a part of the USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, is expected to host various distinguished visitors for a reception associated with the exercise and will offer tours of the ship. Sailors will also have the chance to see the many sights that Odessa has to offer and experience the unique culture of Ukraine.
“The next few days spent in Odessa are going to be extremely beneficial in strengthening our relations not only with Ukraine, but all the nations participating in Sea Breeze,” said Capt. Dan Gillen, Hue City’s commanding officer. “It is critical that we continue to participate in multinational exercises such as these in order to strengthen our tactical and operational procedures when working with partner navies all around the world.”
Carney is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony for Sea Breeze and the pre-sail conferences for the at-sea phase of the exercise. Carney, forward deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting its third patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
“This is our first visit to Ukraine and we are excited to see Odessa. Sea Breeze 2017 will kick-off here,” said Cmdr. Peter Halvorsen, Carney’s commanding officer. “This is a great opportunity to meet Sailors from all over the region and for us to train together. This exercise, which is co-hosted by Ukraine, exemplifies our collective resolve to upholding international law, and to maintaining peace and stability in the Black Sea.”
This is the 17th iteration of Sea Breeze, and will feature air, land, sea and amphibious forces from 16 allied and partner nations.