Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan is leading a NATO task force through one of the largest naval exercises staged in the Black Sea.
Breeze 17 is described as the testing naval forces from more than half a dozen nations and their ability to safeguard Black Sea shores and shipping.
According to the Royal Navy:
“Demonstrations culminated with Royal Marines and their Bulgarian counterparts taking down ‘terrorists’ who’d seized a ship in Varna.
Elsewhere sailors had to deal with a major fire ravaging a merchantman in port, the illegal trafficking of migrants, and a large-scale rescue of people in distress at sea.
The exercise also allowed Portsmouth-based Duncan to work alongside an old friend, as the Romanian involvement was led by Regele Ferdinand, also known as the former Type 22 frigate HMS Coventry.”
Breeze 17 was the first major exercise for Duncan since she took charge of Standing Maritime Group 2.
Turkish frigate TCG Yildirim and the British destroyer swapped two junior officers and a chief petty officer for 24 hours to get to know each other better.
Sub Lieutenant Aaron Boyce said:
“I was made to feel very welcome by our Turkish friends and was able to share ideas on how we communicate together. I can’t wait to go back.”
HMS Duncan is leading Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) is what NATO call an ‘Immediate Reaction Force’. SNMG2 is a ‘multinational, integrated maritime force’ – made up of vessels from various allied nations, training and operating together as a single team – that is permanently available to NATO to perform a wide range of tasks, from participating in exercises to crisis response and real world operational missions.