Warships from four allied nations, including Ukraine, are arriving in Glasgow this weekend in preparation for Exercise Sea Breeze, a major NATO military exercise set to take place in Scottish waters.

The ships and their crews will be stationed at Glasgow’s King George V Docks before heading out to sea for the drills. I’ve been lucky enough to be invited onboard but more about that next week!

The arriving vessels include the German Elbe-class replenishment ship Donau, the flagship of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1). Donau is accompanied by the Estonian Sandown-class minehunter Ugandi and the French Tripartite-class minehunter Céphée. Ukrainian ships Cherkasy and Chernihiv are expected to join over the weekend.

Exercise Sea Breeze is an annual multinational maritime exercise traditionally held in the Black Sea, co-hosted by the United States and Ukraine. Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the exercise has been relocated to Glasgow for the second year in a row. The drills aim to enhance maritime security and stability operations, focusing on mine countermeasure and dive operation mission areas. The exercise will run from June 24 to July 5, with most activities taking place near Arran, Campbeltown, and the Northern Minches.

This year’s exercise will see participation from ships and personnel from Estonia, France, Germany, and Ukraine, with additional personnel from Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Japan, Poland, Romania, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The exercise provides an opportunity for these nations to work closely together, refining tactics and procedures over the next two weeks.

The Ukrainian vessels Cherkasy and Chernihiv, formerly Royal Navy ships named Shoreham and Grimsby, were transferred to the Ukrainian navy in 2023. Stationed at HM Naval Base Portsmouth, their crews have been training with Royal Navy instructors. These ships have previously participated in Exercise Joint Warrior 23 and will use Exercise Sea Breeze to further develop their operational capabilities.

The relocation of Exercise Sea Breeze to Glasgow comes after the closure of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits by Turkey, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has restricted military vessel passage into the Black Sea. Despite these challenges, the exercise continues to ensure readiness and cooperation among NATO allies and partners.

Since the invasion in 2022, the UK has been a significant supporter of Ukraine, providing more than £7.6 billion in military aid.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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MarkHughes (@guest_828493)
16 days ago

My main takeaway from these pictures is the size of those wind turbine blades…

dc647a (@guest_828579)
16 days ago

The UK is sending it’s only spare operational vessel an RIB from the Royal Marines with 8 Marines on it. I know 8 RMs on a RIB can do a lot of damage which I will begrudgingly say, still you’ve got to admire the boot necks for their professionalism or is it stubbornness 🤔😂