The Ukrainian Navy trained off the UK

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Two Ukrainian mine hunters, recently offered by the United Kingdom, were directly integrated into the Sea Breeze exercise. Little by little, thanks to deliveries of ships, drones or even access to a high-level learning center, the Ukrainian Navy is gaining strength. Mine warfare is also strategic for Ukraine, due to its need to keep its maritime routes open.

A training

From June 26 to July 7, NATO organized its traditional Sea Breeze demining exercise. Traditionally, this exercise takes place in the Black Sea, but following the war in Ukraine, the exercise area moved to the North Sea. While the exercise primarily focuses on interoperability between participating nations, this year’s exercise had a second objective, as explained by the Order (Norwegian equivalent of Commander) Ole Torstein Sjo, Commander Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1):

During this exercise, we have been fully focused on supporting the establishment of a mine countermeasures capability (marines) Ukrainian. (…) It is equally important to provide Ukraine with the capacity and the tools to secure and safeguard the future of this country after the war.

A total of 15 countries participated in the exercise as well as many ships:

  • the Dutch minehunter HNLMS Vlaardingen (M863, Alkmaar class),
  • the Dutch minehunter HNLMS Makkum (M857, Alkmaar class),
  • the Dutch hydrographic survey vessel HNLMS Snellius (A802, Snellius class),
  • the Estonian minehunter EML Sakala (M314, Sandown class),
  • the English mine hunter HMS Pembroke (M107, Sandown class),
  • the French minehunter FS Sagittaire (M650, Éridan class)
  • Norwegian Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel HNoMS Nordkapp (W320, Nordkapp class).

If the Ukrainians obviously participated in this exercise, they did not do it from the mainland or from one of the foreign ships: we must add to this list two Ukrainian minehunters, namely the Cherkasy and Chernihiv. We can also see in the tweet below the inscription in marker on one of the windows of the bridge of FS Sagittaire.

John Walker Avatar