Sea Breeze 2019 Exercises in Southern Ukraine Continue
American and Ukrainian military personnel have been working on maneuvers involving aviation, as part of the Sea Breeze 2019 exercises in Southern Ukraine
An Antonov AN-26 military transport aircraft flies above the Kulbakino airfield near Mykolaiv. This demonstration marked the opening of the air drills part of the 2019 Sea Breeze military exercises. Journalists were invited to see rescue teams practicing parachute jumps and other tasks.
Shortly after, two Antonov planes showed off their maneuverability.
Oleksandr has been at the helm of such aircraft for 5 years.
“The AN-26 performs reconnaissance and landing operations with the naval forces. We work in the open sea. Of course, this is a more difficult task because there are no visual reference points, only the instruments,” Armed Forces of Ukraine soldier Oleksandr said.
Altogether, there are 10 planes and 10 helicopters in the air component of the Sea Breeze exercises. The units are working to improve their coordination in an event of foreign aggression.
“According to the exercise scenario, there is an area, which is in danger of invasion from another country. The Ukrainian and American military are taking part in the air component of the drills. From our side, there’s aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force, Army Aviation and the border guards,” Deputy Commander of Ukrainian Air Force Oliksiy Neizhpapa said.
Each unit has its own task to complete. While SU-25 attack aircraft imitate an attack on land targets, helicopters evacuate the ‘wounded.’
“For the fourth year running, I perform a range of maneuvers, namely sonar and magnetometric location of submarines,” Armed Forces of Ukraine soldier Viktor said.
In the closing stages of today’s program, we witnessed the American maritime patrol aircraft Boeing P-8 Poseidon. It is used to discover enemy submarines.
According to American colleagues, the Ukrainian military is gaining strength and improving their skills from one exercise to another.
“I have always been very impressed with the level of professionalism and capability of the aviation component of the Ukrainian military. To put on an event like this, the timing, the sequence of it, it requires a lot of effort and professionalism by those involved,” United States Tactical Unit Commander Mathew Leeman said.
The Sea Breeze international exercise kicked off on the 1st of July. It involves military from 19 different countries.