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Denmark, Ukraine, and U.S. Dive into Sea Breeze 2011

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110608-27

By Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephen Oleksiak, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

ODESSA, Ukraine (NNS) -- Danish, Ukrainian, and U.S. Navy divers conducted one of many joint dive evolutions during the multinational exercise Sea Breeze 2011 at the Ukrainian Western Naval Base, June 8.

Divers familiarized themselves with each other's equipment, and demonstrated diving procedures and techniques gained from experience.

"It's incredible working with different nations," said Steel Worker 1st Class Robert Marin, assigned to Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1. "The training and cooperation goes both ways; the Danish and Ukrainian divers have different safety measures and dive procedures than we do, so we learn from them as much as they learn from us."

Members from the Danish Navy Dive Academy, Copenhagen; Ukrainian dive team from the Search and Rescue Center of the Ukrainian navy, Sevastopol; and UCT 1, from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Va.; will be training together daily in controlled environments both in port and at sea.

"It's very nice to meet other divers from different nationalities," said Danish navy diver Benny Nielsen. "The Ukrainian and U.S. divers have been teaching us about hydraulics and deep sea diving while we've been focusing on underwater welding."

Surface supplied diving techniques, equipment familiarization, underwater welding, salvage operations, ordnance identification and disposal and side-scan sonar operations are a few of the events that will be covered during various diving phases of Sea Breeze.

"It's always amazing for us to get out and train together with other countries instead of just doing it by ourselves," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Peter Dave, a two-time veteran to exercise Sea Breeze. "It's always interesting to come out and see how other countries perform operations with different equipment, apparatuses and rigs, and Sea Breeze provides a great opportunity to do that."

Air, land and naval forces from Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States will participate in Sea Breeze, the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Black Sea, June 6-18, and is co-hosted by the Ukrainian and U.S. Navies.

Exercise Sea Breeze 2011 aims to improve maritime safety, security and stability actions in the Black Sea by enhancing the capabilities of Partnership for Peace and Black Sea regional maritime security forces.

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