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Patrol Squadron 16 Returns from Sea Breeze Exercise in Odessa, Ukraine

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS170807-21
Release Date: 8/7/2017 1:58:00 PM

By Lt. Eric Scott and Lt. j.g. Nicholas Senecal, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

SIGONELLA, Italy (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 returned July 23, 2017 from a 10-day detachment to Odessa, Ukraine, where they participated in exercise Sea Breeze 2017.

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) also participated in the exercise. Sea Breeze is a multinational exercise centered on enhancing partnerships in the Black Sea region. The primary focus areas of this year's exercise for the P-8A maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) and its crew included conducting anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and maritime domain awareness (MDA) exercises as well as enhancing interoperability with Black Sea partner nations.

The "War Eagles" of VP-16 conducted coordinated ASW flights with ships and aircraft from Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States to improve working relationships with members of the maritime patrol community. The mission commander for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft, Lt. Eric Scott, credited the success of the det. to the common bond shared between members of the maritime patrol community.

"It doesn't matter what aircraft you fly, or what country you are from," said Scott. "We all fly the same missions, in the same region, with the same goals."

This year's Sea Breeze exercise marked the first time the Poseidon aircraft had landed in Ukraine, operating out of Odessa International Airport. During the 10 days of the exercise, the aircraft flew six separate missions and showcased the capabilities of its crew and sensors. In addition, the exercise provided opportunities for members of both the host nation, and our own Sailors, to learn from each other and forge long lasting, enduring relationships.

- This detachment marks the first time that the P-8A Poseidon aircraft has operated out of Odessa, Ukraine.
- VP-16 is the second P-8A squadron to deploy to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
- VP-16 is homeported out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.
- VP-16 is deployed to Commander, Task Force 67 out of Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily.
- VP-16 is in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operation in support of U.S National security interests in Europe and Africa.

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