NATO's Breeze 2014 Naval Drills Kick Off in Black Sea
Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey and the US are due to take part in NATO's Breeze 2014 naval drills beginning on July 4, Bulgaria's Defense Ministry has announced.
The nine-day-long military exercise is to be held in the Western section of the sea and are aimed at improving the tactical compatibility and collaboration among naval forces of the alliance's member states.
Apart from ships provided by the Balkan countries and the US, the Pentagon has also deployed a patrol warplane.
NATO's website also reports that Italian navy frigates, the ITS AVIERE and the ITS RIMINI, have entered the Black Sea to participate.
Bulgaria's port city of Burgas has peen picked to host the staff of the drills.
While Breeze 2014 is taking place, the staff of the Bulgarian Naval Forces will be certified for conformity of the level of planning independent operations to NATO criteria, according to the website pan.bg, specialized in defense issues.
The exercise, which ends July 13, starts amid stepped-up presence of alliance forces in the Black Sea over the Ukraine crisis and Russia's decision to incorporate the Crimean peninsula in March this year.
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