SIGONELLA, Italy --- Two P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 participated in the Bulgarian Navy-led exercise Breeze 2020, July 15.
Twenty-six maritime vessels, nine aircraft, and approximately 2,500 sailors from ten countries are scheduled to participate in Breeze 2020. Participating nations include: Bulgaria, Belgium, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Romania, Turkey, France and United States, and NATO’s Allied Maritime Command.
"Exercise Breeze 20 is critical to strengthening relationships with NATO allies and partners in the Black Sea." said Capt. William C. Pennington Jr., commodore of Combined Task Force-67. "Complex exercises such as Breeze, provide an excellent opportunity for U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F) maritime patrol squadrons to increase their operational proficiency and communication interoperability, while conducting combined maritime patrols. Our strong relationship continues to grow with the Bulgarian Navy and other partner nations participating in Breeze, and we look forward to future opportunities to operate together."
This is the 24th iteration of the annual exercise, which routinely focuses on assessing multi-national partners’ interoperability and ability to conduct regional maritime security operations in the Black Sea, as well as providing a platform for evaluation of Bulgarian Navy units.
"Everyone that participated in this exercise should be proud of the level of cooperation that was achieved.” said Lt. j.g. Oscar Carrillo, VP-47 naval flight officer. “I firmly believe that we have been successful in growing our relationships with one other. After 24 years of Breeze exercises, I have no doubt in the trust, partnership, and improved interoperability we have developed on the seas, over the land, and in the air."
VP 47 operates the P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft, capable of conducting Anti-submarine warfare, maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance missions.
The squadron is forward-deployed to the C6F area of responsibility and is assigned to commander, Task Force 67, responsible for tactical control of deployed maritime patrol and reconnaissance forces throughout the European and African areas of responsibility.
C6F, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.