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24 Jun 2024

International warships gather in Glasgow for NATO exercises

International warships gather in Glasgow for NATO exercises
Photo: Royal Navy News / Crown Copyright 2024
Originally posted on Royal Navy News
Five warships from four allied nations converge in Glasgow this weekend ahead of a major NATO exercise in Scottish waters.

The vessels and their crews will spend time at Glasgow’s King George V Docks before sailing to participate in Exercise Sea Breeze. The exercise, which is jointly led by the United States and Ukraine, will provide nations with the opportunity to practice working together with their closest allies and partners.

Over the next two weeks, partner nations will refine tactics, techniques, and procedures, with the focus being on mine countermeasures operations. Most of the activity will take place in the vicinity of Arran, Campbeltown, and the Northern Minches between June 24 and July 5.

Ships from Estonia, France, Germany, and Ukraine will be taking part, although personnel from Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Japan, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, United States, and the United Kingdom will also participate in the NATO exercise.

The two Ukrainian mine hunters are former Royal Navy vessels, previously named Shoreham, and Grimsby, and were transferred to the Ukrainian navy in 2023. Now named Cherkasy and Chernihiv they are currently stationed at HM Naval Base Portsmouth while their crews undergo training with Royal Navy instructors.

The ships have previously taken part in Exercise Joint Warrior 23, and Exercise Sea Breeze will further ensure that the Ukrainian sailors have the skills and knowledge to safely operate their new mine hunters.

The Ukrainian vessels will eventually operate in the Black Sea, clearing mines from vital sea lanes and safeguarding the economic and food security of the country.

The ships are currently not able to enter the Black Sea due to the terms of the Montreux Convention, which restricts passage of military vessels through the Bosporus Strait at times of war. However, they will form a critical capability for Ukraine in its future defence of coastlines.

The UK has been committed to supporting Ukraine since the illegal invasion in 2022. As one of the largest military donors, the UK has demonstrated its commitment through substantial military support, so far providing more than £7.6 billion to supporting the armed forces of Ukraine.

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