Ukrainian/US Sea Breeze Naval Exercise UnderwayJuly 14, 2010
Well dear readers, the annual naval/military Sea Breeze exercises combining Ukraine and the US are underway once again.
Well, I say annual, last year they didn’t happen as they are always a bone of contention in the regions in which they are held…….and last year there was a Presidential election to consider……and votes to be lost.
I should point out, that although it is a US and Ukrainian annual (almost) event, other nations are encouraged to join in the nautical pursuits off the coasts of Crimea, Odessa and Nikoliev……and this year the nations of Germany, Azerbiajan, Greece, Denmark, Moldova, Georgia, Poland, Turkey and Sweden have joined the fray under the watchful eye of Australian observers……..and a fair amount of locals.
It is also fair to point out that the hosting regions of Crimea and Odessa formally disapproved of the exercies in writing but were over-ruled by the RADA.
Of course the reasons for the objections were multiple, amongst them being political, environmental, tourist related (Odessa and Crimea being major tourist attractions due to fantastic seasonal weather and beaches that go on seemingly forever) and industrial, with Odessa being home to Yushni (the deepest port on the Black Sea) Illychovsk (the busiest Ukrainian commercial port) and Odessa port etc etc.
A case of local (and some national) interests being upset by larger interests and diplomatic causes…..namely being seen to be remain friendly with the US and holding a neutral course.
As far as I can tell from my excursions to the beaches thus far, we have yet to see an incident resembling an HGV jack-knifing on the M6 involving numerous other cars tail-gating……by which I mean, I have recieved no reports of infaltable seaworthy bananans being involved in collisions with naval vessels……yet.
You can imagine the carnage should such an incident occur!