Two American reconnaissance P-8 Poseidon aircraft have arrived for the first time in Odessa to participate in the Ukrainian-American exercise Sea Breeze-2017, the press service of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported on Facebook on Wednesday.
In Odessa, the Sea Breeze international naval exercises are held under the auspices of the Partnership for Peace program and in accordance with the program of bilateral cooperation between the defense ministries of Ukraine and the United States for the current year.
"On July 11th, two American reconnaissance P-8 Poseidon aircraft arrived in the city to take part in the exercises. This is the first time such aircraft have been not only to Odessa, but in Ukraine. In all previous Sea Breeze, the P-3 Orion basic patrol P-3 aircraft were used. However, these aircraft have recently begun to be removed from the arsenal and replaced by Poseidons," the Facebook post reads.
The joint American and Ukrainian naval exercises, Sea Breeze-2017, started on Monday in southern Ukraine. It was reported earlier that the US military participation in Sea Breeze involved two battleships equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system, a Ticonderoga-class crusier, Hue City and a Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Carney, which arrived in Odessa on Monday. In addition four aircraft, including the patrol anti-submarine Boeing P-8A Poseidon; a mobile engineering unit, and a marine special operations detachment are participating in the exercises. Overall, about 800 U.N. Navy sailors and Marines are taking part in Sea Breeze-2017.
In total, according to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, 31 vessels, boats and ships, 29 aircraft, and more than 3,000 personnel are involved in the joint Ukrainian-American exercises Sea Breeze-2017, which started on Monday in southern Ukraine.