July 10 (UPI) -- Two guided-missile ships have arrived at the Ukrainian port city of Odessa July 10 to participate in the Sea Breeze 2017 maritime exercises, the U.S. Navy announced on Monday.
The Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Hue City and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Carney will play active roles in the exercises, which involve air, naval and land forces from 17 nations.
Sea Breeze 2017 is an annual multinational exercise that focuses on joint training in maritime interdiction, air defense, anti-submarine operations, search and rescue and amphibious warfare.
"This is our first visit to Ukraine and we are excited to see Odessa. Sea Breeze 2017 will kick-off here," Carney's commanding officer, Cmdr. Peter Halvorsen, said in a press release.
"This is a great opportunity to meet Sailors from all over the region and for us to train together. This exercise, which is co-hosted by Ukraine, exemplifies our collective resolve to upholding international law, and to maintaining peace and stability in the Black Sea."
Hue City is part of the USS George H.W. Bush carrier strike group. The Black Sea area of responsibiliy falls under the U.S. 6th Fleet, whose primary mission is maintaining peace and freedom of navigation in the region along with bolstering ties with allied nations. This is the 17th year of the Sea Breeze 2017 exercise.