The 19th iteration of the US and Ukraine co-hosted multinational maritime exercise Sea Breeze 2019 (SB19) has concluded in the Black Sea.

Sea Breeze is an annual exercise designed to increase interoperability among participating countries to boost security and stability in the region.

The two-week exercise focused on a range of security and stability scenarios in land, sea, and air.

Completion of SB19 was marked by a closing ceremony in Odesa, Ukraine.

US Navy Task Force 65 commodore and SB19 US exercise director captain Matthew Lehman said: “Today exercise Sea Breeze 2019 is over, but the work for exercise Sea Breeze 2020 starts tomorrow.”

More than 3,000 personnel and 32 vessels took part in the Sea Breeze exercise.

The training drills included maritime interdiction operations, air defence, special forces training, anti-submarine warfare, damage control tactics, search and rescue and amphibious warfare.

Other components of the exercise included dive training and air component training.

US 6th Fleet commander vice-admiral Lisa Franchetti said: “It’s a pleasure for members of the US Navy to have the opportunity to work alongside Ukrainian sailors and friends from other nations.”

Towards the closing stages of the exercise, the participating ships took part in a final photo exercise.

The 19-nation exercise also involved Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK.

US assets that participated in SB19 included the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64), the expeditionary fast-transport ship USNS Yuma (T-EPF 8) and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.