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    RCN Naval Warfare Officer shares her Exercise SEA BREEZE 21 experience

    Exercise SEA BREEZE 21: Naval Warfare Officer (NWO) from the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)

    Courtesy Photo | 210709-F-D0094-844 ODESA, Ukraine (July 9, 2021) Lieutenant(Navy) Yasmin Mayne, a...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Canadian Forces Combat Camera

    As one of the seven Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Staff Officer Mentors participating in Exercise SEA BREEZE 21, I arrived in Odesa, Ukraine eagerly looking forward to working with our NATO Allies and partner nations that share the same commitment to peace and stability in Europe. This year’s iteration of SEA BREEZE is the largest to date, with more than 30 nations participating from six continents.

    Day one commenced with a grand opening ceremony where I was able to meet sailors from across the world and discuss how our different navies operate at sea. Surprisingly, there were more similarities than differences, which evoked a genuine sense of community and partnership with people I had known for less than an hour. Things were off to a great start!

    Day two was when the real business of the exercise began. Many of the participating nations sent mentors to help coach and guide the Ukrainian military’s staff officers through NATO's operational planning process (OPP). Our British friends laid the foundation the week prior to SEA BREEZE, teaching Ukrainian sailors and soldiers the basics of OPP. It was my job, and the job of the other mentors, to now mentor the Ukrainian military officers through a NATO exercise, which involved land, sea and air components, using OPP. As a naval warfare officer with experience in drug interdiction and counter-narcotics, operational planning, navigation and seamanship, I was able to advise participating sailors on maritime considerations and how to approach planning from a strategic and operational level.

    Over the next two weeks I worked with officers from many nations including the United States of America, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and Moldova. It was interesting to see what issues our partner nations and Allies prioritized in operational planning, how they communicated with different agencies in a multinational environment, and how they solved issues that arose in an operational setting. Not only did I gain a new perspective, I also learned how to refine and enhance my own operational skill set.

    We all worked hard to meet our objectives every day and a sense of camaraderie was quickly developed amongst participating nations. However, it was not all work and no play. Humour was often the name of game, especially when conversations were lost in translation. Rest days were spent exploring Odesa with new friends, enjoying the incredible food, and cementing the relationships and knowledge that were built throughout the two weeks of the exercise. It was an absolutely incredible experience to be part of the Canadian mentor team and demonstrate the strength and knowledge of Canadian training, mentorship and leadership.

    SEA BREEZE is an annual exercise co-hosted by the United States Navy and the Ukrainian Navy with the support of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. It focuses on the interoperability of maritime, ground, and air forces of the participating nations and improves their capabilities to execute Maritime Security Operations.

    (CAF article by Lieutenant(Navy) Yasmin Mayne, Naval Warfare Officer, Royal Canadian Navy)



    Date Taken: 07.09.2021
    Date Posted: 07.09.2021 03:55
    Story ID: 400587
    Location: ODESA, UA

    Web Views: 212
    Downloads: 1