NATO kicks off Black Sea-Danube Delta exercise labeled Sea Shield 24

USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group. (
By John Cody
2 Min Read

NATO has launched its second major exercise this year in the vicinity of Ukraine, this time focusing on the Black Sea and the Danube Delta region.

The joint operation, Sea Shield 24, which runs until April 21, brings together more than 2,200 troops from Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, the U.K., Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, the United States, Georgia and Moldova. The forces will include 27 river and naval warships, 17 aircraft, and 91 land-based military vehicles.

According to a Romanian Navy statement, Sea Shield is the most complex event of the 2024 training year, with scenarios focusing on missions to combat illegal activities, maritime and river control, the rescue of vessels in distress, and the protection of critical infrastructure in the Black Sea, along the coast, in the Danube, and in the Danube Delta.

The international exercise also aims to strengthen cooperation between the navies of the participating countries and with other forces.

The largest naval exercise organized by Romania was first held in 2015. Since then, Sea Shield scenarios have been continuously modified to enable the participating NATO forces to respond quickly and effectively to the full spectrum of threats to regional security and stability, according to the organizers.

In January, NATO launched “Steadfast Defender 2024,” a five-month exercise rehearsing the alliance’s response to a hypothetical aggression against a member state. All 32 NATO member states participated, with some 90,000 personnel, including the largest single contingent of 20,000 from the United Kingdom.

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