BLACKSEAFOR activities to take place between April 5 and 23 in 5 phases

The Black Sea Naval Force (BLACKSEAFOR) will conduct activities in five phases between April 5 and 23.

In a written statement released on April 3, the Turkish Navy said that the current command structure of BLACKSEAFOR was with them and that their activities in April would be staged at various ports for 13 days and the remaining activities would be held while on journey in the sea for 6 days.

BLACKSEAFOR was created in early 2001 under the leadership of Turkey, with the participation of all other Black Sea littoral states, namely Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia. The BLACKSEAFOR founding agreement was signed in Istanbul on April 2, 2001.

The original purpose of BLACKSEAFOR was to cooperatively promote security and stability in the Black Sea maritime area and beyond, strengthen friendship and good neighborly relations among the regional states, and increase interoperability among those states' naval forces.

Soft security efforts and military activities, in addition to political dialogue, are being pursued in this framework. Search and rescue operations, environmental protection, and mine-clearing were among the initial activities of BLACKSEAFOR.

BLACKSEAFOR is an on-call force and currently has no permanent headquarters. It is activated twice yearly and the command structure is based on the principle of rotation. Each littoral assumes leadership for a one-year period.

According to the BLACKSEAFOR Agreement, two scheduled activations take place each year. Unscheduled activations can also take place if participation of four ships is achieved.
Decisions are taken by consensus.

Adapted from Anadoly Agency