Major naval drill kicks off in Bulgaria's Black Sea zone

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SOFIA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- A major naval exercise "Breeze 2020" which involves nine countries and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) kicked off on Friday in Bulgarian Black Sea zone, the country's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

As many as 27 combat and auxiliary ships and cutters, two aircraft, seven helicopters and 2,413 servicemen would participate in the 10-day drill, the statement said.

They belong to the naval forces of Bulgaria, Belgium, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain, the United States, Turkey, Standing NATO Maritime Group Two and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group TWO from NATO's Response Force, it added.

The main idea of the exercise, which will last until July 19, is to improve interoperability and interaction between the navies through counteracting conventional and unconventional threats, and extinguishing a fire on a merchant ship, the statement said. Enditem

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