By Wayne Madsen
20 July 2014
The 10-day NATO exercise code named BREEZE 2014 has ended in Black Sea. The exercise, which included the use of electronic warfare and electronic intelligence aircraft such as the Boeing EA-18G Growler and the Boeing E3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), coincided with the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, some 40 miles from the Russian border. NATO ships and aircraft had the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under total radar and electronic surveillance.
MH-17 was shot down over a region where Russian-speaking separatist forces have been battling against the alliance of the Ukrainian armed forces and a private mercenary force answerable to a Ukrainian-Jewish billionaire oligarch.
The U.S. Army has revealed that the 10-day exercise involved «commercial traffic monitoring». Because of the sophistication of the electronic warfare and intelligence used during SEA BREEZE, it can be assumed that commercial traffic monitoring included monitoring the track of MH-17.
Past NATO-Ukraine exercises in Crimea were called SEA BREEZE. This year’s annual SEA BREEZE exercise with Ukraine, approved by the rump Ukrainian Parliament, is clouded in mystery with the Pentagon saying “it was only in the planning stage and we can’t announce dates yet“. However, 200 U.S. Army personnel normally assigned to bases in Germany were in Ukraine during the time of the MH-17 fly-over. They were participating in NATO exercise RAPID TRIDENT II. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense led the exercise.