Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, Western military presence has increased in the wider Black Sea area. However, even before the crisis broke out, the US had had already troops stationed on a permanent basis in Turkey (1550, dispatched in Incirlik airbase, Izmir, Ankara and Kürecik) and Greece (380, deployed at Makri naval base, Soudha Bay naval base and Iraklion airbase). According to plans outlined before the Ukrainian crisis, US personnel have been gradually deployed in Bulgaria and Romania. Washington set up in 2010 the Black Sea Rotational Forces (BSRF
) including 250 marines and sailors "tasked with maintaining positive relations with partner nations, enhancing regional stability, and increasing interoperability while providing the capability for rapid crisis response in the Black Sea, Balkan, and Caucasus regions
". Besides the BSRF, the US has deployed 500 personnel in Romania at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base to conduct transit center operations. In Ukraine, Western countries have undertaken measures to reassure Kiev against the threat posed by the crisis in the Donbass. In April 2015, the US sent 290 military advisers in Western Ukraine (operation Fearless Guardian
) for a six-month mission. Canada dispatched 200 personnel until March 2017 to train the Ukrainian army, and the United Kingdom sent 35 advisers in Nikolaiev, Southern Ukraine, to assist Ukraine's military. In addition, Washington has decided to send some 1200 vehicles
, including nearly 250 M1-A2 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and armored howitzers, as a forward positioned force. Part of these units could be deployed in Romania or Bulgaria. In the Black Sea, the US, as well as NATO allies, have operated a quasi-permanent maritime presence since March 2014, and occasionally carry out naval drills with NATO countries and partners, like Sea Breeze exercise (September 2015). In Georgia, the US does not maintain any permanent military personnel, but operate joint military exercises with Georgian forces: in May 2015, 600 US personnel took part in Noble Partners exercise.