Pages: PANAMAX-2011

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PANAMAX-2011

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PANAMAX 2011

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VQ4CPAFXA7ET-17-615

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Wimbish, Michael D CIV USSOUTHCOM/SC-CC (L)

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PANAMAX 2011 is an annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored multinational exercise series that focuses on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal.  About 22 ships and 3,500 personnel from 16 nations, including the United States, participated in live and simulated training scenarios in the vicinity of Panama and from various U.S. locations. 

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Sailors from Special Boat Team 22 and service members from Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama and Peru participate in a hot extraction training exercise as part of PANAMAX 2011.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Elisandro T. Diaz)
Sailors from Special Boat Team 22 and service members from Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama and Peru participate in a hot extraction training exercise as part of PANAMAX 2011.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Elisandro T. Diaz)
 
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Overview

Fuerzas Aliadas PANAMAX 2011 focused on the defense of the Panama Canal and the Central American region by a multinational combined/joint task force.  The exercise was held Aug.15 – 26, 2011.  It exercised a variety of responses to any request from the Government of Panama to protect and guarantee safe passage of traffic through the Panama Canal, ensure its neutrality, and respect national sovereignty.
 
PANAMAX 2011 was one of the largest multinational training exercises in the world and took place off the coasts of Panama and locations in the United States, including Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Miami, Naval Station Mayport, Fla., Stennis, Miss. and others.
 
This exercise was designed to execute stability operations under the support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions; provide interoperability training for the participating multinational staffs; and build participating nation capability to plan and execute complex multinational operations. PANAMAX develops and sustains relationships that improve the capacity of emerging and enduring partners’ security forces to achieve common desired goals.  This annual exercise fosters friendly cooperation and understanding among participating forces.

Importance of Exercise

The Panama Canal is critical to the free flow of trade in the region and the entire world.  The region's economy and political stability largely depend on the safe transport of several hundred million tons of cargo through the Canal each year, and PANAMAX 2011 is designed to ensure plans are in place to respond to requests from the Government of Panama and also Colombia for this year’s iteration. PANAMAX has evolved over many years and now includes training for the constantly evolving nature of new threats in today’s security environment.

Training Involved

While the overarching goal was to develop and test command & control of forces at sea, training in this exercise addressed the spectrum of maritime, air, land, space, and cyber operations.  Specifically, there were scenarios addressing visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), Entry Control Point training, littoral operations, open water diving operations, counter drug interdictions and simulated riverine operations.  

Participating Nations

Representatives from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the United States participated in exercise PANAMAX 2011 from August 15-26, 2011, in Panama and other locations in the United States. 

U.S. Military Participants

Participating in this year’s PANAMAX from the United States were staff elements from SOUTHCOM, U.S. Army South, U.S. Marine Forces South, Special Operations Command South, USS Thach (FFG 43), USCGC Bear (WMEC-901), Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU 2) Explosive Ordinance Disposal Operational Support Unit (EODOSU) 10 Detachment OCD, Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron Four (MSRON 4), Riverine Group One (RIVGRU 1), U.S. 2nd Fleet, and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4th Fleet. 

History

PANAMAX began in 2003 with three countries: Panama, Chile and the United States. Exercise participation has greatly expanded every year since. In 2004, nine nations took part; in 2005, 15 nations were involved; in 2006, 18 nations participated; in 2007, 19 nations took part and last year 20 nations were a part of PANAMAX 2010.

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Article Date

8/12/2011

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Content Type: USSOUTHCOM Custom Fact File Article Page
Version: 31.0
Created at 8/11/2011 1:41 PM by Wimbish, Michael D CIV USSOUTHCOM/SC-CC (L)
Last modified at 5/2/2013 11:02 AM by Wimbish, Michael D CIV USSOUTHCOM/SC-CC (L)