Hosted by U.S. Army South, military representatives from 15 partner nations attended the PANAMAX 2022 Functional Component Planning-In-Crisis training, June 22 – 30, 2022, in Panama City, Republic of Panama. Countries participating included Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Spain, Uruguay, and the United States.
This functional PIC served as an opportunity to build readiness and interoperability, and to strengthen partnerships in a dynamic coalition environment leading up to the exercise execution in August.
Major General Rodrigo Ferraz of the Brazilian Army, selected as Commander of the Combined Forces Land Component for the exercise, is one of four partner nation military representatives who will be serving as Functional Component Commanders. Major General Ferraz most recently participated in Southern Vanguard 2021, a rotating exercise that Army South conducts with partner nations in Central and South America to enhance interoperability between U.S. and Western Hemisphere forces.
“In the history of our two countries, our forces participated in World War II together to defend liberty and democracy; and PANAMAX reaffirms our bonds of military cooperation,” said Major General Ferraz, who recognized the importance of preparedness and readiness training. “The main goal for me is exchanging knowledge and professional experiences, learning military decision, experience, and diplomacy, and getting to know the other service members,” he said. “But above all, PANAMAX is a chance to establish friendships, confidence, brotherhoods, and camaraderie.”
The other three component leads are Brigadier General Carlos Silva of the Colombian Air Force who will serve as Commander of the Air Component; Rear Admiral Marcelo Fernandez of the Argentine Navy who will lead Maritime Component; and Captain Ricardo Devoto Gagliardi of the Peruvian Navy who will command the Special Operations Component.
Brigadier General Silva, Commander of the Air Component, recognized the value of multinational exercises, noting that they enhance knowledge through realistic scenarios that countries might face in the future and that might require close collaboration with partner nation militaries.
“Carrying out the joint planning process allows us to get to know each other better… Indeed, it offers us many benefits, since there are very few occasions like this, which implies a large investment of resources, in which the countries of the region have the opportunity to train and work together,” Brigadier General Silva said.
PANAMAX 2022 is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored, multinational annual exercise scheduled for Aug. 1-12 for the purpose of strengthening partnerships, enhancing readiness, and improving interoperability among U.S. and partner nation military forces. The exercise will take place at various locations throughout the continental United States.