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News | Aug. 8, 2022

Exercise PANAMAX 22 kicks off across the U.S.

By Spc. Joshua Taeckens U.S. Army South Public Affairs

U.S. Army South is hosting a portion of PANAMAX 2022, a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored multinational command post exercise aimed at reinforcing and enhancing the long-term security of the Panama Canal and the Western Hemisphere, through Aug. 12 at bases in Texas, Florida, Virginia and Arizona.

More than 1,500 U.S. and nearly 500 total military personnel from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain and Uruguay are participating in this iteration of the exercise.

“The Western Hemisphere is our neighborhood, and we all have shared interests and values here,” said Maj. Gen. William Thigpen, commanding general of Army South and the Multinational Forces South commander of PANAMAX 2022, during the opening of the exercise. “This is a great opportunity to train together, build interoperability and really strengthen our partnerships.”

PANAMAX is an exercise that uses communication themes and operational understanding between joint, combined and interagency operations in order to increase interoperability by emphasizing common interests and establishing cooperative solutions through comprehensive and integrated responses to simulated transnational threats in the region.

PANAMAX began in 2003 with Chile, Panama and the U.S. with a focus on the maritime security of the Panama Canal. The exercise has since grown to become one of the largest coalition command post exercises in the world.

Maj. Gen. Ricardo Stangher, Chilean Army Logistics Division Commander and Deputy Commanding General of Multinational Forces for PANAMAX 2022, said the collaboration undertaken by this multinational exercise contributes to establishing lasting partnerships and capabilities, for the security of the Western Hemisphere.

“The partnerships that we are forming here and the integration we are experiencing will not be lost, and we will build upon the defense capabilities of all the nations involved here,” Stangher said. “Our relationships we build here and the interoperability we establish will secure our mutual interests and assist in our response to real-world transnational threats and challenges.”