From Aug. 1-12, 2022, 1,500 U.S. military personnel along with nearly 500 security personnel from 19 nations participated in the multinational command post exercise, PANAMAX 2022, hosted at various locations in the United States by U.S. Southern Command.
The exercise built interoperability among partner nations, enabling them to counter threats posed by violent and dangerous groups, provide humanitarian relief as necessary, and maintain free and unfettered access to the Panama Canal.
With U.S. Army South Major General William Thigpen serving as Multi-National Force Commander, partner nations had an increased role in PANAMAX 2022. Chilean Army Major General Ricardo Stangher filled the role of Multi-National Force Deputy Commander while the functional components were led by four other nations:
- Ground - Major General Rodrigo Ferraz of the Brazilian Army
- Maritime - Rear Admiral Marcelo Fernandez of the Argentine Navy
- Air - Brigadier General Carlos Silva of the Colombian Air Force
- Special Forces – Captain Augusto Manucci of the Peruvian Navy
Partner nation forces participated in simulated training at various U.S. locations including Joint Staff Exercise Directorate at Suffolk, Virginia; U.S. Southern Command, Doral, Florida; Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Homestead, Florida; Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona; and Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
PANAMAX, a bi-annual multinational exercise, develops and sustains relationships that enable partner-nation security forces in the region to achieve common goals, increase cooperation, and improve understanding.
This U.S.-sponsored exercise included participants from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and the United States.
PANAMAX began in 2003 with three countries: Panama, Chile and the United States. Since then, PANAMAX has become the one of the largest coalition Command Post exercises in the world. The exercise is focused on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal, one of the most strategically and economically crucial pieces of global infrastructure.