PANAMAX 2022, scheduled from Aug. 1 - 12, 2022, is a U.S.-sponsored, multinational annual exercise that provides an opportunity to conduct security and stability operations, practice interoperability with our partners, and build upon capability to plan and execute complex multinational operations.
This year partner nation forces will participate 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. About 500 U.S. military and civilian personnel are participating and approximately 400 partner nation participants are taking part.
The focus of PANAMAX 2022 is to exercise a variety of responses to a request for assistance from the government of Panama to protect and guarantee safe passage of traffic through the Panama Canal, ensure its neutrality, and respect national sovereignty. This exercise is designed to execute stability operations under the auspices 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 provides opportunities for the participating nations to join efforts to counter threats posed by violent and dangerous groups, provide humanitarian relief as necessary, and maintain free and unfettered access to the Panama Canal.
Importance of Exercise
Working with our partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean provides U.S. service members with an opportunity to sharpen their skills on planning and conducting multi-national operations in response to regional security challenges. This collaborative effort increases our readiness and operational experience.
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.
Multinational Leadership Roles
Partner nations continue taking an increased leadership role. Specifically, Chile will fill the role of Multi-National Force Deputy Commander. Brazil will lead the ground component, Argentina will lead the maritime component, Colombia will lead the air component, and Peru will lead the Special Operations Forces component. This is the fourth time that partner nations will lead functional components in PANAMAX.
U.S. Military Participants
U.S. forces participating in this year’s exercise include staff elements from U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army South, U.S. Marine Forces South, Special Operations Command South, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet.
PANAMAX began in 2003 with three countries: Panama, Chile and the United States. Since, 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.