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Since its inception in 2003, 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 that provides routes for international trade and military transport.
More than 1,500 U.S. and nearly 500 total military personnel from the U.S. Armed Forces and 19 partner nations including: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay participated in this year’s PANAMAX.
In Mayport, USNAVSO/4th Fleet hosted over 240 U.S. and partner nation personnel comprising the Combined Maritime Component Command (CFMCC) during the training exercise.
PANAMAX 2022 maritime component was led by Argentine Rear Adm. Marcelo Fernandez, who served as the CFMCC commander, and Rear Adm. Doug Sasse who served as his deputy commander.
“I want to say thank you to everyone for participating”, said Fernandez. “Thank you to our hosts, USNAVSO/4th Fleet, for providing this opportunity. We have all learned from each other and improved our interoperability during this exercise. PANAMAX was a true success in showing our engagement and capabilities in providing stability and safety to our region of the world.”
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 USNAVSO/4th Fleet.
“It’s been a great privilege to host our partner nation allies these past two weeks,” Rear Adm. Doug Sasse, Reserve Vice Commander, USNAVSO/4th Fleet. “We have practiced working together and have built friendships among partner navies that will last for years to come. I am confident in our ability to work together as one team in pursuit of our common goals of security and regional stability.”
Under the exercise scenario, participants from air, land, special forces and maritime components have formed a multinational force to defend the Panama Canal under a United Nations Security Council resolution. The scenario played out as simulated operations in the canal and its regional waters in both the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
The exercise was being conducted at multiple U.S. military installations including: Joint Staff Exercise Directorate at Suffolk, Va.; U.S. Southern Command, Doral, Fla.; Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Homestead, Fla.; Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Ariz.; and Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
USNAVSO/4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
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