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NEWS | Aug. 15, 2022

PANAMAX 2022 command post exercise concludes

By Steven McLoud U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs

From Aug. 1-12, 2022, more than 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 Maj. Gen. William Thigpen, U.S. Army South commanding general, serving as Multi-National Force Commander, partner nations had an increased role in PANAMAX 2022. Chilean Army Maj. Gen. Ricardo Stangher filled the role of Multi-National Force Deputy Commander, while the functional components were led by four other nations:

  • Ground - Maj. Gen. Rodrigo Ferraz, Brazilian Army
  • Maritime - Rear Adm. Marcelo Fernandez, Argentine Navy
  • Air - Brig. Gen. Carlos Silva, Colombian Air Force
  • Special Forces – Capt. Augusto Manucci, 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; Joint Base San Antonio-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 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.