By Spc. Joshua Taeckens
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — 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, August 1-12, 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, 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 establish 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 maritime security of the Panama Canal. The exercise has since grown to become one of the largest coalition command post exercises in the world.
Chilean Army Logistics Division Commander and Deputy Commanding General of Multinational Forces for PANAMAX 2022, Maj. Gen. Ricardo Stangher, said the collaboration undertaken by this multinational exercise contributes to establish 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,” said Stangher. “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.”
Cover photo: Military members from the U.S. and partner nation militaries conduct a briefing during PANAMAX 2022 on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, August 4, 2022. 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, took place August 1-12, at bases in Texas, Florida, Virginia and Arizona. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Taeckens) (Spc. Joshua Taeckens)