PANAMAX 2022 exercise begins in Mayport, Florida

United States Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO) is hosting Combined Force Maritime Component Command (CFMCC) personnel participating in exercise PANAMAX 2022, in Mayport, Florida, from August 1-12 of 2022.

Exercise PANAMAX 2022 is a US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) sponsored exercise that provides significant training opportunities for nations to work together and develop the ability to plan and conduct complex multinational operations. The exercise scenario involves security and stability operations to ensure the free flow of trade through the Panama Canal.

US forces participating in this year’s exercise include elements of personnel from SOUTHCOM; US Army South (ARSOUTH); Marine Corps Force, South; US Special Operations Command South, Air Forces South and the USNAVSO, along with participants from 23 partner nations.

Approximately 300 sailors, marines and public security forces will form part of the CFMCC staff under the direction of Argentine Navy Rear Admiral Marcelo Fernández, who serves as commander of the Atlantic Naval Area.

“PANAMAX demonstrates our ability to ensure regional security and stability through multinational maritime operations in support of the Panama Canal,” said Rear Adm. Fernandez. “I look forward to the opportunity to work together with the United States and our other partner nations during this important exercise.”

Under the scenario of the exercise, a multinational force has been formed to execute a resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations Organization, which calls for the defense of the Panama Canal. The force includes air, ground, and special forces components, in addition to the maritime component, which will plan and conduct simulated operations in the canal and its surrounding waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

In this year’s PANAMAX there are no living forces. Instead, component personnel will work in a computer-aided scenario in support of Multinational Forces South (MNFS) commander Maj. Gen. William Thigpen, ARSOUTH commanding general.

Forces will participate in training at various locations across the US, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff Exercise Directorate in Suffolk, Virginia; SOUTHCOM in Doral, Florida; Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida; Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona; and Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

For the fifth consecutive time, the commanders of the air, land and sea components of the PANAMAX exercise are flag officers and generals from partner nations.

“PANAMAX provides an important opportunity to build on the long-standing relationships we have developed with our partners,” said Rear Adm. Doug Sasse, USNAVSO deputy reserve commander, and CFMCC deputy commander. “It also serves as an invaluable platform for multinational forces to increase their capabilities, improve interoperability and strengthen partnerships.”

The USNAVSO, host of the exercise, supports SOUTHCOM’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, improve interoperability, and build enduring partnerships to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

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