By Walter T. Ham IV, 20th CBRNE Command Public AffairsAugust 13, 2014
DORAL, Fla. (Aug. 13, 2014) -- Soldiers from 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives), are supporting Panamax, a U.S Southern Command-sponsored multinational exercise taking place in the United States and Central America.
The CBRNE Coordination Element, or CCE 3/5, is providing unique and critical expertise to the combatant command staff at the U.S. Southern Command Headquarters in Doral, Florida, during the exercise.
According to Maj. Nathaniel A. Allen, the CCE assists commanders with assessment and analysis of CBRNE actions and operations to develop and implement mission support courses of action.
"We do this by providing CBRNE planning, coordination, synchronization, modeling and hazard prediction in the supported theater of operations," said Allen, a La Crosse, Wisconsin native who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Capt. Alex C. Parker, a Chemical Corps officer and CCE 3/5 member from San Bernardino, California, is also participating in the exercise.
CCEs train with joint, interagency and allied forces around the globe. With support from CCE 1, CCE 3/5 also took part in Exercise Vibrant Response in Indiana.
The Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 20th CBRNE Command has five CCEs that deploy for global military operations and homeland security missions. Each 17-member CCE team brings Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), CBRNE, nuclear, intelligence and communications capabilities with it.
The only formation of its kind in the U.S. Department of Defense, the 20th CBRNE Command confronts and combats chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.
Operating on 19 military posts in 16 states, 20th CBRNE provides ready, reliable and globally responsive CBRN and EOD forces across the nation and around the world.
Panamax 2014 is being conducted at the U.S. Southern Command Headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; at Suffolk, Virginia; and in Panama, Aug. 8-14.
The annual exercise tackles a variety of complex scenarios on land, sea, air and in cyber space, including countering transnational crime and providing humanitarian assistance.
The participants are also training to protect the Panama Canal, the strategic transit point for six percent of the world's trade and several million tons of cargo each year.
During this year's Panamax exercise, U.S. troops are training with military forces from Brazil, Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.