Members of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation take the lead in training and facilitating during the first phase of the PANAMAX exercise, PANAMAX Alpha21.
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA -- The U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), in collaboration with the Panamanian Ministry of Public Security, initiated the PANAMAX multinational exercise series on July12 here at the National Crisis Response Coordination Center.
PANAMAX is a Government of Panama (GoP) annual unilateral exercise supported by the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) focused on the security of the Panama Canal. PANAMAX Alpha trains and prepares the Republic of Panama Public Security Forces and their supporting institutions (Joint Task Force Alpha) to reach the readiness level necessary to prevent, mitigate, and detect; through joint combined operations, threats to the security of the inter-oceanic canal, in the context of the security matrix contemplated in the fundamentals of the Panamanian security policy. The task force has representatives from: Panama National Police; Panama National Aeronaval Service; Panama National Border Service; Meritorious Fire Department of the Republic of Panama; amongst others.
With members of the Western Hemisphere for Security Cooperation facilitating on the formal portion of the instruction, the exercise trains participants on the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP); Joint Planning Process (JPP); and Troop Leading Procedures (TLP). Additionally there are classes on Human Rights, Democracy, and Joint Logistics Operations.
PANAMAX Alpha 21 Phase I unilateral portion consist of two events, the academic event (MDMP, JPP, and TLP) and the exercise execution event. The academic portion runs from 12 July to 6 Aug and the exercise execution portion is scheduled for 9-13 August.
“With the assistance of two former WHINSEC instructors and three graduates of the Institute’s Common Faculty Development Instructor Course (CFDIC), I have the lead during the academic portion,” said MAJ Robert Diaz, Center for Faulty & Staff Development Instructor. During this phase, we are able to evaluate and certify MAJ Abdiel Garcia; MAJ Matias Ruiz and MAJ Elaine Cedeño. This brings to six U.S. Army certified instructors within the ranks of the Panamanian Public Safety Forces,” Diaz added.
During the second phase, Brazilian Marine Lt. Cmdr. David Peixoto Manhaes, guest instructor at the School of Leadership and Tactics joins the team. He is responsible for the Troop Leading Procedures (TLP) classes with the rest of the WHINSEC team in a supporting role.
Twenty-four representatives in the ranks of CPT to LTC from all services under the Ministry of Public Safety, and from the Panama Fire Service are participating in the academic and execution portions of the exercise, which will play the role of Joint Task Force Alpha during the execution. Additionally, during the execution phase, 21 Special Forces personnel from all services will join during the TLP block of instruction.
"We continue to support the Republic of Panama mentoring, advising, and ensuring all instructors are trained, prepared, and properly certified; this is what WHINSEC delivers to the Western Hemisphere countries," said Diaz.
Ultimately, the goal of PANAMAX-Alpha is to set the conditions for the Panamanian Security Forces to work in a Joint environment and to improve their security policy to prevent, mitigate, and detect threats to the security of the country, exclusively to the Panama Canal. Phase II of the series (bi-lateral) is programmed for 13-24 September 2021.