JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Commanding General, Gen. Laura Richardson, visited the PANAMAX 2022 Multinational Forces South (MNF-S) and Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) headquarters on Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston, August 10-11, 2022.
“Exercises like PANAMAX are very important because it brings all of us together,” said Richardson during the closing ceremony of the exercise. “To work together, to communicate together, to plan together allow us to execute missions that destroy the threat.”
PANAMAX is a SOUTHCOM-sponsored exercise that uses communication themes and operational understanding between joint, combined and interagency operations in order to increase interoperability. By emphasizing common interests and establishing cooperative solutions, coalition forces practice responses to simulated transnational threats in the region with a focus on the Panama Canal.
During her visits to the CFLCC and MNF-S headquarters, Richardson received briefings from and spoke to military members from several of the 19 partner nations, as well as U.S. Armed Forces personnel, participating in the exercise.
Army South Commanding General, Maj. Gen. William Thigpen, accompanied her during her visits to both headquarters on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and expressed his gratitude for all of the participants’ hard work during the 12-day exercise.
“Interoperability is absolutely the cornerstone of what we do and we had a chance to see it from the human, procedural and technical dimensions working together every day on a 24-hour cycle,” said Thigpen. “To see 19 countries come together for a common cause has been phenomenal to watch, to be part of and to lead.”
Richardson agreed, saying that this exercise was key to reinforcing interoperability and strengthening bonds and friendships between our nations, but the mission does not stop with the conclusion of PANAMAX.
“We need to keep up the connective tissue and keep up all of these relationships; they have only just begun,” said Richardson. “As you go back to your countries, your units and your organizations, spread the word about the greatness that this team accomplished.”