Fuerzas Aliadas PANAMAX 2012

Monday August 6, 2012

What is it?

U.S. Army South along with armed forces from 17 nations will take part in the annual U.S. Southern Command sponsored "Fuerzas Aliadas PANAMAX 2012" exercise. The exercise will be conducted simultaneously at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Miami, Fla., Suffolk, Va., and in Panama Aug. 6-17.

Commonly known as PANAMAX, the exercise brings together sea, air and land forces in a joint and combined operation focused on defending the Panama Canal from attacks by a violent extremist organization as well as responding to natural disasters and pandemic outbreaks in various locations.

More than 50 Colombian military personnel will travel to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to lead the land component portion of the exercise for the second year in a row. Army South led this portion every year prior to 2011. Brazil will lead the maritime component portion for the first time this year.

This year, in addition to the United States, Brazil and Colombia, participants from Argentina, Belize, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru will take part in the exercise.

What has the Army done?

This major multinational exercise has grown dramatically since 2003 when the U.S. Army conducted the first exercise together with Panama and Chile.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Participants will be able to exchange their experiences, expertise and will gain new knowledge about each other's culture and people. These interactions strengthen our bonds across the region and foster long-lasting friendships and understanding among the partner nations, ultimately benefiting the security of the region.

Army South has conducted numerous exercises and operations, such as PANAMAX, that provide high-level training opportunities for our service members and partner nations. Future exercises will build upon that training to ensure we are prepared to deploy and conduct contingency operations together.

Why is this important to the Army?

PANAMAX provides opportunities for the participating nations, along with Army South to join efforts to counter threats from transnational criminal organizations, while providing for humanitarian relief and to security of the Panama Canal as deemed necessary by the Government of Panama and other nations of the region. Additionally, all the participants in PANAMAX will benefit their countries and the region by increasing professional understanding of the Western Hemisphere and reassuring our commitment to regional peace and respect for sovereignty.

Resources:

U.S. Army South website

U.S. Army South Facebook

U.S. Army South YouTube

U.S. Southern Command

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