Multinational Exercise PANAMAX 2011 Begins Next Week
By Dialogo August 12, 2011
More than 3,500 civil and military personnel from 17 countries will participate in PANAMAX 2011, a 12-day multinational exercise focused on ensuring the security of the Panama Canal, beginning on 16 August.
PANAMAX 2011 is one of the largest multinational training exercises in the world and will take place off the coasts of Panama and locations in the United States from 16 – 26 August with participation from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States, the United Nations and NATO.
Approximately 22 vessels and several aircraft will take part in the exercise. Participants are focusing on a variety of responses to any request from the Government of Panama to protect and guarantee safe passage of traffic through the Panama Canal, ensure its neutrality, and respect national sovereignty.
Additional goals for PANAMAX 2011 include developing and testing command and control of forces at sea. Training during this exercise will insert participants into the spectrum of maritime, air, land, space, and cyber operations. Specifically, PANAMAX 2011 will include scenarios addressing visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), entry control Point training, littoral operations, open water diving operations, counter drug interdictions and simulated riverine operations.
PANAMAX began in 2003 with the sole participation of Panama, Chile and the United States, but participation has greatly expanded every year