BY LT . ERIC SCOGGINS, OPERATIONAL LOGISTICS PLANNING INTERN
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER JACKSONVILLE
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Former Commander, USNAVSO/4F, Rear Adm. George Balance, addresses multi-national workforce at the kick-off meeting for PANAMAX 2016. –photo byPO2 Michael Hendricks
United States Naval Forces Southern Command and 4th Fleet (USNAVSO/4F) wrapped up its annual defense of the Panama Canal exercise, more commonly known as PANAMAX, at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, on August 4, 2016.
PANAMAX is a two-week multinational exercise sponsored by United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).
SOUTHCOM coordinates with its respective service components, U.S. Army South, Marine Forces South, Air Forces Southern Command, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, Special Operations Command South, and partner nations to conduct a fictitious scenario revolving around defending the Panama Canal from unique threats. The goal is to train both U.S. and partner nation forces to conduct coordinated operations as a multinational coalition in a realistic, dynamic and complex environment.
Members of USNAVSO/4F and its partner nations were responsible for conducting and supporting the maritime aspect of the coalition forces for PANAMAX. To support the effort, 299 participants organized, trained and constantly engaged with one another in order to best support coalition maritime objectives.
The operational tempo from start to finish was fast and steady for two weeks.
The logistics cell, which included active-duty and Reserve members of NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Jacksonville, was faced with myriad scenarios that “pushed the envelope” of capabilities and resulted in a fruitful learning environment. Whether it was moving parts or personnel in an unpredictable environment, coordinating fuel for over 30 ships, or getting operational contract support for unique requirements, members of the logistics team faced multiple hurdles that were all conquered in a productive and cooperative environment with partner nation personnel.
Commanding the coalition maritime effort was Peru’s Rear Adm. Alberto Alcala.
“The entire effort was a tremendous success,” said Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Stebbins, lead operational logistics planner, NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville, embedded at USNAVSO/4F. “The goal was to engage with our allies in the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility, work together to problem-solve, and develop relationships for future operations.”
Participating countries for PANAMAX include Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United Kingdom, and United States.