US Navy Reservists from across the country played a major role in PANAMAX 2014, filling 161 billets on the Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) staff at Naval Station Mayport and 52 billets at Multi-National Forces South (MNFS) headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
The purpose of PANAMAX is to exercise a variety of responses to any request from the government of Panama to protect and guarantee safe passage of traffic through the Panama Canal while respecting national sovereignty.
Rear Adm. Benjamin Calle of the Colombian navy served as CFMCC commander for the exercise, which ran from Aug. 4-15 and included more than 1,200 participants at six locations, with Rear Adm. Jon Matheson of the U.S. Navy as his deputy commander.
The exercise involved more than 340 military members at Mayport, where Navy Reservists filled nearly half of the billets.
Lt. Monica Iannacone, a Navy Reservist on active duty as the operational support officer and deputy personnel officer for USNAVSO/4th Fleet, was responsible for filling the joint manning document. Her staff members were the human resource managers.
For example, Capt. Steven Grover of Information Dominance Corps Region Southeast served as the lead planner for fires. Cmdr. Eric Denis of Navy Reserve Strategic Cyber Command directed information operations.
For all of the Reservists, PANAMAX represented an opportunity to refresh and sharpen military skills.
An important goal of PANAMAX was to develop and sustain relationships that improve the capacity of emerging partners’ security forces to achieve common desired goals while fostering friendly cooperation and understanding among participating forces.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, which hosted the CFMCC portion of PANAMAX 2014, supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.