Small Canadian contingent takes part in Exercise Panamax
The newly enlarged Panama Canal will be the setting of a multi-national military exercise that kicks off today and goes on until August 5th.
A contingent of 10 Regular and Reserve Force members from 5th Canadian Division will take part in Exercise Panamax, led by Chile, Colombia, and Peru.
With more than 2,100 military personnel from 20 nations participating, the purpose of Exercise Panamax is to practice methods of protecting the safe passage of commercial traffic through the canal, while ensuring its neutrality and respecting national sovereignty. Training will cover many modern-day threats in land, sea, air, and cyber environments.
Eight of the 5th Canadian Division soldiers will assist in the Chilean-led land component in Santiago and a team of two soldiers will be part of the simulation-based training portion in San Antonio, Texas.
Participation in Exercise Panamax contributes to the operational readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces, allowing the Canadian Armed Forces to meet the likely tasks that the Government of Canada will assign.
The Panama Canal is approximately 80 kilometers long between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The waterway was cut through one of the narrowest saddles of the isthmus that joins North and South America. Approximately 14,000 vessels use the canal every year.
Nations participating in Exercise Panamax include Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the United States.