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Expeditionary Strike Group 2 Participates in PANAMAX 2012

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120817-17

From Expeditionary Strike Group 2 Public Affairs

Aug. 16, 2012 (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 participated in the annual, multi-national training exercise, PANAMAX 2012 which concluded this week.

Thirty-eight personnel from ESG-2 and its tenet commands contributed amphibious expertise to nearly every planning facet of the Combined Forces Maritime Component Command (CFMCC) staff to include logistics, intelligence, current and future operations.

CFMCC's synthetic forces totaled approximately 37 ships, 41 aircraft and 8,000 personnel led by Brazilian admiral, Rear Adm. Wilson Pereira de Lima Filho, Commander, Brazil's Second Division Fleet. Nearly 300 live personnel served on the CFMCC staff. ESG-2's commander, Rear Adm. Ann C. Phillips served as the Deputy CFMCC, providing maritime expertise for the United States.

"The exercise provided an excellent, real time training environment that allowed participating countries to immerse themselves in the scenario," said Phillips. "The synthetic environment contained all of the elements, assets, and opposition that a real world situation would entail, allowing realistic coordination of air, ground and maritime forces in support of the Panamanian government to defend the Panama Canal."

"Working with 17 partner nations provided an opportunity to improve our joint interoperability," said Col. Brad Weisz, Deputy Commander, ESG-2. "We enhanced our knowledge of each other's capabilities and learned news ways of doing business."

Several members of the ESG-2 staff served on the battle watch floor, in order to assist in building and maintaining an accurate battle space picture across the air, land and sea.

"It was a great opportunity for all of us to build friendships with our partner nations, strengthen our communication, and enhance our processes," said Chief Petty Officer (SW/AW) Oneida Kimbrow. "We also learned a lot about other navies and their cultures."

PANAMAX 2012 is the third, multi-national exercise in which ESG-2 has been a key participant this year. Previous exercises include Bold Alligator and Baltic Operations (BALTOPS). As a rapid and robust, deployable, crisis response command element, ESG-2 supports missions across the entire range of military operations from theatre security cooperation events, to major combat operations, to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

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