Brazilian air force fighter pilot works as combat operations for PANAMAX 2012 Published Aug. 23, 2012 By Tech. Sgt. Andria Sapp 183rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Col. Schumann, a fighter pilot in the Brazilian air force, worked as a chief of combat operations during PANAMAX 2012 alongside Air Forces Southern, Aug. 6-17. PANAMAX is an annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise that focuses on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal. One of the most important benefits of multinational exercises like PANAMAX is the fact that all the participants were able to exchange their experiences, expertise gained new knowledge about each other's culture and people. These interactions strengthen our bonds across the region and foster long-lasting friendships and an understanding among the partner nations, ultimately benefiting the security of the region. Question: What was your role in PANAMAX 2012? Answer: I worked as a chief of combats operations. It was my duty to make sure that the missions happened. During the exercise we prioritized needs to determine when and where air attacks were necessary. Question: The governments of the countries participating in PANAMAX 2012 share common interests and goals. How would you define those interests and goals? Answer: In Brazil we have an exercise similar to PANAMAX 2012. Typically during our exercise we have actual missions, but this year we will be running simulated missions like we do at PANAMAX ... so it is important to understand how to run an exercise of this nature. It's also essential so that we know how to execute this type of exercise when it comes to needing a real world response from the all of the partner nations. Question: What were the benefits of participating in this exercise? Answer: It was important to learn and grow so that we can be prepared for any real world situations. It would be too late if we waited until something happened. We must have partnerships developed ahead of time. These partnerships (more like friendships) stem from the exercise but are not exercise dependant. This added perk of the exercise is priceless. Question: What did you learn from PANAMAX 2012? Answer: The exercise was very close to a real world scenario. It is always important to know what missions each nation is capable of doing. By determining capabilities, we are more capable of operating as a coalition. It has been an honor and a pleasure to be part of PANAMAX 2012.