Dominican Republic airman develops combat plans for PANAMAX 2012 Published Aug. 23, 2012 By Tech. Sgt. Andria Sapp 183rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Lt. Col. Sergio Cruz, deputy of air transportation for the Dominican Republic air force, participated in PANAMAX 2012 at Air Forces Southern, Aug. 6-17. One of the most important benefits of multinational exercises like PANAMAX 2012 is the fact that all the participants are able to exchange their experiences, expertise and will gain 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 was assigned to combat plans. I was in charge of the Master Air Attack Plan (MAAP). Question: The governments of the countries participating in PANAMAX 2012 share common interests and goals. How would you define those interests and goals? Answer: The goal was to integrate forces. Many things learned here will not apply when we act independently, but when we act together these lessons will be very important. Question: How is the security of the Panama Canal important to your country? Answer: The geographical location of the Dominican Republic makes the Canal very important to us. We have built many diplomatic relationships and friendships through our shared interest in the canal. What affects the Canal directly affects my country. Free access of the Canal is very important to my country. Question: What were the benefits of participating in this exercise? Answer: The main benefit was the opportunity to work with other countries, to experience their doctrine and to be able to work as a team. It is a way for different nations to work towards a common interest and to learn how to coordinate all of the forces for one objective. Question: What lessons learned did you take away from PANAMAX 2012? Answer: The understanding of other countries' doctrine and way they operate was our greatest lesson learned. We must partner up again in the future for another PANAMAX so that we can continue to build on what we learned here during PANAMAX. We have built friendships with all of the other partner nations, to include the U.S. and I look forward to the opportunity to make more friends during the next exercise.