PANAMAX 2012 Spotlight with Master Sgt. Chad Bettis Published Aug. 22, 2012 By Tech. Sgt. Andria Sapp 183rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Master Sgt. Chad Bettis was the senior offense duty officer technician, from the 183rd Fight Wing, serving as a Common Operational Picture (COP) manager during PANAMAX 2012 for Air Forces Southern, Aug. 6-17. PANAMAX is an annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise that focused on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal. Forces from 17 nations worked together as part of a computer-simulated-exercise to provide a variety of responses to requests made by the governments of Panama and Columbia. These requests were geared at protecting and guaranteeing safe passage of traffic through the Panama Canal, ensuring its neutrality, and respecting national sovereignty. Question: What was your role in PANAMAX 2012? Answer: I acted as the COP manager during PANAMAX 2012. In this capacity I was responsible for providing the overall air picture for the combat operations division. Question: In what way did your role contribute to the overall objectives of PANAMAX 2012? Answer: We provided the operational picture of the area of responsibility (AOR) by supplying service members and our partner nations counterparts with real time imagery. Question: What were the lessons learned you took away from PANAMAX 2012? Answer: Primarily situational awareness within the COP and my surroundings in an exercise such as this. I also developed friendships with our partner nations and the members of the 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) and the 612th Air Operations Center. These interactions strengthen our bonds across the region and foster long-lasting friendships and understanding among the nations participating, ultimately benefiting the overall security of the region.