PANAMAX 2012 Spotlight with Capt. Eric Hastings Published Aug. 20, 2012 By Tech. Sgt. Andria Sapp 183rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Capt. Eric Hastings was the A9 Contingency Action Team (CAT) representative for PANAMAX 2012 at Air Forces Southern. PANAMAX 2012 is an annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise that focuses 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. The exercise took place Aug. 6 -17. Question: What was your role in PANAMAX 2012? Answer: We completed analysis and lessons learned for the commander and gauged how well the staff was doing at achieving the exercise objectives. Another role of ours was to assess basing status, which included airfields, logistics, and personnel. In addition, we provided lessons learned from previous events to help prevent the staff from making the same mistakes again. Question: In what ways did your role contribute to the overall objectives of PANAMAX 2012? Answer: We assessed how well the objectives were being met and completed lessons learned for future events. Question: What lessons learned did you take away from PANAMAX 2012? Answer: I gained a better idea of what goes on during an exercise of this magnitude. How the senior leaders assessed the exercise and their view on things. It also helped me to better understand what leaders and participants are looking to do in the next exercise.