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PANAMAX 2012 Spotlight with Capt. Thomas Hall

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Andria Sapp
  • 183rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Capt. Thomas Hall, chief of Air Training Operations production at the 183rd Fighter Wing, participated in PANAMAX 2012 alongside Air Forces Southern and 17 partner nations, Aug. 6-17. PANAMAX 2012 is an annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise that focuses on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal. This exercise provided invaluable training on coalition command and control and combined interoperability. The experience gained by these Western Hemisphere nations' militaries working together in this manner is valuable not only in defending the Canal, but also in combined humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, such as the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

Question: What was your role in PANAMAX 2012?

Answer: I worked in Master Air Attack Planning (MAAP). We took inputs from strategy and created an air battle plan to present to the Combined Forces Air Component.

Question: In what ways did your role contribute to the overall objectives of PANAMAX 2012?

Answer: We took the commander's intent and converted it into aircraft sorties to provide him with the air power he required to complete the mission. We essentially took the air assets and decide how to deploy them downrange to meet the mission need. Our number one priority was to support our coalition partners.

Question: In your role, how did you work with the partner nations to ensure the success of PANAMAX 2012?

Answer: I worked directly with representatives from six of our partner nations in the MAAP cell. PANAMAX 2012 served as opportunity to integrate and gain experience with our combined processes. We have been working and training alongside our partner nations so that we can operate as an effective team by coordinating assets and sharing information to respond quickly to a variety of crises and protect the security of the region.

Question: What are the lessons learned that you took away from PANAMAX 2012?

Answer: Each year our partner nations are taking on a larger role in the exercise, and we are learning how to be more of a support element. Each year we build on the relationships that we made the prior year. Additionally, it's nice to take what we practice at home station (183rd Fighter Wing) to put it into practice in a real world environment.