Panama: ND-SPS 2011 Joins PANAMAX


U.S. Navy divers assigned to Mobile Dive and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU 2) company 23, joined divers from Panama, Belize and Canada to exchange knowledge and tactics in Panama City, Panama, Aug. 16.

MDSU 2 divers are deployed as a part of Navy Dive Southern Partnership 2011 (ND-SPS 11) and are joining PANAMAX during this part of their deployment. This engagement will include an exchange of information with the multinational divers on dive medicine, chamber operations, and cutting and welding techniques, while conducting a salvage survey as part of PANAMAX.

“This is a great experience for our new divers, and a chance for them to gain knowledge and experience from the U.S. divers,” said Sgt. Abel Dominguez, a diver for the Panamanian forces. “Those of us with experience look forward to learning salvage diving and underwater cutting and welding.”

ND-SPS 2011 is a joint subject matter exchange, allowing divers of different nations to learn tactics of other nations and share experiences, increasing interoperability amongst the nations.

“We have a small dive team and are not experienced in many dive tactics,” said Ensign Ray Good, a Belize coast guard diver. “We look forward to increasing or knowledge of diving and learning new tactics during this engagement.”

MDSU 2 members look forward to the subject matter exchange and building a lasting partnership with the divers of Panama and Belize.

“The opportunity for us to work and engage with the divers of the Panamanian forces is a great honor and opportunity,” said Chief Warrant Officer James Hordinski, officer in charge of MDSU 2 company 23. “Being able to operate with multinational forces as part of SPS and PANAMAX speaks volumes to strengthening partnerships and increasing interoperability with our partner nations in the region.”

PANAMAX 2011 is an annual multinational training exercise sponsored by U.S. Southern Command focused on the security of the Panama Canal being held Aug. 15-26. Participating during the 12-day event are 3,500 civil and military representatives from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the United States. The exercise is being held off the coasts of Panama and U.S.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

Source: navy, August 18, 2011;