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DTRA Partners In Panama To Counter-Weapons Of Mass Destruction
by Jessica Lewis, Defense Threat Reduction Agency
October 13, 2021

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is supporting Panama in developing Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear (CBRN) capabilities under the Counter-Weapons of Mass Destruction Security Cooperation Engagement Program (CSCEP) and participating in PANAMAX Alpha21, a multi-phased exercise.

September 21, 2021 - Scenes the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) members supporting Panama in developing Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear (CBRN) capabilities under the Counter-Weapons of Mass Destruction Security Cooperation Engagement Program (CSCEP) and participating in PANAMAX Alpha21. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from photos by Jessica Lewis, Defense Threat Reduction Agency.)PANAMAX is a Government of Panama annual unilateral exercise supported by the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) focused on the security of the Panama Canal.

PANAMAX Alpha trains and prepares the Republic of Panama Public Security Forces and their supporting institutions (Joint Task Force Alpha) to reach the readiness level necessary to prevent, mitigate, and detect; through joint combined operations, threats to the security of the inter-oceanic canal, in the context of the security matrix contemplated in the fundamentals of the Panamanian security policy.

The task force has representatives from: Panama National Police; Panama National Aeronaval Service; Panama National Border Service; Meritorious Fire Department of the Republic of Panama; amongst others.

DTRA has a long-standing partnership with Panamanian response units to assist in the development and sustainment of CBRN response tactics, techniques and procedures necessary to stay ahead of the emerging risks and threats.

During PANAMAX Alpha21 DTRA partnered with multiple Panamanian entities including the National Border Service (Servicio Nacional de Fronteras, SENAFRONT) Immediate Response Unit (Unidad de Respuesta Inmediata, URI), the National Crisis Coordination Council (Consejo Nacional de Coordinacion de Crisis, CNCC), and the Meritorious Fire Corps of Panama (Benemerito Cuerpo de Bomberos de Panama, BCBRP) HAZMAT Team, all working together for a coordinated interagency CBRN response.

“We have been training and equipping Panama since 2017,” said Mr. David Musgrave, director, On-Site Inspection and Building Capacity Directorate, he continued, “these response units are capable of conducting CBRN response operations, enhancing security cooperation and improved interoperability in the USSOUTHCOM Area of Responsibility.”

DTRA CSCEP has provided training and equipment to the URI since 2017.

“Our partnership in Panama increases awareness and understanding of global and regional threats and advances our shared objectives and enhances the safety and security of the United States, our partner nation, and one of the most strategic waterways in the world” added Mr. Musgrave.

DTRA’s CSCEP is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) lead program for developing partner nation CWMD response capabilities through security cooperation activities that train and equip foreign military and civilian responders across the tactical, operational, and strategic mission space to develop new, or enhance existing capabilities to prepare for and effectively respond to CBRN incidents and to support the CWMD mission.

These efforts support Geographic Combatant Command’s (GCC) theater campaign plans and Department of State (DOS)/US Embassy Integrated Country Strategies. CSCEP works with and through the GCCs to address specific plans and objectives.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency | U.S. Department of Defense

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