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    167th Theater Sustainment Command Supports SOUTHCOM, PANAMAX 2018



    Story by Sgt. Jeremy Dunkle 

    167th Theater Sustainment Command

    ANNISTON, ALABAMA – The 167th Theater Sustainment Command, headquartered in Anniston, Alabama, participated in a major exercise supporting U.S. Southern Command for the first time since transitioning to the SOUTHCOM mission earlier this year.

    The 167th TSC began their annual training with an emphasis on the role the unit would play while taking part in PANAMAX 2018, an annual SOUTHCOM-sponsored multinational exercise that focuses on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal. Participants from 20 nations took part in PANAMAX 2018 at various U.S. locations July 30-Aug. 10, 2018.

    "Taking on a new mission in a new AOR has been challenging, but working with SOUTHCOM has been rewarding,” said Maj. Gen. Donald B. Tatum, commanding general of the 167th TSC. “ The theater has half a billion people and some serious logistical challenges, but participating in exercises like PANAMEX allows us to establish our battle rhythm, build relationships and integrate into SOUTHCOM operations.”

    During the exercise, the 167th TSC performed its duties from multiple locations across the United States including its headquarters in Anniston, Alabama; headquarters of U.S. Army South in San Antonio, Texas; Suffolk, Virginia; and SOUTHCOM headquarters in Miami, Florida. Other exercise participants were also in various locations, including Panama.

    Lt. Col. Christopher Butler serves as the 167th TSC deputy G5 (plans), and, for the PANAMAX exercise, is operating from Virginia. In addition to his duties as the deputy G5, he also role-plays as various battalion commanders in the scenario. Butler has taken part in many of the planning operations leading up to the annual training mission.

    “I try to help set the conditions and expectations of SOUTHCOM and ARSOUTH as to the likely response of the TSC and other sustainment units deploying to the (Joint Operations Area),” said Butler. “In the exercises, we learn the importance of coordination with units at the strategic and operational level, as well as streamlining processes and refining products to ensure that commanders at all levels are well informed.”

    Going forward, the TSC and SOUTHCOM will continue to exercise together in order to ensure maximum interoperability between the organizations.

    “When I spoke to Admiral Tidd the other day,” said Tatum, referring to his visit with SOUTHCOM commander Adm. Kurt W. Tidd at SOUTHCOM headquarters in Miami, Florida, “I left feeling very assured that he sees us as an integral and necessary part of the team, and we are going to train that way to ensure we are ready to pull our weight on the operational level."



    Date Taken: 08.10.2018
    Date Posted: 08.10.2018 14:37
    Story ID: 288267
    Location: ANNISTON, AL, US 

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