USS TARAWA, At Sea – Thirty-one TACRON personnel, consisting of reserve and active Sailors and airmen, deployed aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) to support PANAMAX 2008 Aug. 11, 2008.
PANAMAX was a seven-day exercise held in Panama that consisted of 20 partner nations with 33 ships and 23 aircraft joining in the maritime portion of the exercise.
“We really met our objective of integrating land, maritime, air and special forces operations in a multinational environment. The TACRON officers and Sailors seamlessly conducted joint and combined operation in a very challenging environment,” said Capt. Jack “Yukon” Miller, commanding officer, TACRON 1294.
The deployed unit operated the Tactical Air Control Center (TACC) and Combine Forces Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Air Operations. The majority of their air missions provided Surface Surveillance and Control and Mine Countermeasures support to U.S. and allied forces.
PANAMAX offered the TACRON Sailors the opportunity to hone their skills while performing common daily TACC activities, which include planning, directing and controlling tactical air operations. It also provided an environment to enhance and expand the TACC watch officers’ level of responsibilities.
Lt. Marc William, a Navy reservist, appreciated the opportunity to learn from experienced TACC officers and completed a majority of the requirements for him to receive his qualifications.
“The reservists were invaluable in carrying out the battle plan and maintaining safety of flight. They’re no different than the Sailors I work with every day in my active duty command,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ben Folkers, from TACRON 1, who supported PANAMAX.