By Dialogo August 08, 2011 On 5 August, the Off-Shore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Piloto Pardo, which will participate in the ninth edition of the Panamax 2011 international exercise, set sail for Panama. The Chilean ship will remain away from the country for 61 days, during which time, in addition to this multinational exercise, it will engage in activities of various kinds, with both U.S. units and units of the Peruvian Navy. For this year’s edition, which will be held in Panama between 15 and 26 August, the nations participating in the exercise will be Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and the United States. In total, there will around 2,000 participating personnel. Panamax 2011 was held for the first time in 2003, on which occasion it was coordinated by the U.S. Southern Command, the Chilean Navy, and the Panamanian Maritime Service. The Panamax international exercise is a training exercise directed toward protecting the Panama Canal, with the aim of achieving the levels of interoperability needed for a coordinated response among the navies of the United States and various countries in the Americas to protect this vital interoceanic route. Chile, in particular, is one of the leading users of this maritime route worldwide.