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For the third year, partner nations joined forces in the space portion of the PANAMAX exercises, which is focused on defending the Panama Canal. Officers from the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Brazil joined personnel from Air Forces Southern at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., from Aug. 8-15 to illustrate the role of space program intelligence to mission-related decisions, according to an Aug. 19 release. Lt. Col. Trae York, Director of Space Forces, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), said Brazil has “the beginnings of a space program,” while neither Peru nor the Dominican Republic have any space program associated with their air forces presently. However, York said, now that the partner nations have been exposed to space capabilities, “they can understand some of the political and strategic level discussions about going into space.” He added, "Space enables our missions, it can enable their missions, and it's accessible by them. The price points and the barriers to entering the space domain are dropping significantly, which is going to allow more countries, more of our partner nations, to take advantage of the space-based capabilities that are an advantage for them." (See also B-52 Defends Panama Canal in Exercise and SOUTHCOM Launches Annual Panama Canal Exercise.)