Annual NEO exercise conducted in South Korea
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A noncombatant evacuation exercise is being conducted on American military installations in South Korea May 17 – 19.
Courageous Channel, an exercise held in South Korea every Spring, enables U.S. military dependents, non-emergency essential civilians and contractors to walk through the process that would be used in a noncombatant evacuation.
“Courageous Channel is conducted to increase the readiness of service members and U.S. government-affiliated noncombatants in noncombatant evacuation operations,” said
Drew Kim, the NEO planner from Eighth Army.
Kim said Courageous Channel allows noncombatants to practice every part of the evacuation process short of departing the peninsula.
“The goal of this exercise is to train our Soldiers in the execution of NEO and to familiarize 100 percent of our military dependents and other U.S. government-affiliated noncombatants on the registration and evacuation processes,” said Kim.
According to Kim, an assessment team made up of military medical, veterinarian and force protection personnel is visiting NEO sites around the Korean Peninsula during this year's exercise.
As demonstrated by the devastating triple disaster in Japan in March 2011 where a massive earthquake-driven tsunami crippled a nuclear power plant, Kim said that evacuations can be conducted for a variety of reasons.
“This increased readiness will ensure the rapid and safe evacuation of our family members and other U.S. government-affiliated noncombatants in the case of a contingency, crisis or hostilities,” said Kim.