Courageous Channel exercise tests non-combatant capabilities
5/13/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Families will participate in a peninsula-wide exercise that practices relocating them out of Korea. The non-combatant Evacuation Operations will be conducted May 16-19, 2012.
Courageous Channel is a U.S. Forces Korea semi-annual NEO exercise. It is designed to train NEO-related mission essential tasks, increase readiness, and rehearse procedures to improve the ability of the command to evacuate families in Korea.
Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, 7th Air Force commander, said, "Courageous Channel is about readiness - family readiness. You and I need to be ready to fight tonight, and our families need to be ready to leave tonight."
NEO exercises have been conducted in Korea since 1996.
This type of training reinforces our overall mission readiness, which will enable more efficient operations during a real-world situation, according to Master Sgt. Tarsha Harper, Area V NEO program manager.
Participation in NEO exercises are mandatory, involving all Department of Defense-affiliated, command and non-command sponsored non-combatants to include all non-emergency essential U.S. civilian personnel employed by the DoD, such as contractors and Department of Defense Education Activity teachers.
"Moms, dads, and children - Command Sponsored or Non-Command Sponsored - are required to participate in Courageous Channel, which is designed to teach them what to take, where to go, and what to expect if they have to evacuate, " Jouas said.
During the exercise, approximately 17,000 U.S. DoD-affiliated non-combatants are expected to participate in inspections, assembly and evacuation processing. Their participation will be limited to administrative processing in Korea.
"There are quite a few agencies that come together just to support the safety of our dependents," said Harper.
In an actual event, over 60,000 U.S. citizens and their immediate family members could be evacuated to the continental United States or other safe haven locations.
Osan is expecting maximum participation by non-combatants, with nearly 1,700 participants. "Participants should bring their children, pets, NEO binders, government identification cards, and passports. These items will validate eligibility to evacuate," said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Toenniges, Area V NEO program manager.
"Line processing time on Friday average is about one hour," said Toenniges. "However, the processing time Saturday is between 30 to 40 minutes."
For more information, contact your unit NEO warden or the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 784-5440.