NEO exercise prepares Osan’s families for evacuations

NEO exercise prepares Osan’s families for evacuations

by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Stripes Korea

Osan Air Base, Republic of Affairs -- Team Osan families participated in Courageous Channel 2016, an annual noncombatant evacuation operational (NEO) exercise, to practice the evacuation of non-combatant families off the peninsula Oct. 29-30, here.

 “What we are exercising is the ability to setup the assembly points and process the noncombatants through the assembly point,” said Tech. Sgt. Kathryn Wood, 51st Force Support Squadron NEO program manager.

Wood said her goal is to get as many families in and out of the assembly point during the exercise to ensure families are prepared for an evacuation.

Reasons for evacuating non-combatants can include political or civil unrest, natural or man-made disaster and war.

 “The exercise will get the families prepared for an evacuation in addition to getting the NEO wardens prepared,” said 1st Lt. Deborah Smith, 51st Force Support Squadron chief of marketing and community programming and partnership office. 

Families were required to bring passports, gas masks, ID cards and their NEO binder while processing through the assembly point.

“During a real-world event, the active duty member is not going to be there to help them walk the kids or pets through,” said Wood. “It’s really important that they know how to come prepared for an evacuation.”

After completing the NEO exercise requirements, all command and non-command sponsored families, Department of Defense and contractor civilians and their families are eligible to be evacuated if the situation arises.

To find out more information about the NEO program, contact your units NEO warden.

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