NEO exercise prepares Osan’s families for evacuations

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Seth Barrett, 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron NCO in charge of material control, gives a Non-combatant Evacuation Operations reception briefing during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016. The NEO reception briefing gives the non-combatant families an overview of the process and timeline if they were to be evacuated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Seth Barrett, 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron NCO in charge of material control, gives a Non-combatant Evacuation Operations reception briefing during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016. The NEO reception briefing gives the non-combatant families an overview of the process and timeline if they were to be evacuated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Gomez, 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron NCO in charge of individual protective equipment, and Senior Airman Alex Baer, 51st LRS IPE journeyman, inspect an infant and child nuclear, biological and chemical positive-pressure protective system during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016.  Gomez and Baer ensured that family members had working IPE to use in the case of an evacuation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Gomez, 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron NCO in charge of individual protective equipment, and Senior Airman Alex Baer, 51st LRS IPE journeyman, inspect an infant and child nuclear, biological and chemical positive-pressure protective system during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016. Gomez and Baer ensured that family members had working IPE to use in the case of an evacuation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Chakara Canty, right, 25th Fighter Squadron NCO in charge of information management, and Tech. Sgt. Lashawnda Biggs, 51st Medical Support Squadron NCO in charge of Tricare operations, check in evacuating non-combatants during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016. The exercise tested the non-combatant evacuation operational assembly line with families stationed on Osan and the surrounding areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Chakara Canty, right, 25th Fighter Squadron NCO in charge of information management, and Tech. Sgt. Lashawnda Biggs, 51st Medical Support Squadron NCO in charge of Tricare operations, check in evacuating non-combatants during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016. The exercise tested the non-combatant evacuation operational assembly line with families stationed on Osan and the surrounding areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kristina Ramos, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge of emergency management training, shows Stephanie Shufelt and her son Damian how to use an infant and child nuclear, biological and chemical positive-pressure protective system during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016. During the exercise, families had a chance to wear and learn about the protective system that could protect them from nuclear, biological and chemical contaminates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kristina Ramos, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge of emergency management training, shows Stephanie Shufelt and her son Damian how to use an infant and child nuclear, biological and chemical positive-pressure protective system during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016. During the exercise, families had a chance to wear and learn about the protective system that could protect them from nuclear, biological and chemical contaminates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

Team Osan Non-combatant Evacuation Operations wardens enter personal data into the Noncombatant Tracking System during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016.  The tracking system ensures the accurate tracking and continuity of evacuees through the process of being moved off the peninsula. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

Team Osan Non-combatant Evacuation Operations wardens enter personal data into the Noncombatant Tracking System during exercise Courageous Channel 2016 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 29, 2016. The tracking system ensures the accurate tracking and continuity of evacuees through the process of being moved off the peninsula. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)

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.