• YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - First Lt. Robert Paden (right) explains medical station documents to Brig. Gen. Al Aycock, Installation Management Command-Korea Commanding General, during the general's tour of the Evacuation Control Center. The ECC was set up as part of the May 15-17 noncombatant evacuation operation exercise, called Courageous Channel, which rehearsed procedures needed to quickly move families and other noncombatants out of Korea.

    NEO Exercise at Yongsan

    YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - First Lt. Robert Paden (right) explains medical station documents to Brig. Gen. Al Aycock, Installation Management Command-Korea Commanding General, during the general's tour of the Evacuation Control Center. The...

  • YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Master Sgt. Anton Gereau holds daughter Rhea while his wife, Melinda, prepares documents at the Evacuation Control Center May 16. The noncombatant evacuation operation exercise, called Courageous Channel, rehearsed procedures needed to quickly move families and other noncombatants out of Korea. (At left) First Lt. Robert Paden (right) explains medical station documents to Brig. Gen. Al Aycock, Installation Management Command-Korea Commanding General, during the general's tour of the ECC. - U.S. Army Photo by Pvt. Choi Keun-woo

    NEO Exercise at Yongsan

    YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Master Sgt. Anton Gereau holds daughter Rhea while his wife, Melinda, prepares documents at the Evacuation Control Center May 16. The noncombatant evacuation operation exercise, called Courageous Channel, rehearsed...

<b>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</b> - Yongsan Garrison held a semi-annual noncombatant evacuation operation exercise May 15-17 designed to familiarize families and other noncombatants with evacuation procedures.

Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division turned Collier Field House into an Evacuation Control Center, setting up stations and walking "evacuees" through the steps to quickly move noncombatants out of Seoul.

"The NEO exercise requires a lot of coordination from a lot of units," said Jeffry Waye, U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. "The 2nd ID from Area I takes command and control. What we do here in Yongsan Garrison and IMCOM-Korea is provide logistical support."

Brig. Gen. Al Aycock, Installation Management Command-Korea Commanding General, toured the ECC and received briefings from organizers.

"This is a very, very efficient system which will allow people to know exactly what to do," General Aycock said. "The battalion commander (Lt. Col. Thomas Isom) has NEO in a box. This was an excellent exercise."

For one spouse, Cho Eun-young, who has participated in NEO exercises for 24 years, NEO procedures have improved dramatically over the years.

"There used to be many unnecessary steps that I had to go through such as watching briefing videos, even after having gone through the process for many years," said Cho, who works at the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center. "It used to take a long time to complete the procedure. I think the current system if very efficient."

"Every time we come down here, this place runs very smooth," Isom said. "It's all about getting the families prepared."

A NEO can be ordered in the event of natural disaster or hostilities or any other reason when the safety of American citizens is deemed at "undue risk" by the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea.

Page last updated Wed May 21st, 2008 at 20:13