19th ESC conducts realistic evacuation training with DoD Families
By Staff Sgt. Michael ArmstrongNovember 4, 2016
DAEGU, South Korea -- Soldiers from the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command successfully conducted and completed a Non-combatant Evacuation Exercise as part of Courageous Channel 2016. Family members, including children, from across the peninsula assisted in the exercise by role playing as non-combatant evacuees, Oct. 31 thru Nov. 3.
The role players began their process from Camp Humphreys where they were flown in two Chinook helicopters to Daegu Airbase. Then, they were transported to Camp Walker to a reception center manned by members of 19th ESC's 6th Ordnance Battalion.
"We exercise our non-combatant evacuations operations every year but this exercise is by far the most realistic. This is the first time since 2009 we have flown family members outside of the peninsula in support of this exercise" said Justin Sturn, 19th ESC's Non-Combatant Evacuation expert.
Once at Camp Walker, the evacuees were briefed, weighed and processed through the relocation center. After, 19th ESC Soldier organized all the necessary documents and the evacuees were properly identified. Following, they spent the night at a life support area awaiting their flight off the Korean peninsula.
The next day, the role players were transported to Gimhae Airbase where soldiers, assigned to the 25th Transportation Battalion, 19th ESC, processed the evacuees through a final system of readiness checks prior to boarding a C-130 aircraft that took them off the Korean peninsula.
"If this really happened it would be a scary situation. We need to be really aware of who we're working with and what's going through their minds as well as ours," said Second Lt. Leigh Ostrander, 551 Inland Cargo Transportation platoon leader.
The 25th Transportation Battalion welcomed the family members upon their arrival back to the Republic of Korea, Nov. 3. Each family member was screened through immigration and customs like ordinary international flights.
19th ESC will conduct an after action review to document the exercise's strengths and weaknesses to enhance future NEO exercises.