YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - The annual Courageous Channel exercise will be conducted May 19 - 21 at U.S. military installations around the Korean Peninsula.

Held every Spring, the exercise enables U.S. military dependents, non-emergency essential civilians and contractors to walk through the process that would be employed during a noncombatant evacuation.

"Courageous Channel is a [U.S. Forces Korea] exercise conducted annually in order to increase the readiness of Soldiers and U.S. government-affiliated noncombatants in noncombatant evacuation operations," said Drew Kim, Eighth Army's NEO planner.

Kim said Courageous Channel allows participants to practice every part of the evacuation process short of departing the peninsula.

"The goal of this exercise is to train our Soldiers in the execution of NEO and also to familiarize 100 percent of our military dependents and other U.S. government-affiliated noncombatants on registration and evacuation processes," said Kim.

As demonstrated by the recent voluntary evacuation following the devastating triple disaster in Japan where an earthquake-driven tsunami crippled a nuclear power plant, Kim said that evacuations can be conducted for a variety of reasons.

"This increased readiness will ensure the rapid and safe evacuation of our family members and other U.S. government-affiliated noncombatants in the case of a contingency, crisis or hostilities," said Kim.