YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - The garrison will test its ability to move families and other noncombatants out of Korea during an exercise here May 15-18.

Exercise Courageous Channel is a semi-annual readiness event to rehearse noncombatant evacuation operation, or NEO, procedures.

"The U.S. military conducts noncombatant evacuation operations all around the world," said Jeffry Waye, plans and operations officer at U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security. "Any time there is war, natural disaster, or political instability, the U.S. military can be called upon to evacuate U.S. citizens."

The U.S. State Department declares the NEO and the U.S. military assists. If a NEO is declared, the U.S. government will order DOD-affiliated noncombatants to evacuate. "There is no choice; they must leave," Waye said.

During Courageous Channel, the U.S. military estimates about 13,000 family members will process for evacuation, Waye said. More than 6,000 of these are in Area II.

Following highlights general procedures during next week's exercise:

Evacuation Control Center
An Evacuation Control Center at Collier Field House on Yongsan South Post will process noncombatants during three time periods:
Aca,!Ac 5 p.m. to midnight May 15
Aca,!Ac 8 a.m. to midnight May 16
Aca,!Ac 8 a.m. to midnight. May 17

Processing procedures
Aca,!Ac Noncombatants should coordinate with their unit NEO wardens and report to the center with ID cards, passports, and completed NEO packets.
Aca,!Ac Processing time is about 30 minutes, depending on the time of day. Before school, lunchtime and after work are peak times for noncombatant processing.
Aca,!Ac Taking families to the EEC is not required, provided sponsors have their families' original ID cards and passports when they process.
Aca,!Ac Single, dual-military and Emergency Essential Civilians with Family members under 18 must designate an escort for minor children as part of their Family Care Plan, which should be included in the NEO packet. In those cases, the escort must process, not the military or EEC sponsor. The escort must have the children's NEO packets and original ID cards.

Traffic adjustments
Aca,!Ac On South Post, Williams Avenue by Collier Field House will be closed to all traffic not destined for NEO.
Aca,!Ac Non-NEO traffic transiting Gate 17 will be directed around the ball fields via Vaughn Avenue. Traffic signs will direct noncombatants around the baseball diamonds, past the hospital entrance, and past the southern traffic barrier on Williams Avenue into the NEO parking area.

Aca,!Ac Pet owners do not have to bring their pets to the EEC. However, during an actual NEO, pets will be processed. (Pets smaller than 25 pounds can accompany owners as "carry-on" luggage. Pets over 25 pounds will be evacuated later.)

Dental exams, immunizations
Aca,!Ac Dental exams and cleaning appointments will be provided to Retirees and their spouses once they have been validated at the ECC. Dental officials will provide validation May 16. Once validated, Retirees and their spouses can receive treatment May 17 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Yongsan Dental Clinics 2 or 3. Retirees can make appointments now by calling 736-7096 or 736-5799. In addition, shingles and pneumococcal immunizations will be available for Retirees 5 p.m. to midnight May 16 and 8 a.m. to midnight May 17.