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Pfc. Woo Sang-chul and Sgt. 1st Class Sabrina Wilson, left, explain to Eun-jun Medlin, wife of Army Capt. Jedediah Medlin, the final procedures during a noncombatant evacuation drill at Camp Red Cloud. The evacuation drill began Thursday at bases all over South Korea and was scheduled to end Saturday night.

Pfc. Woo Sang-chul and Sgt. 1st Class Sabrina Wilson, left, explain to Eun-jun Medlin, wife of Army Capt. Jedediah Medlin, the final procedures during a noncombatant evacuation drill at Camp Red Cloud. The evacuation drill began Thursday at bases all over South Korea and was scheduled to end Saturday night. (Erik Slavin / S&S)

Pfc. Woo Sang-chul and Sgt. 1st Class Sabrina Wilson, left, explain to Eun-jun Medlin, wife of Army Capt. Jedediah Medlin, the final procedures during a noncombatant evacuation drill at Camp Red Cloud. The evacuation drill began Thursday at bases all over South Korea and was scheduled to end Saturday night.

Pfc. Woo Sang-chul and Sgt. 1st Class Sabrina Wilson, left, explain to Eun-jun Medlin, wife of Army Capt. Jedediah Medlin, the final procedures during a noncombatant evacuation drill at Camp Red Cloud. The evacuation drill began Thursday at bases all over South Korea and was scheduled to end Saturday night. (Erik Slavin / S&S)

Soldiers print identification bracelets during a noncombatant evacuation drill at Camp Red Cloud on Thursday night.

Soldiers print identification bracelets during a noncombatant evacuation drill at Camp Red Cloud on Thursday night. (Erik Slavin / S&S)

CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — At the ripe old age of three months, Samuel Watkins received his introduction to military paperwork.

Watkins was issued his own coded bracelet during the opening day of the peninsula-wide noncombatant evacuation drill at Camp Red Cloud on Thursday.

As a civilian, he must have his own identification papers and status-of-forces-agreement-approved passport.

“It doesn’t seem to bother him though,” said his mother, Jennifer Watkins, said as she made her way around the table set up inside the base gym.

Officials designed the regularly scheduled exercise, which was slated to last from 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Saturday, to give Defense Department civilians, contractors and family members a better idea of what they would need to do in the event of war or another serious emergency.

At Camp Red Cloud, the exercise began at 1 p.m. after some civilians asked for an early start.

By the 6 p.m. official start time, almost half of the roughly 400 civilians expected already had participated, officials said.

Participants first passed through a screening area outside the gym, where they were searched with metal detectors. They then were given a checklist and sent for a bar-coded identification bracelet, which contained all of their vital information.

Participants then spoke to soldiers at different tables who advised them on how the evacuation would proceed.

For authenticity, one area was set aside for pets in carriers and another for participants who become threatening.

During a real evacuation, noncombatants would board either buses or Chinook helicopters and head to a base south of Seoul before leaving the country, officers said.

The exercise got civilians such as Dustin and Eun-lee Beckmann talking before the event about what they would do should there be a major evacuation.

For native South Koreans like Eun-lee, it would be a difficult decision. “I’d be worried about my family, especially if I evacuated by myself,” she said. “Without my family, it would be hard.”

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