Go online, prepare to evacuate during NEO
Stars and Stripes May 12, 2008
SEOUL — Civilians should pre-register online to cut their waiting time at this week’s semiannual noncombatant evacuation operation, or NEO, which runs May 15-18 at most locations.
The Courageous Channel exercise gives U.S. Forces Korea a chance to practice processing the 153,000 civilians it would have to evacuate from South Korea during an attack by North Korea, a natural disaster or other emergency.
And it familiarizes civilians with NEO procedures.
“We tell them to bring their pets just to make it a more realistic experience,” said Lt. Col. Daniel DiPiro, NEO exercise chief, during an interview late last week.
He said USFK is unique among U.S. military commands in the potential number of people it might have to evacuate in an emergency — 19,000 U.S. government noncombatants, 90,000 private U.S. citizens and their families, and an estimated 44,000 citizens of countries that make up the United Nations Command, according to a 2006 U.S. Embassy report.
“You look at the worst-case situation, and the potential number of evacuees is more than almost anywhere else," DiPiro said.
Forty-six participants will travel by ferry to Japan during Courageous Channel, DiPiro said. In a real emergency, USFK plans to evacuate most civilians by ferries because more people can be transported by boats than by airplanes, he said.
And civilians who register online can cut 20 to 30 minutes off their processing time, which typically lasts about an hour, he said. Sponsors can bring their dependents’ packets to the evacuation control center if dependents are unable to come.
About 98 percent of civilians required to participate in NEO did so during the last exercise, DiPiro said. Unit commanders are notified if their troops’ dependents do not participate.
To pre-register for Courageous Channel, go to https://neo.korea.army.mil
U.S. Army Garrison-YongsanCollier Filed House from 5 p.m. to midnight May 15; 8 a.m. to midnight May 16; and 8 a.m. to midnight May 17. Limited parking; suggest walking or car-pooling.Pet registration: 5 to 7 p.m. May 15 and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 16 and May 17,Zostavax and Pneumococcal vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16 and 17.Dental cleanings at Dental Clinic No. 2 and No. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on May 17. Call 736-4779 for appointmentUSAG-Red CloudCamp Red Cloud Gym from 8 a.m. to midnight May 15 to May 17.Pet registration and chipping: from 5 to 7 p.m. May 15 and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 16 and May 17. Pets will receive chip implants at Vet Clinic.Zostavax and Pneumococcal vaccinations: from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 17U.S. Army Garrison-CaseyCasey Hanson Field House from 8 a.m. to midnight May 15 to May 17.Zostavax and Pneumococcal vaccinations: from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 17U.S. Army Garrison-HumphreysPet registration and pet-chipping: from 5 to 7 p.m. May 15 and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 16 and May 17. Pets will receive chips at the Osan Air Base Vet Clinic.Zostavax and Pneumococcal vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 17Dental cleanings at Humphreys Dental Clinic from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 17. Call 753-6559 for appointment.U.S. Army Garrison-DaeguCamp Walker pet registration and chipping from 5 to 7 p.m. on May 15 and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 16 and May 17. Pets will receive chips at Walker Vet Clinic.Zostavax and Pneumococcal vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 17Dental cleanings at Walker Dental Clinic from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 17. Call 764-4307 for appointment.Kunsan Air BaseFitness Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16.Osan Air BaseOsan American High School from 4 to 6 p.m. May 15; 4 to 9 p.m. May 16; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 17. Limited parking so the base will run NEO shuttle busses every 20 minutes from the medical group parking lot and from a location just inside the main gate.Chinhae Naval Base Robinson Center from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 15.