Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni personnel provided noncombatant evacuation operations training for dependents, Department of Defense civilians and service members at 10th Regional Support Group Ammunition Depot in Kure City, Japan, May 3, 2017.
The purpose of NEO training is to inform personnel in the area of what to do in the event of natural disasters, industrial accidents and military threats.
“When people take this training, they’re able to provide for themselves and provide for their families,” said Angela Gerrits, Marine Corps Family Team Building life skills and readiness and deployment trainer. “They have an emergency plan, and they’ll be able to act on that.”
Since U.S. forces in Kure don’t have the capabilities for NEO, MCAS Iwakuni Marines traveled by boat to Kure to brief U.S. Soldiers, DOD civilians and dependents on preparation and instruction during a NEO.
“The training gets them in the right mindset in the event of an evacuation,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Scott Andrews, administrative specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “Because we run the operation out of Iwakuni, we went there to ensure they know what to do in the event of a NEO exercise or a full-on evacuation.”
During the brief, personnel were asked to prepare a “go” bag that contains items such as an identification card, passport, birth certificate, U.S. dollars and yen, an emergency kit and extra clothes. They were also told to purchase non-perishables, know where to go in the event of an evacuation and how to register their pets with the base vet.
“NEO preparation is important when you’re overseas,” said Gerrits. “How we evacuate, prepare our families and make sure we’re safe and our loved ones are safe is very important.”
Gerrits said she was pleased to be able to travel out to Kure and inform the personnel about NEO.
“They were able to experience the training and workshops they don’t regularly receive,” said Gerrits. “It was such a great opportunity for us to bring the training to them.”
MCAS Iwakuni is scheduled to conduct a NEO exercise in the near future. If you want more information on NEO, you can contact the Marine Corps Family Team Building line at 253- 3542 or 0827-79-3542.