Evacuation, Disaster, and Threats, Oh My! NEO PreparednessJacquelyn Reyes-Reza | community writer
Being a military spouse means having to recall many acronyms. One that is being said very often is NEO. It stands for Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations. This is a process in which civilians are evacuated due to a natural disaster, man-made disaster, or threat. As a spouse, I want to be prepared in the very unlikely event of a NEO occurring. Thankfully, there are multiple ways that you can prepare yourself and your family.
One of the first ways that you can prepare is by filling out the NEO packages. The required forms can be found on MCAS Iwakuni’s website, www.mcasiwakuni.marines.mil. This paperwork is you and your family’s ticket off the base. From there you want to make sure that you have a go-bag with all your identification documents, pictures of your children, and approximately $100 and ¥10,000 per person. You should also include water, protein rich snack bars and food, and three to four layered outfits. If you have children, they should have similar bags unless they are too young to carry their own bag.
Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB) offers a monthly workshop that explains the paperwork process and addresses questions. There are also exercises that are designed by Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC) that simulate the process of an evacuation. The base recently had a very successful exercise in which U.S. Marine Corps MGySgt Fernando Hernandez reported that there were over 150 participants during the two-day exercise. The key to NEO is being prepared but also being prepared to be flexible. For more information about NEO, contact MCFTB at 253-3542.