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Noncombatant Evacuation Operations

Marines assist noncombatants board an aircraft during an evacuation.


 140140-M-FX659-138 Photo by: Cpl. Henry Antenor

Much of the general emergency action information, presented through the other emergency action links, is valid anywhere. However, the availability of and access to evacuation routes, safe havens, shelters, and mass notification systems vary more widely outside the continental United States, often depending on the preparedness levels of—and cooperative agreements with—host nations. Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) is an emergency action used specifically OCONUS.

All members of the Marine Corps community serving OCONUS are encouraged to be proactive in informing and preparing themselves to take effective actions in response to potential hazards in their particular part of the world.

Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) is the ordered (mandatory) or authorized (voluntary) departure of civilian noncombatants and nonessential military personnel from danger in an overseas country to a designated safe haven, typically within the continental United States. Overseas evacuations could occur under a variety of circumstances, including civil unrest, military uprisings, environmental concerns, and natural disasters. The Department of State (DOS) recommends an evacuation, and the Department of the Army—as the Department of Defense (DOD) Executive Agent for repatriation (RE-PAT) planning and operations—coordinates the execution of NEO.

How To Prepare for Evacuation
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Sponsors and family members are responsible to take an active role in preparation for an evacuation. You must also understand what the U.S. Government will and will not do for you. The military and the U.S. Embassy will work to notify you of an evacuation order and move you safely and quickly away from danger. They will also attend to your basic needs of food, shelter, transportation and security.

  • Preparing and maintaining an updated NEO Package.
  • Maintaining accurate and updated contact information with your command and in all relevant Marine Corps databases. ALL Marines (active duty and Reserve), civil service, and contractor personnel with a NIPR computer account—verify and update official contact information populated in the Marine Corps Enterprise Mass Notification System (eMNS) by information found in the Global Address List (GAL), and self-register all cell phones, home phone, email addresses, etc. in eMNS. 
  • Knowing where rally points are located and how to get there. 
  • Making a written evacuation plan that includes a plan for pets
  • Making a written emergency communication plan in case family members are separated. 
  • Building a NEO kit.
Executing a NEO
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  • At the onset of a crisis situation in an overseas country, DOS, in collaboration with other federal agencies, may request an evacuation. When approved by the President, an Executive Order will be issued directing NEO.

  • One or more Repatriation (RE-PAT) Sites may be established, and USTRANSCOM will coordinate the removal of evacuees to the site. Evacuees wishing to be evacuated somewhere other than the designated safe haven must request permission through their Service and DOS.

  • Headquarters Department of the Army will coordinate and direct repatriation operations, as well as the assistance provided to other eligible DoD families who are unable to enter the subject country due to a stop movement order (an ordered suspension of movement into an evacuated area). 

  • CDR FORSCOM and CDR USPACOM will assist the designated RE-PAT Sites during the execution of the repatriation operation in coordination with other DoD agencies; the Military Services; and federal, state, and local agencies, as required.

  • Individual military Services/DoD agencies will provide necessary support to effectively receive and process respective families, both evacuees who enter through designated RE-PAT Sites and also eligible families who are unable to process through these sites (stop movement personnel or those who come out via commercial air). The authorized/ordered departure may be extended in 30-day increments to a maximum of 180 days.

  • When an authorized departure is terminated, evacuees must return to their foreign duty assignment.

During a NEO
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  • Stay tuned to American Forces Network (AFN) broadcasts for instructions.
  • If an evacuation is ordered, report to the nearest assembly point as quickly as possible.
  • Leave with the expectation that you will not return.
  • Take your NEO kit with you.
  • Cooperate and comply with NEO personnel.
  • Remain calm and be flexible. 
  • Assist other noncombatants who need help.
What to Expect After an Evacuation
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Being evacuated can be unsettling and difficult. The goal of the Repatriation Site is to ensure arriving evacuees are processed and moved onward to their final safe haven locations as expeditiously as possible. If transportation arrangements cannot be made for immediate onward movement after processing, arrangements will be made for temporary housing at military installations or commercial facilities. 

Each Service is responsible for providing financial assistance for its eligible military and civilian employees and their families. Financial assistance is provided in the form of deployable teams to designated Repatriation Sites for initial payments to evacuees. It also includes all follow-on payments to evacuees while in safe haven locations, as well as initial and follow-on payments for eligible individuals who were unable to process through a Repatriation Site. These payments will be made by Service-designated centralized locations. 

Upon arrival of evacuees at their final destination, the nearest installation in the local area is responsible for family support in coordination with the evacuee’s sponsoring Service or agency. The sponsoring installation will assist the family, regardless of Service affiliation, with any problems or needs that may arise, such as family support, return transportation requirements, household goods claims, etc. The sponsoring installation will also provide assistance to families affected by stop movement orders.

Set your own course through any hazard: stay informed, make a plan, build a kit.
Live Ready Marine Corps.

Where to Find Additional Information

What Is a NEO Package

Building a NEO Kit

MCAS Iwakuni, Japan


Okinawa Area Emergency Evacuation Packethttp://www.mcipac.marines.mil/LivinginOkinawa/

U.S. Army (as DoD Executive Agent for repatriation and planning for all Services)— www.armyg1.army.mil/sitemap.asp#neo 

U.S. Department of State
Emergency Assistancehttp://travel.state.gov/content/passports/

Crisis Preparednesshttp://www.state.gov/documents/organization/148830.pdf

Web Site for Nearest U.S. Embassywww.usembassy.gov

American Forces Network Broadcast Center (find your local affiliate)http://afrts.DoDmedia.osd.mil/page.asp?pg=%5Cgen_info%5Caboutbc 

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