Keeping Out of Harm’s Way

Airmen at Kadena AB, Japan, this month practiced non-combatant evacuations with sailors and soldiers, processing and safely moving some 150 Okinawa military families, during a mock emergency drill earlier this month, announced wing officials. Working with Red Cross representatives and 18th Wing finance and housing personnel, the airmen went through the response procedures required to get the families to a rally point for aircraft to take them to a safe location in the case of an actual emergency that made it unsafe for them to remain on the island, like an approaching typhoon. The early April exercise allowed the airmen to practice with real families and better prepare for an actual non-combatant evacuation operation, said Lorrie Perkins of the 18th Force Support Squadron’s Airmen and Family Readiness Center. The drill was also important to let the families know “what they might need to get out of town,” said Col. Debra Lovette, commander of the 18th Mission Support Group. The 18th Wing usually conducts NEO drills twice a year, but officials would like to increase the frequency, states the release.