Noncombatant Evacuation Operation (NEO): What is it? Who’s it for? | SWPOD 034

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Heya Weavers!

I remember quite a bit of talk about the US Army’s Noncombatant Evacuation Operation, or NEO, exercises/preparations a few weeks ago. Tensions between North Korea and the US seemed to be abnormally high, so much so that it became the topic of that weeks podcast episode.

It seemed tensions were subsiding with South Korea electing President Mun, Jae In on Tuesday and Trump focusing on to domestic issues in the US. But then came Sunday and a North Korea missile launch along with it.


While the media has been oddly quiet on the launch, I can see things escalating again over the next couple of days. That might put a few of us back on edge again so…

Since it seemed to be a topic of interest, I did a little looking into NEO, both for myself AND anyone else who happens to be living in or visiting the ROK. My purpose was twofold:

  1. Find out just who qualifies as a noncombatant and who is authorized evacuation privileges. The sites and documents I came across during my research provide quite a bit of detail.
  2. Find out if and how those not affiliated with the US Department of Defense, Department of State, or other US entities in Korea, are brought in to the NEO operation.

I provide a quick overview on the sites and articles below but feel free to check out the links below for in depth information.

Related Podcast Episodes:

Threats of War: My thoughts on rising tensions between the US, SK, and NK

Articles and documents on NEO

Joint Publication on NEO


STEP Enrollment 

US Embassy Korea, Disaster Preparedness Site

Embassy Emergency Preparedness Advisory

AFN Pacific

Social Media Links

Facebook Group

Facebook Page