Non-combatant Evacuation Operation Exercise

On September 21, 2016, the U.S. Embassy in Muscat, Royal Omani Police, and U.S. Navy concluded a successful bilateral training exercise. The bilateral non-combatant evacuation exercise was an opportunity for the United States and Oman to practice quickly providing security and safety to U.S. and international citizens during a natural disaster or emergency.

U.S. Ambassador Marc J. Sievers speaks with U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Francis L. Donovan, Commanding General of Task Force 51, and 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade
U.S. Ambassador Marc J. Sievers speaks with U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Francis L. Donovan, Commanding General of Task Force 51, and 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lauren A. Falk/Released)

Practice Makes Perfect

The land and maritime training exercise included transporting volunteers from the U.S. Embassy to a U.S. Navy ship in the coastal waters of Oman with the assistance of the ROP. The scenario simulated a natural disaster response in which authorities from both the United States and Oman would coordinate to evacuate civilians from affected areas. The U.S. Navy contributed it’s Navy Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC) for the simulation, transporting U.S. and international citizens to the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) during a bilateral non-combatant evacuation exercise at the U.S. Embassy.

A U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC) with Assault Craft Unit 4 transports U.S. and international citizens to the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio
The non-combatant evacuation exercise is an opportunity for the United States and Oman to practice a bilateral mission of quickly providing security and safety to U.S. and international citizens. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lauren A. Falk/Released)

Close Collaborators

Additionally, U.S. Embassy staff, U.S. Navy personnel, and Royal Oman Police forces collaborated closely during the NEO training exercise. All three partners practiced the many intricate pieces of coordinating during an emergency. From information sharing, to shared communications, to coordinated press activity, all parties involved ensured everyone was on the same page. A natural disaster or other emergency would require all authorities in Oman to act together in order to provide safety and security to their citizens.

U.S. Embassy Personnel interact with Royal Oman Police counterparts during the non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) training exercise on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.
U.S. Embassy Personnel interact with Royal Oman Police counterparts during the NEO exercise. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lauren A. Falk/Released)