US Military Holds Evacuation Exercise in Qatar

US military personnel deployed to Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, recently participated in an exercise to rehearse evacuation orders for noncombatant personnel and family members, according to an Air Forces Central Command release. The drill is held annually so families and Defense Department civilians will be prepared in case the State Department issues a noncombatant evacuation order, said US Army 2nd Lt. Robert Upfield, the Area Support Group-Qatar operations office orders officer. “It’s important that everyone understands the role they plan in events like this because you never know when a real world emergency could happen,” he said. Numerous factors must be examined such as the physical safety of evacuees, property, logistics of moving large numbers of people on short notice, housing, food, medical care, and the rapid processing of documents, among other issues. By running the drills, US military planners in Qatar and in other areas know what procedures work and which ones must be prioritized. Military assets frequently support NEO operations, such as the “relocation” of Embassy Tripoli in Libya last summer.