I had been in Korea for a total of 4 days when I was told that I would have to participate in a NEO drill the next week. You maybe wondering what is a NEO drill? I would have been thinking the same if I hadn't done my research on families accompanying their sponsors (that is Angel in this case - the active duty military member who is responsible for the dependents [this being the wife and kids]). NEO stands for NonCombatant (non military member) Evacuation Operations. Basically, the military plans and prepares for any event in which they would need to evacuate families from the country where they reside. Documents must be filled out and a kit packed in case of an emergency.
The drill that was held last week was for Angel's unit only. They wanted to make sure that families were ready and documents were completed. Another part of this drill was that I had to get the girls and myself to a certain location without my husband taking me there and dropping me off or waiting in the car. Since I am still not comfortable driving here in Korea yet, I was brainstorming my options for getting to this drill. I could take a taxi. I could take public transportation. I could go to work with Angel in the morning and take a shuttle .
Since I had not used public transportation yet and I have never hailed a taxi, the last option appealed to me the most. So that is what we did. The girls and I went to work with Angel that morning. I checked the shuttle schedule and made sure we arrived a little early. I didn't want to miss this bus becuase they only run every hour. We had our documents filled out, our bags packed and everyone was ready to go.
We finally arrived at the drill and checked in. We were given a lesson on wearing a gas mask and each of us had to try the mask on to make sure we knew what we were doing. The girls had fun doing this and I took some pictures of their experience. By the time we got the shuttle back to Angel's work it was after lunchtime, so the girls and I got some microwavable meals for lunch and hung out around the post until Angel was done working for the day.
It was an interesting experience, though I hope a NEO never has to really take place.