MUSCAT, Oman – Marines and Sailors conducted the first non-combat evacuation exercise in Muscat on September 20-21.
The units were from the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and conducted the exercise along with U.S. Embassy-Muscat and Royal Omani Police.
NEO exercises are used to enhance critical missions set by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to quickly provide security and safety to U.S. citizens abroad during either a natural disaster or contingency.
Marine group forces help to evacuate personnel to the ship as sailors aboard the ship provide food and medical attention.
The exercise consisted of amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) in support of an amphibious landing and evacuation of select participants from the U.S. Embassy in coordination with the Royal Omani Police.
The ARG/MEU provides an important sea-based crisis response force which can help in accomplishing missions from combat to humanitarian aid.
Being that this was the first exercise conducted in Oman by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps forces, it validated the capabilities of the ARG/MEU in times of missions or crisis.
The NEO exercise also strengthened the solid relationship with the Sultanate of Oman, demonstrating commitment to conducting future cooperative exercises.