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Yokota Airmen, family members participate in evacuation exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Samantha White
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 374th Airlift Wing conducted an Emergency Evacuation Program exercise Sept. 7-8 at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Participants included 56 families, 9 pets and 79 military personnel who gathered at the Taiyo Community Center to practice evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency.

“We’re doing this exercise so people get a better understanding of what the process looks like,” said Master Sgt. Michael Cooper, 374th Force Support Squadron Readiness NCO. “You never know what’s going to happen, it helps to ease some of the hardship and helps to be prepared if anything were to happen.”

Back in 2011, following an earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan, many families left Yokota in a hurry. The EEP exercise is meant to give a first-hand look toward what an emergency evacuation would be like.

When asked about her experience during the exercise, Michelle Murphy, spouse, said, “It’s really been an eye-opener. It helped me realize I was missing a few of the required documents and now I’m better prepared for the future.”

Members of many base support agencies attended the event to help familiarize participants with the evacuation process while testing their own abilities to care for family members during times of separation from their active-duty servicemembers.

“We’re taking this opportunity to see what we’re capable of,” said 2nd Lt. Zachary Longworth, 374th Communications Squadron section commander. “If the need calls for it, we want to make sure we are able to get our families out safely, so that our Airmen can focus on the mission at hand.”

For more information about the Emergency Evacuation Program, visit or contact unit noncombatant evacuation operations wardens.