The primary responsibility
for NEOs lies with the Department of State. The chief of mission
(COM) is always the ambassador, if present, and is the ranking
US official in the country. He is directly responsible to the
President of the United States. In the absence of the ambassador,
the deputy chief of mission (DCM) becomes the charge d'affaires.
The following paragraphs describe other key embassy officials
and their duties.
The administrative officer
(AO) is often the third in command in the embassy hierarchy. In
a small post with no security officer assigned, the AO assumes
the functions of the security officer and has operational control
(OPCON) of the Marine security guard (MSG) detachment if assigned.
The AO is also responsible for the embassy communications unit.
The general services officer
(GSO) has many of the same functions as a J4 or S4. The GSO is
normally responsible for all buildings, grounds, construction, vehicles, and maintenance.
The chief of the consular
section is responsible for many functions relating to US personnel
and is an appropriate point of contact for the J2 or S2 and J3
or S3. Consular officers are, in general, responsible for the
welfare of all US citizens visiting and residing in their country
and for knowing their whereabouts and maintaining an estimated
The chief, security assistance
office (SAO) may be the senior military person at the embassy.
He maintains liaison with the host nation's military forces. He
is authorized by law to perform specific military functions with
host country military that are barred to all other embassy staff
The defense attaché
officer (DATT) is a military person attached to the embassy in
diplomatic status representing DOD. He has access to the daily
embassy situation report (SITREP) and other written intelligence.
Except for the MSG, all military personnel, even those not assigned
to the embassy or under direct control of the COM, must coordinate
their activities through the DATT.
The chief of station and defense
attaché are ideal points of contact for the J2 or S2. They
can provide information about HN civil and military capabilities,
such as order of battle.
The USIS representative or
public affairs officer (PAO) is responsible for media relations
and approves all media contacts during a NEO. He is the point
of contact for the JTF PAO.
The regional security officer
(RSO) is a Department of State security officer responsible for
the security functions of US embassies and consulates in a given
country or group of adjacent countries. The RSO oversees the post
security officer (PSO) and the special security force (SSF).
The PSO has general security
duties at a specific embassy (or consulate). The PSO is a special
staff officer under the control of the administrative officer
and exercises OPCON over the Marine security guards assigned to
The SSF are Department of
State employees who respond to crises in foreign countries. They
work for the RSO and provide additional bodyguard security for
the COM, the DCM, and others as directed by the RSO.
The political officer is a
foreign service officer (FSO) who reports on political developments,
negotiates with the host government, and represents views and
policies of the US government to his contacts. The political officer
maintains regular contact with host government officials, political
and labor leaders, and other influential citizens of the host
country, as well as third country diplomats. The political officer
is a major contributor to the overall intelligence picture.
The economic officer is an
FSO who analyzes, prepares reports, and advises appropriate embassy
and Department of State personnel on economic matters in the host
country. Economic officers negotiate with the host government
on trade and financial issues. They also work in close contact
with relief organizations.
The medical officer is the
senior medical person who is able to respond to and setup triage,
trauma, and mass casualty operations. The medical officer can
also advise the joint task force on medical threats and preventive
medicine measures necessary for forces introduced into country.
However, this should not take the place of good medical intelligence by the
evacuating force before the operation.
The MSG detachment has, at
a minimum, a commander and five watch standers. Only with the
express consent of the COM is the detachment available for duty
with forces deployed to conduct the NEO. The MSG detachment missions
and duties include--
Exercising access control
and providing stationary guard coverage of the principal buildings.
Conducting visual inspections
of controlled access areas to detect possible physical or technical
Providing temporary internal
security guard Department of State representatives and local protection
to the COM's (or charge d'affaires') residence.
Performing other duties required
by circumstances requiring immediate action and as directed by
the COM or charge d'affaires and RSO or PSO.
Protecting the principal buildings
as outlined in the mission EAP or as directed by the COM or charge
d'affaires and the RSO or PSO.
The country team is a council
of senior officers, normally section heads, working under the
COM's direction to pool their skills and resources in the national
interest of the United States. The country team system makes possible
rapid interagency consultation, action, or recommendations from
the field and effective execution of US missions, programs, and
The organization of each country
team varies, based on the COM's desires, the specific country
situation, the number and size of US programs, and the qualifications
of the senior officers representing the agencies. The country
team normally consists of the following members:
Deputy chief of mission (DCM).
Chief of station.
Regional security officer.
Public affairs officer.
Director of the United States
Information Service (USIS).
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
Director of the US Agency
for International Development (USAID).
Director of the Peace Corps.
Chief, security assistance
The Department of State, acting
on the advice and recommendation of the COM, decides when evacuation
of designated personnel will take place. Normally, evacuation
commences according to the embassy EAP, using scheduled commercial
transportation, commercial charter transportation, or US military
transportation. Arrangements for charter transportation, civilian
or military, must be made by the Department of State's Under Secretary
If evacuation requirements
exceed the capability of the diplomatic mission, the Secretary
of State may request military assistance from the DOD. This might
happen when the threat to US citizens makes it impractical to
wait for other means of evacuation or if military forces are required
to actively protect US citizens. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff (JCS), when directed by the National Command Authorities
(NCA), tasks this mission to the appropriate combatant
commander (CINC). The CINC initiates appropriate military operations
and coordinates with the State Department chair of his regional
liaison group (RLG).
The WLG is chaired by a representative
of the Department of State. Representatives from the Office, Secretary
of Defense (OSD); the Joint Staff; and the military departments
are members. The Department of State invites other US government
departments and agencies to participate as appropriate. The WLG
is responsible for coordinating the planning and implementation
of Department of State and DOD plans for the protection and evacuation
of noncombatants abroad. The representatives of the WLG are the
points of contact for their departments on all matters pertaining
to evacuation planning and implementation.
The WLG, through the Under
Secretary for Management, arranges transportation beyond that
routinely available to the embassy. It designates the ISB, safehaven,
and repatriation site. (Unless otherwise designated by the OSD,
the ultimate safehaven for DOD employees and dependents is the
United States.) The WLG coordinates with the Department of Health
and Human Services, the Immigration and Naturalization Service,
and the Customs Bureau to ensure all non-US government evacuees
are met at the initial port of entry in the United States, processed
into the country, and assisted in making onward travel arrangements,
By law and executive order
(42 United States Code (USC) 1313 and Executive Order 12656),
the Department of Health and Human Services meets and assists
evacuees at the US port of entry. Assistance is provided only
if evacuees are without adequate resources to resettle on their
own the embassy and the Department of State recommend assistance,
and the individual wishes it.
Regional liaison groups are
joint monitoring and coordinating bodies established by the Department
of State, chaired by that agency's political advisors to the CINCs,
with representation from the DOD. RLGs ensure that embassies (or
posts) and CINCs coordinate NEO planning. They provide advice
and guidance to diplomatic and consulate posts and military commands
in their areas by--
Providing liaison between
the WLG and the embassy.
Ensuring coordination exists
between the various embassies and military commands.
Assisting embassies and commands
in planning for evacuation and protection of US citizens and certain
designated aliens in case of emergency.
Reviewing EAPs and forwarding
them to State Department with comments and recommendations.
A NEO is by nature an interagency
operation. It includes evacuation of not only US government personnel,
but also nongovernment, private volunteer, and, possibly, international
relief organizations. Although ideally, these organizations should
work with the embassy for evacuation the commander may need to
provide liaison teams to coordinate with them.
An interagency task force,
reporting to an interagency working group, may also be formed.
This was done to coordinate interagency efforts in the evacuation
of Rwanda in 1994.
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