>Lesson To Be Learned From Libya Evacuation (Part 1)


The terrible events grabbed the attention of the world. But the chaos and the civil war is continuing in Libya. I personally feel that now is a good time to think about the Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation from Libya while it is still fresh in our memories and render the necessary lesson.

The NEO from Libya was the third of such operation Turkey conducted in the recent years.

The first noticeable NEO was evacuation from Albania in March 1997. The Knox class frigate F-251 TCG Adatepe was send to Albania to pick up 253 evacuees.

The second NEO was the evacuation from Lebanon in July 2006. This time the frigates F-493 TCG Gelibolu, F-504 TCG Bartın and the naval ferry A-1600 TCG Iskenderun were send to Beirut to pick up 700 Turkish citizens.

As you can see the previous operations were very small in scale compared to the latest NEO from Libya. Between 19 February and 4 March 2011, Turkey evacuated 23.127 persons from Libya.

I am very happy to see that the whole operation run very smoothly and there were no serious incidents that might endanger the lives of the evacuees. Neither the Gaddafi government or the rebel forces denied any landing of Turkish planes or docking of Turkish ships. And this is thanks to the relentless efforts of the Turkish diplomatic personal in Libya.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs grab the ball at the beginning of the incidents and never dropped it till the end. An emergency response center with 120 staff was immediately set up in HQ at MoFa and this ERC was the main command and control point during the whole evacuation operation.The Mofa personnel in Libya were also very active and in command of the things. This is one lesson the be learned. A strong presence in the filed and a powerful and acting crisis center at the HQ to organize everything.

In evacuation by air, Turkey was successful. Having a strong civil aviation sector is an important force multiplier for a nation. The national flag carrier, THY is expanding its fleet very aggressively in the recent years. So are the other domestic carriers. The large fleets of Turkish air lines helped them to divert enough planes for additional chartered flights from Libya. The civil planes carried 43 flights where as the cargo planes of Turkish Air Force executed 27 flights. 14.776 person, % 64 of the evacuees were transported by air.

Lesson To Be Learned From Libya Evacuation (Part 2)

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