August 1997

West Africa: Evacuation in Sierra Leone

Volume 80, Issue 8

Leathernecks once again left behind an overrun city to looters and marauders, while whisking to safety American citizens and civilians of other nations. This time it was in the West African city of Freetown, Sierra Leone. It was the sixth time in little more than a year that Marines were called on to stand by or conduct a noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO) from a foreign nation.

This one took five days, and Marines and sailors of the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit evacuated more than 2,500 American citizens and third-country nationals from Freetown.

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Arthur P Brill Jr