Political Turmoil in Egypt
On January 25, 2011 when massive political protests erupted in Egypt, FrontierMEDEX's in-house Intelligence Team was already monitoring the situation. With the overthrowing of Tunisian President Zine al-Abindine Ben Ali only 11 days prior, our Intelligence Team was intently watching, knowing the potential for unrest in one place to ignite unrest in another, even if for different reasons.
Protesters called for massive demonstrations on January 28, demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. As tensions and violence increased, a curfew was put into place, communication via cell phones and the internet became spotty and unreliable, and traveling throughout Egypt became increasingly more difficult due to road blockages and checkpoints. Despite this scenario, FrontierMEDEX was able to assist clients who decided they wanted to leave Egypt at this time.
On February 1, after careful assessment of the situation in Egypt, FrontierMEDEX's Security Services Division raised their situation phase status from Alert to Evacuate. This change in phase was consistent with the State Department's order to evacuate all non-essential U.S. government personnel and for U.S. citizens to defer travel to Egypt. "Our intelligence analysts had been keeping a close watch on the situation as it developed, using information from public and private sources, to determine the need to evacuate people out of Egypt," said FrontierMEDEX President & COO Americas, Bruce Kirby.
As the situation intensified, resources were being obtained should the need to evacuate be realized. Once the Evacuate status was released, resources were mobilized to extract both clients and non-clients. "The situation in Egypt was interesting because we stepped in to provide safe passage for not only our clients, but also other organizations whose service partners were unable to provide assistance. It's a good example for the need not only to have services in place for your travelers, but to partner with a company capable and experienced in conducting these operations," said Charlie LeBlanc, President of Security Services.
Before some people could be evacuated, they first needed help getting to the airport. FrontierMEDEX provided secure ground transportation for over 100 individuals, ensuring their safe arrival at the airport. We secured the charter evacuation of over 300 passengers, and even more evacuations via commercial flights. In total, FrontierMEDEX assisted approximately 600 people with their movement from Egypt.
On February 11, President Hosni Mubarak resigned and the armed forces stepped in to provide order and leadership. As the situation in Egypt stabilized and a sense of normalcy returned, FrontierMEDEX de-escalated the phase status to Alert, but continued to monitor the situation.