A family of eight, including one elderly man, a mother and father, and five children, sustained various levels of injuries in a motor vehicle accident which required secure medical transport from their location in Ma’rib in eastern Yemen. Three family members – the mother, who incurred a rib fracture, and two children, who experienced pelvic and femur fractures – were nonambulatory. WorldAware quickly responded to the request for assistance by initiating and successfully executing plans for secure medical transport, which included ground transportation and armed security personnel.

Within nine hours, the family was moved via four armed security vehicles and two ambulances through extremely hazardous mountain terrain and hostile territory to a better equipped hospital in the capital city of Sana’a, 200km to the west, by WorldAware Protective Service Detail.


After receiving the call for assistance on at 9:59pm EST on September 4, 2013, the Incident Management Team (IMT) was stood up at Command Center in Annapolis MD, which conducted detailed mission planning, including tapping into local resources who had knowledge of the terrain, travel routes, local tribal customs, and security environment.

By 3:30pm Yemen time on September 5, 2013, WorldAware Protective Service Detail had established direct communications and face-to-face contact with the injured party, and they quickly realized they would not receive suitable medical care at the Ma’rib City General Hospital. Making the call to move the family through rough mountainous terrain and into Sana’a required safeguarding the transportation convoy. However, with road closures, approaching evening hours and infighting between local factions and host nation security forces in Ma’rib, WorldAware’s Protective Service Detail decided to hold position in Ma’rib until daylight and infighting subsided, and sheltered in place with armed security personnel protecting the ambulances.

WorldAware Protective Service Detail knew that negotiating safe passage into Sana’a would not be possible without the buy-in of Tribal Elders, who could ‘approve’ the convoy’s trek through ‘badland territory’ prone to anti-government warlord activity and U.S. drone strikes. Possessing the requisite cultural competency and linguistic skills required to understand and navigate the customs and traditions of this ancient tribal culture, WorldAware Protective Service Detail conducted liaison with local warlords, explaining that the ambulances did not represent a Yemeni government operation in any way - but rather, carried an injured, innocent family. Gaining the trust of the Tribal Elders was a crucial step in the successful execution of the mission. They, then, agreed to provide a tribal elder support to guarantee safe passage to the capital city.

As morning broke, the convoy, which included the local tribal Chieftain to accompany the lead security vehicle, two ambulances to transport three non-ambulatory patients, and armed close protection personnel in the lead, two center and back-up vehicle, headed out for Sana’a. Technology was stunted amidst the dense mountains, causing cell phone function to be intermittent.

Nonetheless, daily safety check-in protocols were established and the family was manually tracked by measuring how much distance they had covered every time they called in.

Over 200km and nine hours later on September 6, 2013, WorldAware Protective Service Detail arrived at its destination, successfully securing safe travel and transportation of WorldAware’s client to a better equipped and more suitable care hospital in Sana’a.

WorldAware’s ability to rapidly respond and deliver exceptional results in a highly volatile area was outstanding. With their on the ground knowledge of the territory and local customs, we were able to support our services with secure transport. Kip Gibbs VP of Global Operations Assist America


Command Control Communication and Intelligence (C3I) Services, directed from Command Center in Annapolis, MD, provided rapid on-the-ground assistance, concise intelligence, and client-decision support. WorldAware’s Global Operations demonstrated its full scope of capabilities by monitoring threats, and providing medical evacuation to support security requirements in a very hostile and challenging environment.

WorldAware’s heavily armed, highly skilled and vetted Protective Service Detail on the ground possessed both the cultural competency, as well as, tactical proficiency to move the ambulances out of Ma’rib and into Sana’s without becoming the victim of dangerous crossfire. Additionally, the wounded members of the family received medical care through the dangerous ride in mountainous terrain, thereby ensuring that their existing injuries did not worsen. The immense value for the client included the potential saving of lives, reputation and costs. Without WorldAware’s expertise and full operational management of the client’s request for assistance, the welfare of the family could have been further jeopardized.


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Case Study: Yemen Security Evacuation