Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Pentagon Wants to Keep Running Its Afghan Drug War From Blackwater’s HQ

Wired’s Danger Room November 21, 2012

The U.S. war in Afghanistan is supposed to be winding down. Its contractor-led drug war? Not so much.

Inside a compound in Kabul called Camp Integrity, the Pentagon stations a small group of officers to oversee the U.S. military’s various operations to curb the spread of Afghanistan’s cash crops of heroin and marijuana, which help line the Taliban’s pockets. Only Camp Integrity isn’t a U.S. military base at all. It’s the 10-acre Afghanistan headquarters of the private security company formerly known as Blackwater.

Those officers work for an obscure Pentagon agency called the Counter Narco-Terrorism Program Office, or CNTPO. Quietly, it’s grown into one of the biggest dispensers of cash for private security contractors in the entire U.S. government: One pile of contracts last year from CNTPO was worth more than $3 billion. And it sees a future for itself in Afghanistan over the long haul.

Earlier this month, a U.S. government solicitation sought to hire a security firm to help CNTPO “maintain a basic, operational support cell” in Kabul. Army Lt. Col. James Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman, explains that “cell” doesn’t kick in the doors of any Afghan narco-kingpins. It handles the more mundane tasks of overseeing the contracts of the Pentagon’s counter-narcotics programs, from “training and linguists, and [providing] supplies, such as vehicles and equipment.” The solicitation, however, indicates those services aren’t going anywhere: When all the options are exercised, the contract extends through September 29, 2015, over a year past the date when Afghan soldiers and cops are supposed to take over the war. And the “government preferred location” to base CNTPO? Camp Integrity.

 

The envisioned Pentagon counter-narco-terrorism staff is pretty small: only two to four personnel. But protecting them at Camp Integrity is serious business. The November 6 solicitation calls for a security firm that can “provide a secure armory and weapons maintenance service, including the ability to check-in and check-out weapons and ammunition,” particularly 9 mm pistols and M4 rifles; and to provide “secure armored” transportation to the CNTPO team — primarily “in and around Kabul, but could include some remote locations.”

CNTPO has a longstanding relationship with Blackwater, the infamous security firm that is now known as Academi. In 2009, it gave Blackwater a contract to train Afghan police, and company employees used that contract to requisition guns from the U.S. military for their private use. Although that contract was ultimately taken out of CNTPO’s hands, the office’s relationship with Academi/Blackwater endures. Last year, Academi told Danger Room it has a contract with CNTPO, worth an undisclosed amount, to provide “all-source intelligence analyst support and material procurement” for Afghanistan. An Academi spokeswoman, Kelley Gannon, declined to comment on Academi’s relationship with CNTPO, or whether it’ll bid on the new contract

Please read the entire article here

November 28, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Staff Sgt Kenneth W Bennett killed in Afghanistan

This morning, the Pentagon announced the death of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who was killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Kenneth W. Bennett, 26, of Glendora, Calif., died Nov. 10, 2012, in Sperwan Gar, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when he encountered an improvised explosive device during combat operations.

Unit records indicate Staff Sgt. Bennett entered in the Army in November 2004, and attended Initial Army Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Advanced Individual Training (AIT) was at both Redstone Arsenal, Al. and Eglin Air Force Base, Fl.

His AIT training was for that of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist.

Staff Sgt. Bennett arrived at JBLM in February 2009, was assigned to the 53rd Ordnance Company (EOD), 3rd Ordnance Battalion (EOD).

November 12, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Department of Defense, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No VFA cover for dumping

US ship dumping of toxic waste provokes outrage in Manila

All Voices 2nd Update

The SBMA spot report showed that the tanker was carrying some 189,500 liters of domestic waste and about 760 liters of bilge water (a combination of water, oil and grease), all of which were hauled from Emory Land, a US Navy ship.

Santiago seeks Senate probe of US Navy contractor

Phillipine Daily Inquirer  Saturday November 10, 2012

The United States Navy contractor accused of dumping hazardous waste into Subic Bay last month is not covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement between the US and the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

“The VFA only covers US military personnel and US civilian personnel who are individuals employed by the US Armed Forces or those that accompany them such as employees of the American Red Cross and United Services Organization,” said Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, the DFA spokesperson.

“Since Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines Inc. cannot be considered US personnel, clearly its acts as third-party contractors are not covered by the VFA,” Hernandez said.

The VFA, the 1999 agreement that provides the framework for regulating the presence of US military forces and equipment in the Philippines, allows the US government to retain jurisdiction over US military personnel accused of committing crimes in the Philippines, unless the crimes are of “particular” importance to the Philippines.

The debate over this controversial aspect of the VFA—which many Filipinos see as one-sided and an affront to the sovereignty of the Philippines—has come into play once again after the Malaysia-based US Navy contractor accused by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) of dumping toxic waste in its waters invoked the protection of the VFA.

Glenn Defense Marine Asia Phil., through its politically influential law firm, Villaraza, Cruz, Marcelo and Angangco, when confronted with a “show-cause” letter by the SBMA to explain its illegal acts cheekily replied that the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFACOM), not the government agency that administers the free port, had jurisdiction over it.

The Inquirer reported on Friday that the SBMA was investigating the US Navy contractor for allegedly dumping untreated toxic and hazardous waste on Subic Bay last month. The waste was reportedly dumped by the tanker Glenn Guardian, a vessel owned by Glenn Defense, which reportedly collected the waste from US ships that participated in recently concluded joint military exercises in the country.

Hernandez pointed to Article I of the VFA, which defines the term “military personnel” and “civilian personnel” covered by the agreement, as referring only to individuals employed by the US military and those accompanying them.

Please read the entire article here

November 9, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Lawsuits, Legal Jurisdictions, Toxic | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Virginia Beach based SEAL killed in Afghanistan

Update

Kantor died as a result of a gunshot wound suffered in combat in southern Afghanistan, according to a press release from Naval Special Warfare Group Two.

Kantor was assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group Two which is based in Virginia Beach.

 

WAVY TV November 3, 2012

ZABUL, AFGHANISTAN – A locally based Navy SEAL supporting Operation Enduring Freedom was killed in Afghanistan Saturday.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Kantor, 22, of Gillette, N.J., died supporting stability operations in Zabul, Afghanistan, according to news release from the Department of Defense.

Kantor was assigned to the Naval Special Warfare unit based in Virginia Beach.

22-year-old sailor from Morris County killed in Afghanistan

November 3, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Department of Defense | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Unsatisfactory’ Mega-Contractor, DynCorp, Re-Ups on Another Big Military Deal

Spencer Ackerman at Wired’s Danger Room  November 2, 2012

Just days after an inspector general report revealed that a giant Pentagon contractor performed “unsatisfactory” work in Afghanistan, the U.S. Air Force awarded the firm another multimillion-dollar pot of cash.

Virginia’s DynCorp, which performs everything from private security to construction for the U.S. military, has re-upped with Air Force to help pilots learn basic flying skills on the T-6A/B Texan II aircraft, a training plane. The deal is only the latest between DynCorp and the Air Force on the Texan II: In June, the Air Force Materiel Command gave the company a deal worth nearly $55 million for training services. The latest one, announced late Thursday, is worth another $72.8 million, and lasts through October 2013.

But the Air Force’s lucrative vote of confidence in DynCorp comes not even a week after the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction blasted the company for performing “unsatisfactory” construction work at an Afghan Army base in Kunduz. The base was “at risk of structural failure” when the watchdogs initially inspected, but the Army Corps of Engineers chose to settle DynCorp’s contract, a move that awarded the company “$70.8 million on the construction contracts and releas[ed] it from any further liabilities and warranty obligation.” (.pdf)

A DynCorp spokeswoman, Ashley Burke, told Bloomberg News that the company disputed the special inspector general’s findings. For its part, the special inspector general took to tweeting photographs of what it called “DynCorp’s failed work at #Afghan #Army Base in #Kunduz.

Please read the entire post here

November 2, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, DynCorp, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Private Military Contractors, SIGAR, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

United States Sues Virginia-based Contractor Triple Canopy for False Claims Under Contract for Security in Iraq

Allegedly Billed US for Security Guards Who Did Not Meet Contract Requirements

Contractor Faked Guard Weapon Tests In Iraq, US Says

Department of Justice  October 31, 2012

The United States has filed a complaint against a Virginia-based contractor alleging that the company submitted false claims for unqualified security guards under a contract to provide security in Iraq, the Justice Department announced today. The company, Triple Canopy Inc. is headquartered in Reston, Va.

In June 2009, the Joint Contracting Command in Iraq/Afghanistan (JCC-I/A) awarded Triple Canopy a one-year, $10 million contract to perform a variety of security services at Al Asad Airbase – the second largest air base in Iraq. The multi-national JCC-I/A was established by U.S. Central Command in November 2004, to provide contracting support related to the government’s relief and reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

The government’s complaint alleges that Triple Canopy knowingly billed the United States for hundreds of foreign nationals it hired as security guards who could not meet firearms proficiency tests established by the Army and required under the contract. The tests ensure that security guards hired to protect U.S. and allied personnel are capable of firing their AK-47 assault rifles and other weapons safely and accurately. The government also alleges that Triple Canopy’s managers in Iraq falsified test scorecards as a cover up to induce the government to pay for the unqualified guards, and that Triple Canopy continued to bill the government even after high-level officials at the company’s headquarters had been alerted to the misconduct. The complaint further alleges that Triple Canopy used the false qualification records in an attempt to persuade the JCC-I/A to award the company a second year of security work at the Al Asad Airbase.

“For a government contractor to knowingly provide deficient security services, as is alleged in this case, is unthinkable, especially in war time,” said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “The department will do everything it can to ensure that contractors comply with critical contract requirements and that contractors who don’t comply aren’t permitted to profit at the expense of our men and women in uniform and the taxpayers at home who support them.”

“We will not tolerate government contractors anywhere in the world who seek to defraud the United States through deliberate or reckless conduct that violates contractual requirements and risks the security of government personnel,” said Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The government’s claims are based on a whistleblower suit initially filed by a former employee of Triple Canopy in 2011. The suit was filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provision of the False Claims Act, which allows private persons to file suit on behalf of the United States. Under the act, the government has a period of time to investigate the allegations and decide whether to intervene in the action or to decline intervention and allow the whistleblower to go forward alone.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia; the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division; and the Army Criminal Investigative Command (CID) and Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) of the Department of Defense.

The claims asserted against Triple Canopy are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability. The government is not aware of any injuries that occurred as a result of the alleged misconduct.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, and is captioned United States ex rel. Badr v. Triple Canopy, Inc.

November 1, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Iraq, Lawsuits, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, Vetting Employees, Whistleblower | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Overseas Contractor Count – 4th Quarter FY 2012

Thanks to Danger Zone Jobs for this Post

This update reports DoD contractor personnel numbers in theater and outlines DoD efforts to improve management of contractors accompanying U.S. forces. It covers DoD contractor personnel deployed in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Iraq, and the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).

In 4th quarter FY 2012, USCENTCOM reported approximately 137,000 contractor personnel working for the DoD in the USCENTCOM AOR. This total reflects no change from the previous quarter. The number of contractors outside of Afghanistan and Iraq make up about 13.7% of the total contractor population in the USCENTCOM AOR. A breakdown of DoD contractor personnel is provided below:

 

A breakdown of DoD contractor personnel is provided below:

DoD Contractor Personnel in the USCENTCOM AOR

 

Total Contractors U.S. Citizens Third Country Nationals Local & Host Country Nationals
Afghanistan Only 109, 564 31,814 39,480 38,270
Iraq Only* 9,000 2,314 4,621 2,065
Other USCENTCOM Locations 18,843 8,764 9,297 782
USCENTCOM AOR 137,407 42,892 53,398 41,117

*Includes DoD contractors supporting U.S. Mission Iraq and/or Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq

 

 

Afghanistan Summary

The distribution of contractors in Afghanistan by contracting activity are:

 

Theater Support – Afghanistan: 16,973 (15%)
LOGCAP: 40,551 (37%)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: 7,647 (7%)
Other:* 44,393 (41%)
Total: 113,736
*Includes Defense Logistics Agency, Army Materiel Command, Air Force External and Systems Support contracts, Special Operations Command and INSCOM.

 

OEF Contractor Posture Highlights:

There are currently approximately 109.5K DoD contractors in Afghanistan. The overall contractor footprint has decreased 3.7% from the 3rd quarter FY12.

The contractor to military ratio in Afghanistan is 1.13 to 1 (based on 84.2K military).

Local Nationals make up 34.9% of the DoD contracted workforce in Afghanistan.

 

Iraq Summary

Contractor Posture Highlights:

The total number of contractors supporting the U.S. Government in Iraq (DoD+DoS) is now approximately 13.5K, which meets the USG goal of reducing the contractor population at the end of FY 2012.

The Department of Defense and Department of State continue to refine the requirements for contract support. Some contractor personnel employed under DoD contracts are supporting State Department and other civilian activities under the Chief of Mission, Iraq. These DoD contractors are provided on a reimbursable basis.

 

General Data on DoD Private Security Contractor Personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan

USCENTCOM reports, as of 4th quarter FY 2012, the following distribution of private security contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq:

 

Total* U.S. Citizens Third Country National Local & Host Country National
DoD PSCs in Afghanistan 18,914 2,014 1,437 15,413
DoD PSCs in Iraq 2,116 102 1,873 191

*These numbers include most subcontractors and service contractors hired by prime contractors under DoD contracts. They include both armed and unarmed contractors. They do not include PSCs working under DoS and USAID contracts.

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iraq convoy was sent out despite threat

Unarmored trucks carrying needed supplies were ambushed, leaving six drivers dead. Records illuminate the fateful decision.

“Can anyone explain to me why we put civilians in the middle of known ambush sites?”

“Maybe we should put body bags on the packing list for our drivers.”

T Christian Miller The LA Times  September 3, 2007

Senior managers for defense contractor KBR overruled calls to halt supply operations in Iraq in the spring of 2004, ordering unarmored trucks into an active combat zone where six civilian drivers died in an ambush, according to newly available documents.

Company e-mails and other internal communications reveal that before KBR dispatched the convoy, a chorus of security advisors predicted an increase in roadside bombings and attacks on Iraq’s highways. They recommended suspension of convoys.

“[I] think we will get people injured or killed tomorrow,” warned KBR regional security chief George Seagle, citing “tons of intel.” But in an e-mail sent a day before the convoy was dispatched, he also acknowledged: “Big politics and contract issues involved.”

KBR was under intense pressure from the military to deliver on its multibillion-dollar contract to transport food, fuel and other vital supplies to U.S. soldiers. At Baghdad’s airport, a shortage of jet fuel threatened to ground some units.

After consulting with military commanders, KBR’s top managers decided to keep the convoys rolling. “If the [Army] pushes, then we push, too,” wrote an aide to Craig Peterson, KBR’s top official in Iraq.

The decision prompted a raging internal debate that is detailed in private KBR documents, some under court seal, that were reviewed by The Times.

One KBR management official threatened to resign when superiors ordered truckers to continue driving. “I cannot consciously sit back and allow unarmed civilians to get picked apart,” wrote Keith Richard, chief of the trucking operation.

Six American truck drivers and two U.S. soldiers were killed when the convoy rumbled into a five-mile gauntlet of weapons fire on April 9, 2004, making an emergency delivery of jet fuel to the airport. One soldier and a seventh trucker remain missing.

Recriminations began the same day.

“Can anyone explain to me why we put civilians in the middle of known ambush sites?” demanded one security advisor in an e-mail. “Maybe we should put body bags on the packing list for our drivers.”

Please read the entire story here

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Contractors Missing, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, Lawsuits, Politics, Private Military Contractors, Safety and Security Issues, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Contractors in War Zones: Not Exactly “Contracting”

There are more contractors than troops in Afghanistan

Time’s Battleland  October 9, 2012 by David Isenberg

U.S. military forces may be out of Iraq, but the unsung and unrecognized part of America’s modern military establishment is still serving and sacrificing — the role played by private military and security contractors.

That their work is dangerous can be seen by looking at the headlines. Just last Thursday a car bomb hit a private security convoy in Baghdad, killing four people and wounding at least nine others.

That is hardly an isolated incident. According to the most recent Department of Labor statistics there were at least 121 civilian contractor deaths filed on in the third quarter of 2012. Of course, these included countries besides Iraq.

As the Defense Base Act Compensation blog notes, “these numbers are not an accurate accounting of Contractor Casualties as many injuries and deaths are not reported as Defense Base Act Claims. Also, many of these injuries will become deaths due to the Defense Base Act Insurance Companies denial of medical benefits.” To date, a total of 90,680 claims have been filed since September 1, 2001.

How many contractors are now serving on behalf of the U.S. government?

According to the most recent quarterly contractor census report issued by the U.S. Central Command, which includes both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 18 other countries stretching from Egypt to Kazakhstan, there were approximately 137,000 contractors working for the Pentagon in its region. There were 113,376 in Afghanistan and 7,336 in Iraq. Of that total, 40,110 were U.S. citizens, 50,560 were local hires, and 46,231 were from neither the U.S. not the country in which they were working.

Put simply, there are more contractors than U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

These numbers, however, do not reflect the totality of contractors. For example, they do not include contractors working for the U.S. State Department. The CENTCOM report says that “of FY 2012, the USG contractor population in Iraq will be approximately 13.5K.  Roughly half of these contractors are employed under Department of State contracts.”

While most of the public now understands that contractors perform a lot of missions once done by troops – peeling potatoes, pulling security — they may not realize just how dependent on them the Pentagon has become.

Please read the entire post here

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Iraq, KBR, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tierney and Cummings Seek Administration Help on Legislation to Save Taxpayers Billions on Defense Base Act Insurance

“IT”S TIME TO FIX THIS PROGRAM”

Washington, DC (Sept. 11, 2012)— September 17, 2012

Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. John F. Tierney, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget requesting support for, and input on, H.R. 5891, The Defense Base Act Insurance Improvement Act of 2012.

“This is a common-sense bill that would save the American taxpayers billions of dollars,” said Tierney. “Numerous government audits have concluded that we are paying too much for workers’ compensation insurance for overseas government contractors, and that these workers aren’t getting what they deserve. It’s time to fix this program.”

The legislation would transition the existing Defense Base Act (DBA) insurance program to a government self-insurance program. According to a 2009 Pentagon study, this change could save as much as $250 million a year. The study found: “In the long run, the self-insurance alternative may have the greatest potential for minimizing DBA insurance costs, and it has several administrative and compliance advantages as well.”

“We are sponsoring this legislation because several audits of the current DBA program have documented enormous unnecessary costs incurred by taxpayers,” Cummings and Tierney wrote.

The existing system has been a boondoggle for private insurance companies, which have reaped enormous profits under the program. According to an Oversight Committee investigation, insurance companies providing DBA insurance in Iraq and Afghanistan have made enormous underwriting profits that are significantly higher than those of traditional workers’ compensation insurers.

The letter from Tierney and Cummings requests support for the legislation and notes that “OMB may be evaluating similar options.”

September 18, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractors Kidnapped, Contractors Missing, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joe Biden’s Uncounted Angels

by David Isenberg at Huffington Post  September 11, 2012

No disrespect to Beau, Biden’s son, who served honorably in Iraq but perhaps if he was working  for KBR or Academi, instead of the Delaware National Guard, Biden might have been more sensitive to those who are also sacrificing.

If you weren’t listening closely you might have missed it but last week, at the Democratic national convention, Vice President Joe Biden gave a major diss to the private military and security contracting (PMSC) industry.

In the course of his speech he said:

And tonight — (applause) — and tonight — tonight I want to acknowledge — I want to acknowledge, as we should every night, the incredible debt we owe to the families of those 6,473 fallen angels and those 49,746 wounded, thousands critically, thousands who will need our help for the rest of their lives.
Folks, we never — we must never, ever forget their sacrifice and always keep them in our care and in our prayers.

Biden might actually be a bit off; another famed Biden gaffe perhaps. The official Pentagon estimate through Sept. 7 for fatalities, which includes Defense Department civilians is 6,594 but their wounded estimate is exactly the same as Biden’s.

Don’t get me wrong. As an American and military veteran the toll of the military dead and wounded, especially those killed or wounded in Iraq, a war of choice, not necessity, tears at me. All these deaths and casualties should be remembered.

But as long as we are going to do body counts let us not low ball. What about all the PMSC personnel who have also made the ultimate sacrifice?

I’ve written about this before but since this is such an unappreciated subject, let’s review.

The U.S. Department of Labor publishes figures based on data maintained by its Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, saying, “These reports do not constitute the complete or official casualty statistics of civilian contractor injuries and deaths.” These figures are not that useful as they refer to numbers of claims filed and not actual total fatalities. Their wounded totals also include figures for those injuries where there was no lost time or where lost time was just three or four days.

Still, through June 30 this year, the number of claims filed for Iraq and Afghanistan total 47,673 and 17,831, respectively. The number of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are 1,569 and 1,173. So that’s 2,742 dead “fallen angels”, who were working to support U.S. troops, diplomats, and private firms per overall U.S. goals in those countries, that Biden did not include.

By the way, to get an idea of the sheer Joe Heller surrealism of trying to track contractor casualties see this post by Overseas Civilian Contractors.

A better sense of the toll can be seen in this 2010 paper written by Prof. Steve Schooner and Colin Swan of George Washington University Law School. As they noted:

As of June 2010, more than 2,008 contractors have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another 44 contractors killed were in Kuwait, many of whom supported the same missions. On top of that, more than 44,000 contractors have been injured, of which more than 16,000 were seriously wounded (see Figure 3). While these numbers rarely see the light of day, Figure 1 reflects the startling fact that contractor deaths now represent over twenty-five (25) percent of all U.S. fatalities since the beginning of these military actions.

In fact, in recent years contractors have, proportionately speaking, sacrificed even more than regular forces.

What is even more striking is that — in both Iraq and Afghanistan — contractors are bearing an increasing proportion of the annual death toll. In 2003, contractor deaths represented only 4 percent of all fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2004 to 2007, that number rose to 27 percent. From 2008 to the second quarter of 2010, contractor fatalities accounted for an eye-popping 40 percent of the combined death toll. In the first two quarters of 2010 alone, contractor deaths represented more than half — 53 percent — of all fatalities. This point bears emphasis: since January 2010, more contractors have died in Iraq and Afghanistan than U.S. military soldiers. In other words, contractors supporting the war effort today are losing more lives than the U.S. military waging these wars. Indeed, two recent estimates suggest private security personnel working for DoD in Iraq and Afghanistan — a small percentage of the total contractor workforce in these regions — were 1.8 to 4.5 times more likely to be killed than uniformed personnel.

No disrespect to Beau, Biden’s son, who served honorably in Iraq but perhaps if he was worked for KBR or Academi, instead of the Delaware National Guard, Biden might have been more sensitive to those who are also sacrificing.

By the way, lest you think I’m a Republican partisan, neither Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney at the Republican national convention so much as mentioned Iraq or Afghanistan, let alone casualties. That might be funny, if it wasn’t so pathetic, given that this is the party that normally falls all over itself, playing up its supposed support for wartime sacrifice.

Follow David Isenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/vanidan

September 11, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Iraq, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACADEMI / BLACKWATER CHARGED AND ENTERS DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT

TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012  FBI Version

_WWW.JUSTICE.GOV/USAO/NCE/ <http://WWW.JUSTICE.GOV/USAO/NCE/>_

*_ACADEMI / BLACKWATER CHARGED AND ENTERS_*

*_DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT_*__

RALEIGH, N.C. — U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced the unsealingof a bill of information and deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) involving Academi LLC, formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide and Xe Services, LLC (Academi / Blackwater). The bill of information and DPA were unsealed today in U.S. District Court in New Bern, N.C., during proceedings before the Honorable Louise W. Flanagan, U.S. District Judge. In the agreement, the company admits certain facts set forth in a bill of information and agrees to a $7.5 million fine. The agreement also acknowledges and references a $42 million settlement between the company and the Department of State as part of a settlement of
violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations.

“Today’s proceedings conclude a lengthy and complex investigation into a company which has provided valuable services to the United States Government, but which, at times, and in many ways, failed to comply with important laws and regulations concerning how we as a country interact with our international allies and adversaries,” said U.S. Attorney Walker. “Compliance with these laws is critical to the proper conduct of our defense efforts and to international diplomatic relations. This prosecution is an important step to ensuring that our corporate citizens comply with these rules in every circumstance.”

IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett stated, “High-ranking corporate officials hold positions of trust not only in their companies but also in the eyes of the public. That trust is broken when such officials abuse their power and commit crimes to line their own pockets. An international fraud of this magnitude requires a coordinated effort among law enforcement agencies to stop those involved from profiting from their wrongdoing.”

“Compliance with the firearms laws of the United States in both domestic and international commerce is essential to maintaining order and accountability,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Wayne L. Dixie. “Whether it is an individual or a corporation, we will enforce the provisions of the federal gun laws equally. If violations are discovered, we will move to hold those responsible for the violations accountable for their actions.”

“Blackwater profited substantially from Department of Defense (DoD) contracts in support of overseas contingency operations over the past decade,” commented Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, Southeast Field Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS). “This investigation showed that no contractor is above the law, and that all who do business with the DoD will be held accountable. With this agreement, Blackwater acknowledged their wrongdoing, and took steps to remedy and mitigate the damage they caused to the United States and the public trust.”

“For an extended period of time, Academi / Blackwater operated in a manner which demonstrated systemic disregard for U.S. Government laws and regulations. Today’s announcement should serve as a warning to others that allegations of wrongdoing will be aggressively investigated,” said Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI.

“This company clearly violated U.S. laws by exporting sensitive technical data and unauthorized defense services to a host of countries around the world,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Atlanta. “In doing so, company employees were frequently in possession of illegal firearms and aided other foreign nationals in the acquisition of illegal firearms. HSI is proud to have played a role in assisting the investigation to call this company to account for its actions.” Nicholson oversees HSI activities in Georgia and the Carolinas.

See BILL OF INFORMATION

August 8, 2012 Posted by | Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Lawsuits | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overseas Contractor Count Trends for Past 5 Quarters

The Overseas Contractor Count published by the Pentagon reports DoD contractor personnel numbers in theater and covers DoD contractor personnel deployed in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Iraq, and the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).

These four graphs show the figures for the past five quarters and you can clearly see some interesting trends.

Total Contractors

U.S. Citizen Contractors

Third Country National Contractors

 

Host Country / Local Contractors

 

August 3, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Iraq, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overseas Contractor Count – 3rd Quarter FY 2012

Thanks to Danger Zone Jobs for this posting

This update reports DoD contractor personnel numbers in theater and outlines DoD efforts to improve management of contractors accompanying U.S. forces. It covers DoD contractor personnel deployed in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Iraq, and the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).

In 3rd quarter FY 2012, USCENTCOM reported approximately 137,000 contractor personnel working for the DoD in the USCENTCOM AOR. This was approximately a 10.5% decrease from the previous quarter. The number of contractors outside of Afghanistan and Iraq make up about 11.5% of the total contractor population in the USCENTCOM AOR.

A breakdown of DoD contractor personnel is provided below:

DoD Contractor Personnel in the USCENTCOM AOR

Total Contractors U.S. Citizens Third Country Nationals Local & Host Country Nationals
Afghanistan Only 113,736 30,568 35,118 48,050
Iraq Only* 7,336 2,493 2,956 1,887
Other USCENTCOM Locations 15,829 7,049 8,157 623
USCENTCOM AOR 136,901 40,110 46,231 50,560

*Includes DoD contractors supporting U.S. Mission Iraq and/or Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq

Afghanistan Summary

The distribution of contractors in Afghanistan by contracting activity are:

Theater Support – Afghanistan: 20,291 (18%)
LOGCAP: 36,901 (32%)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: 7,743 (7%)
Other:* 48,801 (43%)
Total: 113,736
*Includes Defense Logistics Agency, Army Materiel Command, Air Force External and Systems Support contracts, Special Operations Command and INSCOM.

OEF Contractor Posture Highlights:

There are currently approximately 113.7K DoD contractors in Afghanistan. The overall contractor footprint has decreased 3% from the 2nd quarter FY12.

The contractor to military ratio in Afghanistan is 1.19 to 1 (based on 95.4K military).

Local Nationals make up 42% of the DoD contracted workforce in Afghanistan.

Iraq Summary

There was a 33% decrease in the number of DoD contractors as compared to the 2nd quarter 2012 due to the continued transition of DoD contracts to the Department of State.

The Department of Defense and Department of State continue to refine the requirements for contract support. We project that by the end of FY 2012, the USG contractor population in Iraq will be approximately 13.5K. Roughly half of these contractors are employed under Department of State contracts. Although the remainder are employed under DoD contracts, only approximately 4,000 will be directly supporting DoD mission areas. The remaining contractor personnel employed under DoD contracts are supporting State Department and other civilian activities under the Chief of Mission, Iraq. These DoD contractors are provided on a reimbursable basis.

General Data on DoD Private Security Contractor Personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, The Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) Advisory Group is developing the planning for contracts to transition to the APPF in accordance with Presidential Decree 62. The original intent was for all convoy and development contracts to transition by 20 March 2012, however, this timeline has been extended to enable the APPF to come to full operational capability. The APPF Advisory Group has established a transition plan to facilitate the transition of security for development sites and convoys. International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) fixed site and military construction PSC contracts have until 20 March 2013 to be transitioned to the APPF.

USCENTCOM reports, as of 3rd quarter FY 2012, the following distribution of private security contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq:

Total* U.S. Citizens Third Country National Local & Host Country National
DoD PSCs in Afghanistan 28,686 480 821 27,385
DoD PSCs in Iraq 2,407 116 2,074 217

*These numbers include most subcontractors and service contractors hired by prime contractors under DoD contracts. They include both armed and unarmed contractors. They do not include PSCs working under DoS and USAID contracts

August 2, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Iraq, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan truckers a forgotten front in a war growing deadlier by the day

It is a thankless and increasingly deadly job, and one so mired in graft that the drivers see a fraction of the cash paid by U.S. military paymasters

Reuters KHOSH GOMBAT, Afghanistan | Sun Jul 29, 2012

In the cabins of their “jingle” trucks flamboyant with tinsel baubles and painted tiger patterns as they move NATO’s war supplies, Habibullah thinks he and other drivers are becoming a forgotten front in an Afghan war growing more vicious.

From a dusty truck park midway between Kabul and the Pakistan border, and under the constant thump of helicopters from Jalalabad airbase over the road, Habibullah moves food and military materiel across the Taliban’s eastern heartland, from Nuristan to the former al Qaeda cave stronghold of Tora Bora.

“We worry about our fate when NATO leaves, because the Taliban also call us the infidels. For them, we are not just the enemy, but also traitors,” said the soft spoken 23-year-old, who contributes seven trucks to a cooperative with five owners.

It is a thankless and increasingly deadly job, and one so mired in graft that the drivers see a fraction of the cash paid by U.S. military paymasters, with the rest skimmed by middlemen or even going into the hands of insurgents for “protection”.

Only this week, three of Habibullah’s trucks were attacked and burned by Taliban amid the rugged mountains of Nuristan, a virtual no-go zone for NATO soldiers after heavy past losses and now garrisoned by a handful of Afghan troops and police.

Please see the original and read more here

July 29, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Department of Defense, NATO, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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