Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

‘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.

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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

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.

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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

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.

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

Dubai firm Anham scores US$8.1bn US army food deal

Arabian Business  June 26, 2012

Dubai-based military contractor Anham has won a contract worth an estimated US $8.1bn to provide food to US troops serving in Afghanistan.

Anham will succeed present contractor Supreme Foodservice after it became embroiled in a billing dispute with the Pentagon.

“We have a long track record of conducting large-scale, successful operations in the most demanding conditions,” said Anham in a statement. “Whether it is our support of the US troops and state department in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan or the US army in Afghanistan, we deliver the best services on time and within budget.”

The present contract with Supreme Foodservice was inked in 2005, costing the US government nearly US$6.8bn.

This year, however, payments to Supreme Foodservice have been reduced, following claims by the Pentagon that they have overpaid the supplier by US$750m.

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June 26, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Contracts Awarded, Department of Defense, Pentagon | , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Contractors Performing Private Security Functions (DFARS Case 2011-D023)

A Rule by the Defense Acquisition Regulations System on 06/15/2012

Action

Final Rule.

Summary

DoD is adopting as final, with changes, an interim rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement those sections of several National Defense Authorization Acts which establish minimum processes and requirements for the selection, accountability, training, equipping, and conduct of personnel performing private security functions under DoD contracts

Unified Agenda

Contractors Performing Private Security Functions (DFARS Case 2011-D023)

 

June 15, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Academi Training Center, XE, Blackwater picks up Afghan DoD Security Services Contract

Defense Professionals  June 13, 2012

(W560MY-12-C-0006)

Academi Training Center, Moyock, N.C., was awarded a $17,448,051 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the security services in support of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Dwyer, and an option for FOB Delaram II. Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of May 22, 2016. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 12 bids received. The Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W560MY-12-C-0006).

June 14, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Senator Blocks Army Weapons Buyer on Russia Arms to Syria

Bloomberg Tony Capaccio  June 12, 2012

A Texas senator is blocking confirmation of the nominee for the Army’s top weapons buyer until the Defense Department pledges to take action against a Russian company supplying arms to Syria’s Assad regime.

Republican Senator John Cornyn has invoked a senatorial prerogative to place a “hold” on Heidi Shyu, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the Army’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, according to an aide to the senator who spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions about the dispute are being held in private.

Cornyn is leading a Senate effort pressuring the Department of Defense to stop doing business with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-run arms trader. The Army has a $375 million, no-bid contract with the company to buy 21 Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters for Afghanistan’s air force that it says only Rosoboronexport can provide.

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June 12, 2012 Posted by | Department of Defense, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense authorization bill could bar private security contractors from Afghanistan

The Washington Business Journal  May 16, 2012

The House of Representatives will likely consider this week the defense authorization bill, which among other things would prohibit the Department of Defense from awarding contracts to private companies for security-guard services at military facilities in Afghanistan.

The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act states that appropriated funds cannot be used for any contract for security-guard functions at Afghanistan facilities where members of the military are garrisoned or housed or to provide any other security for the armed forces in Afghanistan. It also prohibits the use of funds to employ the Afghan Public Protection Force, which the Afghan Ministry of the Interior has offered to provide additional security.

Referencing February statistics from the DOD, the bill notes that there have been 42 insider attacks on coalition forces since 2007 by the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police or Afghan civilians hired by private security contractors to guard U.S. bases and facilities in the country.

“Better security and force protection for members of the Armed Forces garrisoned and housed in Afghanistan can be provided by United States military personnel than private security contractors or members of the Afghan Public Protection Force,” according to the bill.

In a released statement on the bill, the Obama administration strongly objected to the provision, saying that it would “require either additional troops to perform security functions or a reduction in combat missions that current force levels perform.”

“It could also undermine civilian-military coordination and increase risk for certain development projects that are critical to ensuring a stable Afghanistan through the transition period to 2014,” the White House said.

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May 16, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Overseas Contractor Count – 2nd Quarter FY 2012

Thanks to Danger Zone Jobs for posting this, please visit their site

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 2nd quarter FY 2012, USCENTCOM reported approximately 153,000 contractor personnel working for the DoD in the USCENTCOM AOR. This was approximately a .6% increase from the previous quarter. The number of contractors outside of Afghanistan and Iraq make up about 16% 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 117,227 34,765 37,898 44,564
Iraq Only* 10,967 3,260 5,539 2,168
Other USCENTCOM Locations 24,765 11,126 12,796 843
USCENTCOM AOR 152,959 49,151 56,233 47,575

*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: 20,226 (17%)
LOGCAP: 32,653 (28%)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: 15,222 (13%)
Other:* 49,126 (42%)
Total: 117,227
*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 117.2K DoD contractors in Afghanistan. The overall contractor footprint has increased 3.2% from the 1st quarter FY12.

The contractor to military ratio in Afghanistan is 1.18 to 1 (based on 99.2K military).

Local Nationals make up 38% of the DoD contracted workforce in Afghanistan.

 

Iraq Summary

Contractor Posture Highlights:

There was a 54% decrease in the number of DoD contractors as compared to the 1st quarter 2012 due to the end of Operation New Dawn and the transition of authority to the Chief of Mission.

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 14K. 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

Total* U.S. Citizens Third Country National Local & Host Country National
DoD PSCs in Afghanistan 26,612 519 782 25,311
DoD PSCs in Iraq 3,577 288 2,991 298

*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.

May 13, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DOD Memorandum: Life Support for Third Party Contractors in Afghanistan

April 27, 2012

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense

3000 Defense Pentagon

Washington DC 20301-3000

Memorandum:  Subject:  Life Support for Third Party Contractors in Afghanistan

This is to advise DOD Contracting Officers and Contracting Officers Representatives (COR) that Embassy Kabul must concur before any DOD Contracting Officer obligates the US Mission in Afghanistan to provide life support of any kind to contractor personnel.

Please see the entire document here

May 3, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Safety and Security Issues, State Department | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plan would restore some war zone benefits

Federal Times April 16, 2012

Federal employees serving in war zones abroad would get the same rest-and recuperation-leave benefits available to Foreign Service Officers under a Defense Department legislative proposal last week.

Non-Foreign Service employees lost those benefits Oct. 1 when Congress failed to renew them, but the proposal would once again require agencies to pay for their rest-and-recuperation travel.

Deployed feds would be able to return to the U.S., or to visit other foreign countries, once for every continuous two-year deployment or twice for every three-year deployment.

The proposal would also require agencies to pay for an employee’s travel in case of a personal emergency.

And it calls for at least the Washington-area locality payment for Foreign Service Officers and other civilian employees when deployed to a war zone. Foreign Service Officers have long pushed to receive locality payments when they serve abroad.

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April 15, 2012 Posted by | Department of Defense | , , , , , | Leave a comment

GAO Finds Pentagon Still Can’t Keep Track of Its Contractors

By NEIL GORDON at POGO  April 10, 2012

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released the second of three annual reviews of Department of Defense (DoD) service contract inventories. As you know, POGO has repeatedly called for the government to improve the quality of these annual inventories, which are crucial for determining the true size and cost-effectiveness of the federal service contractor workforce and whether contractors are performing inherently governmental functions.

According to the GAO, DoD spent $204 billion on service contracts in fiscal year 2010. DoD relies on contractors to perform a wide variety of services, including professional and management support, information technology, and weapon system and intelligence functions.

The GAO reported that DoD has made a number of changes to improve the utility of the FY 2010 inventory, such as centrally preparing contract data to provide greater consistency among DoD components and increasing the level of detail on the services provided. However, the GAO found a number of problems that continue to limit the utility, accuracy, and completeness of inventories. DoD, to its credit, is making progress, but it does not expect to fully meet statutory requirements until FY 2016.

In the meantime, the shortcomings in DoD’s systems for compiling and reviewing inventories leave contractors free to run amok. According to the GAO, Army and Air Force inventory reviews identified 1,935 and 91 instances, respectively, in which contractors were performing inherently governmental functions. These are functions which, by law, must be performed by federal government employees.

For example, the GAO found 26 instances of Army contractors performing the inherently governmental function of Systems Coordinator, a position that involves representing program managers at meetings, acting as a liaison with Congress, and writing background papers for military staff. In another example, the entire police force at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands (pictured above) was made up of 47 contractors patrolling, issuing citations, making arrests, and investigating misdemeanors. (Check the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart listing examples of inherently governmental functions, and the first one you’ll see is “the direct conduct of criminal investigations.”)

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April 11, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trouble Ahead for Contractors in Iraq?

Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 7, Number 5 – March-April 2012  Posted March 8, 2012

As the mission transitions from one agency to another, some lessons may be lost

LITTLE more than two months ago, with the end of Operation New Dawn, the Department of Defense (DoD) presence that had dominated Iraqi reconstruction efforts for years withdrew, leaving roughly 16,000 State Department personnel in more or less full control of the U.S. mission in Iraq. This mission, the largest in State Department history, has already come into controversy, with early reports indicating that up to half of the contractors and staff employed by the U.S. embassy in Baghdad would be withdrawn. Though spokesmen have denied these rumors, the incident reinforces the widely-held belief that the State Department does not have a well-defined plan to accomplish the remaining reconstruction missions in Iraq. Furthermore, statements from the Department indicate that many of the lessons about contractors learned by DoD did not make the transition to State control along with the Iraqi mission.

March 8, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, State Department | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon to Withhold Lockheed Payments Over Tracking Flaws

Bloomberg Businessweek  Tony Capaccio  February 28, 2012

Lockheed Martin Corp., the No. 1 U.S. defense contractor, is the first company to have payments withheld under a new Pentagon rule intended to correct deficiencies with internal systems that track cost, schedules, accounting and purchases, according to the Defense Department.

The Pentagon will withhold about $1 million a month in billings from Lockheed’s aeronautics division until the unit fixes longstanding shortcomings with its cost and schedule tracking system, Shay Assad, the Pentagon’s director of pricing, said today in an interview.

The money will be paid once the deficiencies are fixed, he said. The Pentagon today informed Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas- based aircraft unit that the withholding will start in March with billings made under a new production contract of about $4 billion for as many as 30 F-35 fighters, Assad said. The funds held back will amount to 2 percent of billings instead of the maximum 5 percent, he said.

That’s because Lockheed was deemed to have submitted an adequate corrective action plan, which is now under review by the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Management Agency, Assad said. The agency manages the new rule for Pentagon contracts.

“This is a step that’s available to the customer under the terms of the contract,” Joe Stout, a spokesman for Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, said in an e-mailed statement

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February 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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