Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

US contractor sentenced to nine years on drug charges

Salam al Amir at The National

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2011

DUBAI  A Dubai-based American contractor who fought with undercover officers, claiming they were Taliban when they arrested him on drug charges, was sentenced to nine years in prison by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance today.

The 27-year-old KJ, who had worked as a contractor in Afghanistan, was arrested on September 18, 2010, by narcotics officers in Pakistani national dress, records show.
He wrestled with them, screaming “they are not police”. A witness told prosecutors the man feared for his life and thought the men were Taliban insurgents who wanted to kidnap him.
KJ was sentenced to four years in prison for possession and consumption of 10 grams of hashish and five years for facilitating 2.8 grams to another person to consume. He was also fined Dh20,000 for the facilitation charge.
Prosecutors said he was arrested after a taxi driver told police he had been offered hashish by a passenger. KJ will be deported after serving his jail term.
The verdict is still subject to appeal.  Please see the original here
salamir@thenational.ae

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Legal Jurisdictions | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The United States Government’s Employment of Armed Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

Center for Strategic and International Studies

The benefits of the United States Government’s employment of armed contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan outweigh the costs and detriments

Please see the video here

A Debate in the Lincoln-Douglas Format

Taking the Affirmative

Mr. Doug Brooks
President, International Stability Operations Association

Taking the Negative

Dr. T.X. Hammes
Senior Research Fellow, National Defense University

The Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group hosts a debate investigating issues surrounding the employment of armed private forces by the United States and whether the lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan might apply to other zones of conflict.

The debate was on the record and was followed by a period for questions from the audience.

Hosted by

Richard Wrona
Visiting Fellow, CSIS Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group

Friday, January 21, 2011
9:00a.m. to 11:00a.m.

Programs

Topics

Regions

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan Construction Projects Arnold Fields Testimony CSpan

The Commission on Wartime Contracting held a hearing to examine the spending of U.S. tax dollars an Afghanistan, and the extent that contractors are being supervised. Arnold Fields, the U.S. official in charge of running the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, in his testimony said that bad planning is the chief reason for cost overruns in the country’s reconstruction efforts

Transcript and Video here

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Pentagon, SIGAR, Wartime Contracting | , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan bases face security breach from smuggled workers

By Sara Carter at the Washington Examiner

Foreign workers without proper clearances or identification are being smuggled onto U.S. and NATO bases in Afghanistan, revealing a breach in security that presents a serious threat to troops and civilian employees, according to documents and interviews with U.S. officials reveal.

International Security Assistance Force police documents obtained by The Washington Examiner charged employees for two contracting companies, Stallion Construction and Engineering and DynCorp International with skirting security procedures at Kandahar Airfield, and escorting undocumented foreign laborers onto the base without appropriate clearances or jobs.

Lured by recruiters in their home countries with promises of decent jobs, foreign workers from the Philippines flew on commercial flights into Kandahar Airfield where they were met by unscrupulous subcontractors who helped them bypass security measures to enter the base, according to the documents.

“This report is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg,” said a U.S. official in Afghanistan with direct knowledge of the violations. “The military police report is only one example of what has been going on for some time at the major bases across the country. This is a serious security issue and human rights issue as well.”

Please read the entire story here

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, DynCorp, NATO, Pentagon, Safety and Security Issues, Vetting Employees | , , , , | Leave a comment

DoD Contract Awards Jan 24, 2011

CONTRACTS USSOCOM   US Dept of Defense Veterans Today

L-3 Global Communications Solutions of Victor, N.Y., was awarded a modification to increase the contract ceiling by $40,000,000 to a new not-to-exceed amount of $157,000,000.  This is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity firm-fixed price contract for procurement and sustainment of Special Operations Forces deployable node-medium very small aperture terminal and small aperture terminals satellite antennas in support of U.S. Special Operations Command Headquarters Procurement Division.  The work will be performed in Victor.  Procurement actions are expected to be completed by Aug. 30, 2012, and sustainment actions are scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30, 2015.  The contract number is H92222-06-D-0007.

ARMY

Sentel Corp., Alexandria, Va., was awarded a $36,969,036 firm-fixed-price cost-plus-fixed-fee contract Jan. 20, 2011.  The award will provide for logistics support, property-accountability services, operator-level maintenance and readiness-management operations for the Army Sustainment Command in support of applicable military units and governmental agencies.  Work will be performed in Fort Carson, Colo., Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Bliss, Texas; White Sands, N.M.; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Knox, Ky.; and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; with an estimated completion date of Jan. 25, 2013.  Ten bids were solicited with seven bids received.  The U.S. Army Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-10-D-0102).

DRS Technical Services, Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $22,670,393 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract Jan. 19, 2011.  The award will provide for field service support, operator training, engineer support, communication equipment repair and installation for the Afghan National Police.  Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of July 13, 2011.  One bid was solicited with one bid received.  The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Contracting Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-11-C-B001).

IAP Worldwide Services, Inc., Cape Canaveral, Fla., was awarded a $7,801,227 firm-fixed-price contract Jan. 19, 2011.  The award will provide for services necessary in order to support locations, facilities and operations, and for the construction of temporary facilities and structures as required to enable Joint Counter Intelligence Unit-Iraq operations.  Work will be performed in Iraq, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 17, 2014.  Three bids were solicited with three bids received.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Middle East District, Winchester, Va., is the contracting activity (W912ER-11-C-0014).

DRS Technical Services, Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $7,100,000 firm-fixed-price contract Jan. 20, 2011.  The awarded will provide for 195 Codan Base Stations, 300 Codan high frequency mobile radios and 150 Codan high frequency man-pack radios for the Afghan National Police.  Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2011.  The bid was solicited through the Internet with five bids received.  The U.S. Army Kabul Regional Contracting Center, Kabul, Afghanistan, is the contracting activity (W91B4M-11-P-4177).

Longbow, LLC (LBL), Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $6,869,261 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract Jan. 20, 2011.  The award will provide for engineering services for the Hellfire and Longbow missile requirements.  Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2012.  One bid was solicited with one bid received.  The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-10-C-0256).

NAVY

A.T. Kearney, Vienna, Va., is being awarded a $23,300,000indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, fixed-price contract for the acquisition of services for the facilitation and execution of standardization and life cycle cost analysis studies to develop shelf recommendations for Naval Sea Systems Command and Naval Surface Warfare Center’s commonality program over a period of three years.  The required services (Deep Dives) project methodology involves extremely detailed analysis through many layers of data held at various locations such as Navy data repositories, shipbuilder’s records, original equipment manufacturer records, DoD data bases and federal government data bases.  Work will be performed in Philadelphia, Pa. (60 percent); Norfolk, Va. (10 percent); Dahlgren, Va., (10 percent); Crane, Ind. (10 percent); Indian Head, Md. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by July 2014.  Contract funds in the amount of $647,222 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured.  This procurement was processed without providing for full and open competition under statutory authority 10 U.S.C. 2304(c) (1), only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements (FAR 6.302-1).  The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship System Engineering Station, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N65540-11-D-0003).

Computational Physics, Inc.,* Springfield, Va., is being awarded a $13,986,544 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for scientific and engineering research and development services to support the development and application of new and existing techniques for remote sensing (including astronomy).  Tasks include:  supporting concept design and feasibility studies, assembly and testing of components or equipment laboratory, in-field or in-flight (in-air or in-space) calibration, validation and operation of deployed systems, analysis of engineering and scientific data; and the development and use of algorithms for analyzing the data.  Work will be performed in the contractor’s facility at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., and work is expected to be completed January 2015.  The amount being awarded at this time is $100,000 and the total cumulative face value of the contract is 13,986,544.  Contract funds in the amount of $100,000 will expire June 2011.  The contract was 100 percent small business set aside by the Naval Research Laboratory under request for proposal number N000173-10-R-AT04.  Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00173-11-C-2002).

*Small Business

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Iraq | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Congress to Investigate Pentagon Decision to Deny Coverage for Brain Injured Troops

By T Christian Miller ProPublica and Daniel Zwerdling at NPR

WASHINGTON, D.C.–A key congressional oversight committee announced [1] today that it was opening an investigation into the basis of a decision by the Pentagon’s health plan to deny a type of medical treatment to troops with brain injuries.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., the chairman of the subcommittee on contracting oversight, said she wanted to examine a contract issued by Tricare, an insurance-style program used by soldiers and many veterans, to a private company to study cognitive rehabilitation therapy for traumatic brain injury. Such injuries are considered among the signature wounds of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The study, by Pennsylvania-based ECRI Institute, found insufficient or weak evidence to support the therapy. Often lengthy and expensive, cognitive rehabilitation programs are designed to rewire soldiers’ brains to conduct basic life tasks, such as reading books, remembering information and following instructions. ECRI’s findings ran counter to several other studies, including ones sponsored by the Pentagon and the National Institutes of Health, which concluded that cognitive rehabilitation was beneficial.

In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, McCaskill cited an investigation [2] by ProPublica and NPR in December, which found that top scientific experts had questioned the Tricare-funded study in confidential reviews, calling it “deeply flawed” and “unacceptable.”

“If true, these reports raise significant questions regarding the Department’s award and management of the contract with ECRI Institute, and may have profound implications for hundreds of thousands of injured service members and their families,” McCaskill wrote. “We owe it to our brave service members to find the truth.”

The ProPublica and NPR investigation also found that senior Pentagon officials have worried about the high price of the care, which can cost more than $50,000 per patient. Some studies estimate that as many as 400,000 troops have suffered traumatic brain injuries in the war zones, though only a small percentage of them would need a full-scale program of cognitive rehabilitation therapy.

McCaskill joins a growing chorus demanding that Tricare reconsider its decision to deny coverage for cognitive rehabilitation. In recent weeks, the American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans’ organization, called [3] on Tricare to provide treatment. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee with oversight of the Middle East, sent a letter [4] to Gates asking for an explanation of Tricare’s stance.

McCaskill was also one of the senators who signed a letter [5] in 2008 asking Gates to direct Tricare to begin providing cognitive rehabilitation to troops. This November, the Pentagon sent a response [6] to Congress informing them of the Tricare study’s findings. George Peach Taylor Jr., then-acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said the Pentagon would continue to study the treatment, with another report expected later this year.

In strongly worded response [7] on Jan. 19, McCaskill said that the senators who signed the original letter believed that enough evidence existed on the treatment’s benefits to justify covering the cost for brain-damaged soldiers.

She asked for Gates to provide her committee with a series of documents on the contract and critical scientific reviews by Feb. 18.

“While we agreed that further research on cognitive rehabilitation therapy was appropriate, we also called on the Defense Department to err on the side of providing this proven treatment to service members,” McCaskill wrote.

ProPublica and NPR have filed a similar request under the Freedom of Information Act, but Tricare has denied access to the documents, giving contradictory explanations [8] for why. ProPublica and NPR have appealed.

Tricare officials have said their decision to deny cognitive rehabilitation is based on regulations requiring scientific proof of the efficacy and quality of treatment. They have said that the study by ECRI highlighted a lack of rigorous evidence proving the therapy’s benefits.

Tricare officials also noted that the agency does cover some types of treatment considered part of cognitive rehabilitative therapy. For instance, Tricare will pay for speech and occupational therapy, which plays a role in cognitive rehabilitation. Tricare officials deny that cost played any role in their decision. In a statement [9], Tricare said the care of troops was their “utmost” concern.

Tricare did not immediately return requests for comment on McCaskill’s investigation.

ECRI defended its study. The non-profit institute, which has carried out numerous health reviews for Tricare, other agencies and hospital and medical groups, said they applied standard protocols in reviewing scientific literature about the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation therapy. ECRI provided a document explaining its review here [10].

“The issue of how well cognitive rehabilitation therapy works for traumatic brain injury is important,” said Jeffrey C. Lerner, the president and CEO of ECRI Institute. “ECRI Institute is fully committed to providing information to the U.S. Senate on our report and methodology.”

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Iraq, Pentagon, Traumatic Brain Injury, Veterans | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. watchdog warns billions invested in Afghan security at risk

Washington (CNN)Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars spent to train, equip and support Afghanistan security forces may end up wasted, according to the watchdog of reconstruction spending.

The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, retired Marine Gen. Arnold Fields, in what may be his final public event before he retires next month, painted a starkly pessimistic picture of what lies ahead in Afghanistan.

The build-up of the Afghanistan army and police is a key element in the Obama administration’s plans to withdraw U.S. forces by the end of 2014. But Fields told the Commission on Wartime Contracting that the build-up is at risk.

“The United States lacks a comprehensive plan for building ANA (Afghan National Army) and ANP (Afghan National Police) facilities,” Fields said. “The projects audited to date have been seriously behind schedule.”

And Fields said it is not clear how Afghanistan will be able to sustain the big police and army building projects — such as barracks and training bases — once U.S. Forces withdraw.

“These issues place the entire U.S. investment of $11.4 billion in ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) facilities construction at risk of not meeting Afghan needs or intended purposes and resulting in a large degree of waste,” Fields said in his prepared statement to the commission.

Members of Congress repeatedly have criticized Fields for not being more aggressive in watching over the more than $56 billion in Afghanistan reconstruction. He has said it took time to establish his watchdog agency in 2008 and oversight in a war zone is difficult and dangerous.

Fields admitted that American taxpayers are “wary” of the U.S. investment in Afghanistan.

He said the U.S. plan calls for 884 projects for Afghanistan army and police to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2012. But Fields said only 133 are completed, 78 are under construction and 673 have not been started.  Please see the original here

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, SIGAR, Wartime Contracting | , , , | Leave a comment

Darren Hoare Tribute, Danny Fitzsimons self defense plea

Accused’s self-defence plea in Iraq murder trial

by Amy Corderoy at The Sydney Morning Herald

AN AUSTRALIAN contractor killed in Iraq by one of his colleagues has been remembered as a ”great bloke” and a sorely missed father, and the man standing trial for his murder says he acted in self-defence.

A tribute page set up by Darren Hoare’s wife, Molly-Joe, is regularly updated by family and friends remembering their friend. On Friday Mrs Hoare wrote to her husband: ”I really need your shoulder to cry on.”

But the British man on trial for his murder, Danny Fitzsimons, 30, argued on Sunday that he was acting in self-defence when he shot Mr Hoare and another man, Paul McGuigan, after an alcohol-fuelled argument in August 2009. Mr Fitzsimons told Karkh criminal court in west Baghdad the two men had burst into his room and pinned him down before pointing an M4 rifle at his face, prompting him to use his pistol to kill them. // <![CDATA[//

Mr Fitzsimons said the men had attacked him after a drunken brawl in which he had punched Mr McGuigan.

Mr Fitzsimons – who submitted a psychiatric report to the trial saying he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder – has pleaded not guilty. He also told the court he did not think he was being given a fair trial.

A former team-mate from Mr Hoare’s AFL football club, Peter Johnson, 47, said Mr Hoare and his wife were well-loved and respected members of the Curra Swans football club, and local community.

The trial had been adjourned until February 20 as the court had sought clarification over Mr Fitzsimons’s psychiatric report, his lawyer, Tariq Harb, said.

January 24, 2011 Posted by | ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment