Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Bomb tech, Staff Sgt Eric Trueblood, from Alameda is killed in Afghanistan

Henry K Lee SF Gate March 11, 2011

Staff Sgt. Eric Trueblood of Alameda downplayed the dangers of being an Army explosives technician, telling his parents that had received the best training in the world after graduating at the top of his class at a military bomb-disposal school.

Trueblood, 27, died Thursday in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, after enemy forces set off an improvised explosive device, the Defense Department said.

He is fourth U.S. explosive ordnance disposal technician to die in a week and the second from the Bay Area. Last Saturday, Army Staff Sgt. Mark Wells, 31, of San Jose was killed when he stepped on a hidden bomb.

Preliminary reports indicated that Trueblood, who enlisted in the Army eight years ago, and other soldiers were walking toward a device that had exploded when a second hidden bomb went off, killing him, said his mother, Linda Trueblood of Mountain View.

Trueblood didn’t want his family to worry, said his father, Don Trueblood of Walnut Creek. Their concerns were alleviated somewhat by the fact that he had graduated at the top of his class three years ago from the Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Eglin Air Force Base.

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pakistan: Names of 55 US suspects on the loose

Saturday, March 12, 2011  The International News

ISLAMABAD: After the Raymond Davis episode, Pakistani authorities have identified 55 American “officials”, who have entered Pakistan in some official capacity but have remained suspicious, in many cases even untraceable.

Sources here suspect that they are US spies who took advantage of the lenient visa policy introduced by the Government of Pakistan last year, which enabled them to get visas without any security clearance and later travelled to Pakistan.

Official sources said that the Interior Ministry, Foreign Office and even the ISI have no idea as to what the real purpose of the visits of these American “officials” was, many of whom are believed to be still here. Whom do they meet, where do they stay and what they do here are the unanswered questions raised by the Pakistani authorities after a detailed scrutiny.

According to the sources, during the period September 2010 to February 2011, a total of 1,171 visas were issued by the Pakistan Embassy to the US officials without any security clearance.

During this period, the personnel belonging to the much condemned DynCorp were also issued multiple entry visas despite the reservations of the intelligence and security agencies about the American company’s “mischievous” role like Blackwater. DynCorp workers were alleged to have been involved in spying and several of them were disengaged from places like the Sihala Police College, where they were apparently imparting training to police officials but were alleged to have been spying on the Kahuta nuclear facility.

After the Raymond Davis double murder case, which rang alarm bells everywhere in Pakistan, the legitimacy of all the 1,171 cases (who were issued visas by Pakistan’s Embassy in Washington without security check from September 2010 to February 2011) were reviewed by the security agencies with the assistance of the concerned ministries.

The following 55 cases are still suspect:

Glenn Michael Prince, 820227896, 90 days single entry, Official; Andrew Jairam, 820444026, 90 single entry, official; Maricio Jose Cienfuegos, 820161853, 90 single entry, official; Mohammad Usman Khan Sarosh Nabeel Hussain, 820633215, 820598350, 90 single entry, Assignment Official Business; Mark Russell Miller, 820625491, 90 single entry, assignment (Off); Maurice Reiff Landes III, 820238481, 90 single entry, assignment (Off); Datch K Mita, 820336226, one year multiple entry, official; David Burke Hegwook, 820513536, one year multiple entry, official; Jeffery Joseph Hamer, 820612259, one year multiple entry, official; Richard Todd Drennan, 910148558, one year multiple entry, official; Toddie Lenaren Gray, 472901357, one year multiple entry, official; Paul Nicholas Samartan, 4595345886, one year multiple entry, official; Orlando Gabriel Ramirez, 407025311 one year multiple entry, official; Freddie Houston Mitchell li, 465621858, one year multiple entry, official; Russell Dawayne Maddox, 461091766, one year multiple entry, official; Kutaiba Aldandach, 452161218, 06 months multiple entry, business (DynCorp/DA); Jon Mach Emmick, 135027568, 06 months multiple entry, official (USG); David Allen Harper, 441069356, 06 months multiple entry, official (USG); Michael Russel Nevitt, 820537359, one year multiple entry, official; Nazir Hussain Arshad, 820675132, 90 days single entry, official; Bryan Frederick Schilling, 820528704, one year multiple entry, official; Williams Lee Oenttinger, 820406289, 90 days double entry, official; Steven Anthony Lamar Williams, 820505235, 90 days double entry, official; Michael Lee Webber, 820514813, 90 days double entry, official; Ralph Lewis Lewis Show, 78046096, 90 days single entry, official; Anthony Alan Anderson, 820667708, one year multiple entry, assignment; Stephen Robert Hood, 820673610, one year multiple entry, assignment; Michal Willard Hughes, 820667704, one year multiple entry, assignment; Alexander Donald Maich, 820667709, one year multiple entry, assignment; James Clifford Roberts, 820683039, one year multiple entry, assignment; Edward William Smith, 820673609, one year multiple entry, assignment; Gilbert Ernest Zuniga, 820667710, one year multiple entry, assignment; Tommy Forrest James Sr, 820377306, one year multiple entry, assignment; Jamie Ross Williams, 820441559, one year multiple entry, assignment; Lucas Michael Krasowski, 900038074, one year multiple entry, assignment; William Patrick Burns, 910126866, one year multiple entry, assignment; Frank K Moris, 910046912, one year multiple entry, assignment; Joshua John Meyer, 910097094, one year multiple entry, assignment; Cole Wayne Smith, 910118187, one year multiple entry, assignment; Mathias Myron Cottried Boehm, 910125390, one year multiple entry, assignment; Jason Edward Bierly, 910118182, one year multiple entry, assignment; Brabford Chase Hopewell, 910144261, one year multiple entry, assignment; John C Haberl, 910153705, one year multiple entry, assignment; Craig Alvin Johnson, 301470647, one year multiple entry, official; Theodre Lee Schnack Jr, 820679986, one year multiple entry, assignment; Patrick Dominick Harris, 820667701, one year multiple entry, assignment; Michel Daniel Brady, 820709204, one year multiple entry, assignment; William Peter Couture, 820709203, one year multiple entry, assignment; Edward Shaun Guice, 820709202, one year multiple entry, assignment; Dennis Micheal Harrington, 820709201, one year multiple entry, assignment; Thomas Richard Hathaway Jr, 820709400, one year multiple entry, assignment; Keith Ewn Hattori, 820709399, one year multiple entry, assignment; Geroge Otis Williams, 820709398, one year multiple entry, assignment; Craig Alvin Johnson, 820709397, one year multiple entry, assignment.

The US Embassy spokesman, Alberto Rodriguez, when approached, said that the embassy does not keep the immigration record of the officials visiting Pakistan on official visas. Such a record should be maintained by the Government of Pakistan, which he said would be in a better position to say as to when any official had entered or left the country.

Alberto was though not provided the suspected cases of 55 American “officials”. He, however, said that if they were issued official or assignment visas, then they all would have been notified by the embassy besides having been allowed to travel to Pakistan as part of the process.

March 11, 2011 Posted by | CIA, Civilian Contractors, DynCorp, Government Contractor, Legal Jurisdictions, Pakistan, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-Blackwater contractors guilty in Afghan’s death

By BROCK VERGAKIS, Associated Press

NORFOLK, Va. — Two former Blackwater contractors were found guilty on Friday of involuntary manslaughter in the May 2009 shooting death of an unarmed Afghan civilian in Kabul.

A federal jury found Justin H. Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Christopher Drotleff of Virginia Beach not guilty of murder and weapons charges that could have resulted in life sentences. They also were acquitted in the death of a second unarmed civilian who was killed.

The men were in Afghanistan training the national army there at the time of the shooting.

Their first trial ended in a hung jury and jurors in this case could be heard arguing behind closed doors since they received their instructions Wednesday morning.

The men now face a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and will be sentenced June 14.

The trial focused on whether Drotleff and Cannon feared for their lives the night of the shooting, when the vehicle in front of them that was escorting their translators home got into a bad accident on a dark street.

Defense attorneys said they opened up fire on a Toyota Corolla when it approached them at a high speed following the accident. Prosecutors said the Corolla wasn’t a threat and approached to help the accident victims. They said Drotleff and Cannon acted out of anger and frustration on a day their boss had been fired and that they had been drinking.

They noted that all the bullet holes in the vehicle were in the rear of the vehicle.

The man walking his dog, Rahib Mirza Mohammad, was unintentionally hit. The jury didn’t find Drotleff or Cannon guilty any charges related to his death.

The involuntary manslaughter verdict was issued in the death of Romal Mohammad Naiem, the passenger in the Corolla.

Blackwater, based in North Carolina, has since changed its name to Xe Corp.

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Blackwater, Civilian Contractors | , , , , | 1 Comment

CLUSTER BOMBS USED IN LIBYA, POISON GAS USE FEARED, INTERVENTION THREATENED

By Gordon Duff  Staff Writer/Senior Editor Veterans Today  March 9, 2011

Each year, the United States ships “military supplies” to Israel.  This isn’t military aid but rather billions in primarily munitions that are designated as “offshore storage” for the US Department of Defense in order to replenish munitions used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each year, these munitions are sold without the “knowledge” of the United States, year after year, billions in munitions, much of it illegal technology transfer or designated “weapons of mass destruction.”

Today, the United States and Great Britain threatened Libya with direct military action if attacks using advanced and prohibited weapons continue.  Special operations units of Britain’s SAS, supplemented groups from several American agencies and commands are currently assessing the situation “on the ground’ in Libya.  Reports indicate the possible deployment of one tactical nuclear weapon against a rebel supply depot several days ago.

Sources in both Britain and the United States also report there is evidence of the deployment of chemical weapons and that Libya’s stock of illegal cluster munitions has been drawn upon in early fighting.

Please read the entire article here

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Libya | , , | Leave a comment

Contractors Fight Over Money & Deaths

Courthouse News March 11, 2011

FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) – Paravant, a private security firm, says it’s not its fault that its independent contractors killed two Afghan civilians and injured a third. It claims that Raytheon Technical Services, which hired it, “improperly demanded that Paravant indemnify it” for costs of investigating the killings, which were done “by Paravant agents when off duty and not performing under the parties’ contract.”
Paravant sued Raytheon in Fairfax County Court.
Raytheon hired Paravant as a subcontractor to train the Afghan National Army personnel in Afghanistan under Raytheon’s prime contract with the U.S. Army.
Four of Paravant’s “independent contractors” were involved in a “widely publicized” incident of May 5, 2009 in which two Afghanis were killed and another was injured, according to the complaint.
“At the time of the incident, the independent contractors were off-duty, away from any work location, and not performing any services specified in the Purchase Order,” Paravant says.
After months of investigations by various government organizations, “Raytheon for the first time claimed indemnification of Paravant for over $1 million of costs it claimed arose from the May 5 incident, principally related to attorney’s fees and expenses of Raytheon to respond to the governmental inquiries,” according to the complaint.
Paravant claims that Raytheon has refused to pay it $2.6 million it owes for Paravant’s work on the contract.
Paravant seeks a declaration that it owes no indemnification to Raytheon for the incident and that Raytheon owes it the $2.6 million.
Paravant is represented by David O’Brien with Crowell & Moring of Washington, D.C

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor, Xe | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘US in arms race with itself’

Press TV March 11, 2011

The United States is so obsessed with military spending that it is practically in “an arms race” with itself, says Laura Flanders, host and founder of the New York-based GRITtv.

“There is only one group of American society that is benefiting from America’s wars around the world: at this point it’s military contractors,” Flanders said in an interview with Press TV’s U.S. Desk recently.

The private military contractors are “eating up a total of $1.2 trillion every year from the U.S. budget and that is not anything that this country can afford,” she added.

“We are paying for it through the nose and we have an arms race now with ourselves,” she noted.

Flanders concluded that the “never-ending military budget is driving the U.S. economy into a ditch.”

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Government Contractor, Private Military Contractors | | Leave a comment