Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Themis: Looking at the aftermath of the HBGary Federal scandal

by Steve Ragan – Mar 22 2011, 06:10  The Tech Herald Security

In the aftermath of the HBGary Federal hack, there are still questions and concerns surrounding the actions taken by the government intelligence firms, collectively known as Team Themis, and the law firm Hunton & Williams. While examining current events, and looking back at Team Themis, it’s clear that politics can be a dirty game to play.

In February, two major stories developed in the wake of Anonymous’ attack on HBGary Federal. The common thread between them was Hunton & Williams, a large law firm with strong political connections, and Team Themis.

First there was the story The Tech Herald broke concerning WikiLeaks, where Team Themis created plans to stop WikiLeaks by targeting supporters and journalists. The second story, broken by ThinkProgress, centered on a plot to target unions and political opponents, including families, by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Team Themis consists of HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies, and Berico Technologies. Both Berico and Palantir have distanced themselves from the plots, and denounced their implications. Aaron Barr resigned his post as CEO of HBGary Federal to focus on family and rebuilding his reputation.

However, those actions did little to placate critics, and House Democrats called for hearings on Team Themis. Earlier this month, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia 4th District), as well as 19 others, called for a Congressional investigation into the actions of Team Themis to determine if the contractors violated any federal laws.

Please read this in depth article here

March 22, 2011 Posted by | Government Contractor, Journalists, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven security companies dissolved in Afghanistan

AFP March 15, 2011

KABUL (AFP) – Seven private security companies operating in Afghanistan are being dissolved, the country’s interior ministry announced Tuesday, while dozens more face closure.

Private security companies help guard everything from Western embassies and international military convoys to non-governmental organisations and media companies in war-torn Afghanistan.

The announcement is the latest effort by President Hamid Karzai, who charges that they slow down the development of Afghanistan’s own security forces, to clamp down on them. He also accuses them of breaking the law.

In addition to the seven, the ministry also listed a further 45 companies that can continue their operations for another year but will then have their functions replaced by an Afghan government public protection force.

Its statement indicated that embassies would still be able to employ private security firms after the 12 months were up. But after that period, the public protection force would be responsible for guarding military convoys.

Please read the entire story here

March 22, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Contractor Corruption, Private Security Contractor | , , | Leave a comment

Private Military Contract Facilities to Be Inspected

Courthouse News March 21, 2011

WASHINGTON (CN) – Defense Department facilities, infrastructure and equipment provided by private military contractors such as KBR, DynCorp, and Fluor Corporation, overseas, are to be inspected for safety and habitability, under rules adopted under the National Defense Authorization Act.
According to the rules, prior to use, the facilities should be “brought into compliance with generally accepted standards for the safety and health of personnel to the maximum extent practicable consistent with the requirements of military operations and the best interests of the agency.”
Contracts will require compliance with the Unified Facilities Criteria 1-200-01 to meet generally accepted standards for fire protection, structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing, water treatment, waste disposal, and telecommunications networks.
The rules apply to each contract, including task or delivery orders, entered into for the construction, installation, repair, maintenance, or operation of facilities, infrastructure, and equipment for use by Defense Department military or civilian personnel.
The rules were effective in 2010, in temporary form, and have now been adopted permanently.

Please see the original and documents here

March 22, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, DynCorp, Fluor, KBR, Private Military Contractors, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan security contractor accused of killing US soldiers

Man had just been hired to provide protection at military base in Kandahar

MSNBC March 21m 2011

A man hired to provide security at a military base in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, attacked a group of soldiers over the weekend, killing two and wounding four others, NBC News has learned.

The man, named Shir Ahmad, worked for Tundra Security Group and had been hired March 9 to provide security at Forward Operating Base Frontenac in Argandab Valley. Ten days later, on Saturday, he allegedly walked up to a group of soldiers who were cleaning their weapons before a combat patrol and opened fire with an AK-47.

Three other U.S. soldiers responded to the gunshots and returned fire and killed Ahmad, but not before he shot six soldiers, officials told NBC News.

Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr., 29, was killed Saturday, March 19, in Kandahar Province.

Two of the soldiers, 29-year-old Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr. of Bucyrus, Ohio, and 19-year-old Pfc. Rudy A. Acosta, of Canyon Country, Calif., were killed.

The soldiers were all assigned to the 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment out of Vilseck, Germany.

In a news release, the Department of Defense said the deaths occurred in Kandahar province by “small arms fire by an individual from a military security group.”

The slayings bring to nine the number of U.S. soldiers who have been killed by rogue Afghan security force members, whether uniformed or private security contractors, in the past two months.

Tundra Security is an Afghan-owned security company that provides physical security services to local and foreign government organizations throughout Afghanistan, according to the company’s website. Tundra SCA is a sister company of Tundra Strategies and is licensed to operate as an armed security provider by the Afghan Ministry of Interior. Please see the original here

March 22, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , | Leave a comment