Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Tech Sgt Daniel L Douville, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, killed Sunday in Afghanistan

NWF Daily News  June 27, 2011

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Douville, 33, was killed Sunday in Afghanistan. He is pictured here with (clockwise from top left) his wife, LaShana, son Daniel Jr., and daughters, Jadelynn and Ayjah

An Eglin airman was killed Sunday in Afghanistan.

Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Douville, 33, died June 26 as a result of injuries suffered from an improvised explosive device on the border of the Nad ‘Ali district of Helmand province. He was assigned to the 96th Civil Engineer Squadron.

The Fort Walton Beach resident was an explosive ordnance disposal technician remembered by his former EOD instructors as having a quiet presence.

He and his wife, LaShana, were married for 14 years. In a phone interview Monday afternoon, LaShana said Daniel was the epitome of what a man should be.

“He was just a great father and a loving husband,” she said.

Douville, a native of Louisiana, had served in the Air Force since 1997.

The couple’s oldest, Jadelynn, will start high school in the fall. She, Daniel Jr. and Ayjah attended Liza Jackson Preparatory School this year.

Please read the entire story and view the slide show here
See Also

Improvised Explosive Device Kills Harvey Native

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , | Leave a comment

2nd ex-Blackwater worker Justin Cannon gets 30 months for manslaughter

by Bill Sizemore at The Virginian Pilot  June 27, 2011

A second former Blackwater contractor was sentenced to prison for involuntary manslaughter today in the 2009 shooting death of a civilian in Afghanistan.

Justin Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, was sentenced to 30 months by U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar.

A Virginia Beach man, Christopher Drotleff, received a 37-month sentence earlier this month for his actions in the same incident.

The two were charged with murder and convicted of the lesser charge in March after an earlier trial ended in a hung jury. They are the first contractors for the Moyock, N.C.-based security company now known as Xe Services to get prison time for killing a civilian in a war zone.

Cannon and Drotleff were working for a Blackwater subsidiary providing weapons training to the Afghan army under a Defense Department subcontract.

Please read the details at The Virginian Pilot

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor | , , , , | Leave a comment

Somali fishermen also endangered by Piracy

SOMALIA: Fishermen driven from the sea by illegal trawlers

Danger of piracy  (an excerpt from the above story)

Piracy off Somalia’s coast has made life doubly dangerous for fishermen, who have been kidnapped and held for days so that pirates can use their boats, said Hassan.

Gangs of pirates steal boats and engines, and are driving some fishermen out of business, according to an Oceans Beyond Piracy report.

“Armed security teams have opened fire on fisherman believing them to be pirates because they were holding AK47s,” said Wing Commander Paddy O’Kennedy, outgoing spokesman for the European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR). “What they didn’t know, because their training hadn’t been that good, is that everyone out there carries AK-47s or else their fish will be pinched.”

According to the report, there is no documentation on Somali fishermen killed by private security companies or armed guards who mistake them for pirates.

However, Hassan, the Kismayo fisherman, said the international military response to piracy sometimes wrongly targeted fishermen.

“We are getting hit from all sides,” he said. “We are not only targeted by these foreign fishing vessels but we also fall victim to the military ships, which don’t differentiate between pirates and fishermen.”

Mohamed Abshir Waldo, a consultant based in Mombasa, said: “It appears that as far as the naval forces are concerned any Somali on the sea is a pirate.”

However, Cmdr Harrie Harrison, EU NAVFOR spokesman, denied this claim. “There is no policy of deliberate interaction with any Somali vessel that isn’t showing deliberate signs of piracy,” he said.

Please read the entire article at IRIN. org

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Pirates | , , | Leave a comment

Abu Ghraib Inmates Lose U.S. High Court Bid to Sue Contractors

by Greg Stohr at Bloomberg News  June 27, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to revive a lawsuit that accused two military contractors of abusing inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, turning away an appeal by 26 onetime prisoners.

The inmates sought to sue CACI International Inc. (CACI), which helped interrogate prisoners at the facility, and Titan Corp., which provided translation services. Titan has since been renamed and is now part of L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL)

The inmates, who were civilian detainees, said they were subjected to abuses by CACI and Titan employees including beatings, sexual humiliation, exposure to extreme temperatures and rape. In court papers, the inmates said some prisoners were tortured into unconsciousness and several were murdered.

Abu Ghraib became an international embarrassment for the U.S. in 2004, when photographs surfaced showing guards mistreating inmates.

Please read the entire report at Bloomberg News

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Military Contractors | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghanistan poppy killers get scrutiny absent in prior contracts

U.S. contractors with almost $2 billion worth of counter-narcotics business in Afghanistan will get more scrutiny than they faced for work completed in Latin America over the past decade, government officials said.

The Washington Post  June 26, 2011

DynCorp International, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, ITT and ARINC, which are working with the Defense and State departments on anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan, performed similar work in Latin America with inadequate competition and little oversight, according to a report by the majority staff of a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee and a previous investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general.

The contractors should expect new accountability measures at State and the Pentagon, as well as heightened scrutiny from Congress, as the United States seeks to stabilize the government in Afghanistan, where drug trafficking generates as much as $100 million a year for the Taliban, officials said.

“Many of the things we’ve been doing in Afghanistan, it’s not reinventing the wheel — we’ve been doing it in Colombia for a decade, and with many of the same contractors,” said Laura Myron, a spokeswoman for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chairwoman of the subcommittee.

McCaskill is to convene a hearing this week on Afghanistan contracting, at which she’ll address the counter-narcotics work, Myron said in an e-mail.

Please read the entire story at The Washington Post

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, DynCorp, Pentagon, State Department | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PTSD, Ethics and Honor in the Warzone

General Petraeus’ Link to Troubling Suicide in Iraq: The Ted Westhusing Story

Before putting a bullet through his head, Westhusing had been deeply disturbed by abuses carried out by American contractors in Iraq, including allegations that they had witnessed or even participated in the murder of Iraqis.

See Also Journey That Ended in Anguish by T Christian Miller

The scourge of suicides among American troops and reservists in Iraq and Afghanistan remains a serious and seriously underreported problem.

Last month they hit a new high in the US Army, despite intensive new efforts to prevent them. One of the few high-profile cases emerged six years ago this month, and it involves a much-admired Army colonel and ethicist named Ted Westhusing — who, in his suicide note, pointed a finger at a then little-known U.S. general named David Petraeus.

Westhusing’s widow, asked by a friend what killed this West Point scholar, replied simply: “Iraq.”

‘Something he saw [in Iraq] drove him to this,’ one Army officer who was close to Westhusing said in an interview. ‘The sum of what he saw going on drove him’ to take his own life.

‘It’s because he believed in duty, honor, country that he’s dead.’”

Please read the entire story at The Nation

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Subcontracting Substandard Services: Military Contracts in Iraq Still Controversial

by David Isenberg  at CorpWatch   June 27th, 2011

Najlaa International Catering Services won a $3 million five-year contract in February 2010 to prepare food for the U.S. Agency for International Development compound in Iraq. The deal was approved despite the fact that Bill Baisey, CEO of the Kuwaiti company, faces numerous complaints and court actions for non-payment of bills and alleged fraud in Kuwait and Iraq.

U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been plagued by private military contractors that have performed poorly or failed miserably in fulfilling their contracts. Some overstated their capabilities or were badly managed and under-skilled, while others committed outright fraud.

Past investigations concentrated on major contractors such as Halliburton and Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), but recently the smaller companies – such as Najlaa – to which these giants subcontract have drawn fire.

“The government has limited visibility into subcontractor affairs and limited ability to influence their actions,” said former U.S. Congressman Christopher Shays at a July 2010 hearing of the Commission on Wartime Contracting. “This fact presents a challenge to transparency and accountability for the use of taxpayers’ dollars. Poorly conceived, poorly structured, poorly conducted, and poorly monitored subcontracting can lead to poor choices in security measures and damage to U.S. foreign policy objectives, among other problems.”

The United States, however, has become so dependent on contractors who do the laundry, feed the troops, and build and run facilities that it would be difficult if not impossible for the military to continue without them.

Please read the entire story here

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Iraq, KBR, Kuwait, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment