Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Former Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Paul Terrell, Civilian Contractor, Murdered in Afghanistan

Editors Note:  A murder would be covered under the DBA, a suicide would not….

Vicki Terrell  Comment left on November 7, 2010

I know for a fact the the CID in Afghanistan do not investigate all of the cases!

My husband, Paul A. Terrell, was murdered on base at Camp Phoenix on June 17, 2010 and they are trying to say that it was a suicide. It was NOT suicide! He had only been back on base for a few hours after a 2 week vacation home.

He was retired from the US Navy and on his third tour as a civilian contractor.

His passport is still missing along with his cell phone he had just called me from.

They have given me at least 5 places where his passport is and every place they say claims to not have it.

He was hung in his shop in the early hours of June 17.

When they sent me the list of evidence from the scene, the top of the list was a cigarette butt. When I told them that my husband did NOT smoke, they said they would do DNA on the cigarette.

Now they claim that the DNA matched and when they sent his things home they DID NOT send his shaving kit (obviously where I could have gotten DNA).

They waited to send everything home until he was cremated so I could not get his DNA.

Thinking I could trust the military to due a proper investigation

I WILL eventually find out what happened and clear my husband’s name, but until then there will not be any closure for myself or our 2 granddaughters that we are raising. I have contacted 2 of his friends there only to be hung up on or ignored.

It makes me wonder if they are afraid or been ordered not to talk to me.

If anyone out there knows of someone that will investigate this, please let me know.

My husband was not depressed or unhappy. He was there to serve his country and make the money to send our girls to college. We were very happily married without problems. A few hours before he had even gone jogging and told these friends about us looking for a new home in Florida on his vacation!

I ask you…Is this a man that would have committed suicide? Absolutely not…He WAS murdered!!!

February 24, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Furore over Sudan shooting

The Star February 23, 2012

THE three Kenyans who were shot and injured when going to work in South Sudan are recuperating at the Mount Elgon Hospital as Kitale residents accuse their Asian employer of failing to provide them with security. George Omanga, Richard Wanyama and Wilson Mabonga survived the shooting in which Enock Wanjala, Morris Simiyu and Eric Barasa were killed. Their relatives have also accused the employer of failing to pay Sh300,000 burial expenses as he promised.

The spokesperson of the three families which lost their loved ones Ronald Nalianya said there was an agreement between the families and the businessman to provide sh.300,000 for the expenses. “We are however disappointed that the contractor later refused to talk about the pledge and we are therefore stranded “he said. He said each family would receive sh.100, 000 if the businessman would have honored the pledge to assist them meet the expenses.

Meanwhile, Kitale residents led by Kiminini parliamentary aspirant Chriss Wamalwa have demanded that the government provide security of Kenyans living in Sudan. A group of 25 Kenyans from Trans-Nzoia had been recruiting by an Asian businessman to work at a construction site at Kapoeta County in South Sudan. 11 of the group were dropped at a construction site at Narus town while the rest extended to jukudum 300km away.

The businessman secured construction work to put up government offices in Narus and jukudum towns. Those who died were Enock Wanjala, Morris Simiyu and Eric Barasa and their bodies underwent post-mortem yesterday. The injured Kenyans and the three bodies ferried on open truck arrived in Kitale on Sunday to an emotional reception from relatives and leaders. Gorge Omanga one of the wounded said at the hospital that they were attacked by seven armed with assault rifles. Wilson Mabonga, a survivor said they were driving in a Pick Up from Narus to Jukudum when seven men emerged from a bush and started firing at them

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February 23, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2 NATO Troops (American) Killed by Afghan Soldier

MSNBC  February 23, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two foreign soldiers were killed by a man dressed in an Afghan National Army uniform on Thursday, as anger over the burning of copies of the Quran at the country’s main NATO air base sparked violent protests for a third day.

A statement by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force did not give the exact location of the deadly attack on its troops, but said it took place in the east of the country.

“An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in eastern Afghanistan today, killing two service members,” the ISAF statement said. “It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”

However, CBS News reported on its Twitter feed that both service members were Americans, citing unidentified sources.

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February 23, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, ISAF, Safety and Security Issues | , , , | Leave a comment

Chance Smith, Civilian Contractor Afghanistan, killed while home on RR

Charleston SC WCSC February 23, 2012

Smith, an outfielder for The Citadel baseball team from 2004-07, was killed early Saturday morning in a car accident that also left his wife, La-aia, in critical condition. Their infant daughter, Laina Madison, was not with them at the time of the accident.

Smith was returning home to McDonough, Ga., from Atlanta after celebrating his upcoming 27th birthday with his wife when the crash occurred. The 2003 graduate of Evans High School worked as an U.S. Army contractor and was scheduled to return to Afghanistan this week.

Many Citadel fans will remember his two home runs and four RBIs in an 11-10 victory over rival College of Charleston in 2006.

“He was a very inspirational player with tremendous enthusiasm for the game and for the Citadel,” said Citadel head coach Fred Jordan. “He was a hard-nosed and athletic centerfielder. The important thing was, he graduated from The Citadel and was defending his country in the military. He’s a very special person to me and to all of us.”

The Columbia County News Times February 22, 2012

Gordie Smith (right) watches his son Chance sign a letter of intent to attend The Citadel on a baseball scholarship

Chance Smith was killed in a single-car accident Sunday morning.

The 2003 graduate was on his way home to McDonough, Ga., after celebrating his upcoming 27th birthday in Atlanta with his wife La-aia when the crash occurred.

Smith worked as an U.S. Army contractor and was scheduled to return to Afghanistan this week.

While his wife suffered a cracked sternum and deflated lung, the couple’s 3-month-old daughter Laina Madison was not with them.

From high school onward, Smith affected those he knew in a positive way

Please see the original and read more about Chance Smith here

February 22, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors | , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Western journalists killed in besieged Syrian city

LA TIMES  February 22, 2012

REPORTING FROM PARIS — An award-winning American-born journalist and a French photographer died in the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday, after the building in which they were taking shelter came under attack.

Veteran foreign correspondent Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Ochlik were killed by a rocket as they tried to escape from the house that was being shelled.

After the French government confirmed the deaths, tributes poured in for Colvin, 55, a reporter for the Sunday Times of London who had covered conflicts in Kosovo, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and the Middle East.

She was known for her courageous reporting from the world’s hot spots and the black eye patch that she wore after losing an eye from a shrapnel wound while working in Sri Lanka in 2001.

Colvin was the only journalist from a British newspaper in the Homs district of Baba Amr and had filed reports on the “absolutely sickening” bloodshed she witnessed there in the days leading up to her death. Her report in the Sunday Times last weekend said the citizens of Homs were “waiting for a massacre.”

In an interview with CNN and the BBC on Tuesday, she said: “I watched a little baby die today. Absolutely horrific … his little tummy just kept heaving until he died. That is happening over and over and over. … There is just shells, rockets and tank fire pouring into the civilian areas of this city, and it is just unrelenting.”

Earlier this month, Ochlik, 28, won first prize in the World Press Photo contest’s general news category for images taken during the Libyan conflict

Please see the original and read more here

February 22, 2012 Posted by | Journalists, Safety and Security Issues, Syria | , , , , | Leave a comment

Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act: Federal Contractor Criminal Liability Overseas

Congressional Research Report For Congress February 15, 2012

Charles Doyle
Senior Specialist in American Public Law

Summary 7-5700      http://www.crs.gov     R42358

The United States government uses hundreds of thousands of civilian contractors and employees overseas. They and their dependants are often subject to local prosecution for the crimes they commit abroad. Whether by agreement, practice, or circumstance—sometimes they are not.
The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) permits federal prosecution of certain  crimes committed abroad by Defense Department civilian employees, contractors, or their dependants.
The Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA; H.R. 2136) (Representative Price of North Carolina) and S. 1145 (Senator Leahy) would permit federal prosecution for certain crimes committed abroad by the civilian employees, dependants, or contractors of other federal agencies.

The bills would supplement rather than replace MEJA or other provisions of federal extraterritorial jurisdiction. The crimes covered would include various federal violent, corruption, and trafficking offenses. The Attorney General would be responsible to ensure the availability of personnel and other resources necessary for investigation and prosecution of such offenses.

Otherwise applicable statutes of limitation would be suspended during the absence of a suspect from the United States. Prosecutors would be afforded the additional option of trying cases under CEJA in the district in which the employing or contracting agency maintained its headquarters.

Please go here to read and download the entire report

February 21, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Legal Jurisdictions | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Suspected Afghan police shoot dead 1 Albanian soldier

Update:  An Albanian soldier was killed, and three other troops were injured, including two Albanians and an American, according to the provincial government in Kandahar, where the shooting took place.

Winnipeg Free Press  February 20, 2012

TIRANA, Albania – Suspected Afghan police opened fire on Albanian and other foreign troops in the war-wracked country’s south Monday, killing two Albanian soldiers and prompting the arrest of 11 Afghan policemen, authorities said.

The deaths were the first for Albanian troops in Afghanistan. Another international soldier was wounded.

The shootings appeared to be the latest in a growing number of attacks by Afghan police or army soldiers on foreign forces, a trend that has raised concerns about the vetting of Afghan recruits and threatened the international military commitment to the country. Last month, France suspended its training program and warned it may withdraw its forces a year ahead of schedule after an Afghan soldier shot and killed four French soldiers.

Monday’s shooting occurred in the village of Robat, in the southern district of Spin Boldak near the Pakistani border, Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq said. The troops were accompanying a USAID team for a meeting about opening two schools and a health cente, Albania’s defence ministry said.

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February 20, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Safety and Security Issues, USAID | , , | Leave a comment

Four U.S. servicemen die in Djibouti U-28 Crash

1st Lt Justin J Wilkens of Bend Oregon

Amy Oliver, public affairs director of the Air Force 1st Special Operations Wing, said the single-engine, fixed-wing U-28A was returning from a mission in support of the Afghanistan war.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The four killed in the crash included

Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, with the 319th Special Operations Squadron

Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29, of Newnan, Georgia, with the 34th Special Operations Squadron;

1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens, 26, of Bend, Oregon, with the 34th Special Operations Squadron; and

Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 26, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, with the 25th Intelligence Squadron.

Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten

Hall was a U-28 pilot with more than 1,300 combat flight hours. He was assigned to the 319th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla

UPI Djibouti February 20, 2012

The US Department of Defense announced that four U.S. servicemen died in the crash of a U-28 aircraft in Djibouti.

The crash occurred approximately 8 p.m., Saturday, roughly 6 miles from the Djibouti International Airport near Camp Lemonnier. All four U.S. Air Force servicemen were from the Hurlburt Field in Florida, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a release Monday.

Three of the victims — two captains and a first lieutenant — were with the Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt. The other was a senior airman with the 25th Intelligence Squadron.

Capt. Ryan P. Hall

The incident has cast a spotlight on AFRICOM’s Camp Lemonier, a former French Foreign Legion base.

The AFRICOM Web site stated a safety board investigation has been initiated to determine the cause of the accident. Initial reports said there was word the aircraft developed technical problems during a routine flight.

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February 20, 2012 Posted by | Africa | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thomas Lee Polanski, Civilian Contractor, dies in Afghanistan

Thomas Lee Polanski died on January 16, 2012, at FOB Lilley, Sharana, Afghanistan.

He leaves behind a wife and seven children.

February 20, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties | , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Dozens of UN troops seized’ in Darfur

JEM spokesman says peacekeepers “entered our territory without permission”, accompanied by Sudanese security personnel.

AlJazerra February 20, 2012

A major anti-government group in Sudan’s Darfur region has said it is holding at least 49 international UN peacekeepers, mainly from Senegal.

A spokesman for the group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), made the announcement on Monday.

“We are holding the UNAMID soldiers because they entered our territory without permission and because they were accompanied by three Sudanese we suspect work for the security services,” the spokesman said.

February 20, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Sudan, United Nations | , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Zone empties out under Iraqi control

Dan Norse The Washington Post  February 19, 2012

BAGHDAD — Green Zone. International Zone. The Bubble. To the foreigners still living there, the Iraqi capital’s fortified center has a new name: Ghost Town.

The Iraqi government has taken full control of the former heart of the American occupation. It decides who gets past the 17-foot-tall concrete blast walls encircling the zone

On the inside, Iraqi police and military forces have raided the offices of private security companies, prompting the firms and commercial companies that rely on them to relocate.

“They have hit a point where it’s virtually impossible to stay,” said Doug Brooks, president of the International Stability Operations Association, a trade group that represents foreign firms and nonprofit organizations in Iraq.

The result: The International Zone has become the Iraqi Zone, and an increasingly isolated one at that

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February 19, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NATO looking into reports of chopper crash in Afghanistan

ISAF Chopper Crashes in Afghanistan

Kabul—An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)helicopter crashed in the Sarobi district of central Kabul province on Saturday, an official said.

Official sources said that the incident took place around noon in the Uzbin Mountains near the Baad Pakh district of neighbouring Laghman province.

Further details would be revealed after an investigation into the crash was completed, officials said, adding a team had been sent to the scene. There was no immediate report of casualties in the crash that happened at around 10:30am, said a resident of the area, Sahar.

The site was cordoned off by foreign troops. ISAF has so far issued no comment on the chopper crash.—AP

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) A local official reported a NATO helicopter crashed Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, though there was no immediate confirmation from coalition forces.

A spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, Capt. Justin Brockhoff, said ISAF officials are looking into the reported incident but have no indications that any ISAF aircraft have been lost.

Abdul Rahman Sarjang, the chief of police in eastern Laghman province, said it was an American helicopter that crashed, but he had no other details

February 18, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan | , , , | Leave a comment

Shipboard Security Teams and the Rules of Engagement

Captain Rich Madden at G Captain

February 15, 2012 will be a date many in the maritime security industry will remember for a long time. It was the day that the first innocent deaths were laid at the feet of an armed security team in the Indian Ocean.

During a routine transit 22 nautical miles off the West coast of India, the embarked security team onboard the Italian oil tanker Enrica Lexie opened fire on a fishing boat that was apparently approaching their vessel. In the aftermath, 2 unarmed Indian fishermen were killed.

Armed security teams have become more prevalent in the Indian Ocean Basin and the Gulf of Aden/Horn of Africa (GOA/HOA) region due to the explosive rise of Somali piracy since 2007. With increased piracy in the Gulf of Guinea off and in Southeast Asia, it seems you might find them onboard a vessel almost anywhere. One of the greatest concerns with putting armed security onboard a vessel is responsibility; Responsibility for weapons laws – responsibility for taking lethal action and ultimately, responsibility for deaths or injuries.

Please read the entire post at G Captain

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Maritime Security, Pirates, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Police officer and explosives expert killed in Iraq

Al-Shorfa  February 15, 2012

An Iraqi police officer and an explosives expert were killed Wednesday (February 15th) while trying to dismantle a car bomb placed near a market west of Baquba, Diyala province.

Lt. Col. Ghaleb al-Karkhi, spokesperson for the Diyala police told Al-Shorfa, “When the police discovered the car bomb they asked citizens to evacuate the area. However, when the explosives expert arrived and tried to disarm the car, the bomb went off, killing him and a police captain.”

Al-Karkhi said no civilians were hurt in the explosion, and the police arrested one individual suspected of having ties with al-Qaeda in connection with the accident.

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Iraq | , , , , | Leave a comment

In the line of fire: Afghanistan’s IED experts

The Telegraph February 17, 2012

The heavy doors of the armoured personnel carrier swung open with a bang: Warrant Officer Gareth Wood (known to everyone as Woody) was about to tackle his first improvised explosive device (IED) of the day.

The hum of engines was replaced by the shrill whine of metal detectors as the search team set to work. After locating the device they stood in a huddle, chatting and chain-smoking. A sniper was called forward and moved into position, scanning the horizon for trouble. Woody picked up his metal detector and started walking towards the bomb – alone. Everyone watched him go. He lay down, the bomb inches from his head, and started brushing away dirt with a knife and a paintbrush, as careful as an archaeologist. ‘You’re in your own little world,’ he would tell me later. ‘It’s quite surreal.’

Staff Sgt Olaf 'Oz' Schmid

When Woody, who is married with two children, left for Afghanistan in early 2010, he knew it was far from certain that he would return home. ‘There’d been a mass of casualties,’ he recalls now. ‘I think there was a one-in-six chance of us not coming back.’ In the lead-up to his deployment, his fellow bomb disposal operator, Staff Sgt Olaf ‘Oz’ Schmid, a close friend and colleague from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, died while defusing a roadside bomb near Sangin, after having successfully neutralised 64 bombs during his five-month tour. Another friend and fellow operator, Capt Daniel Read (also from 11 EOD), was killed while tackling a device in northern Helmand. ‘I didn’t go to Dan’s repatriation,’ Woody recalls. ‘It was literally hours before I was due to fly out to Afghanistan; I couldn’t face it.’

Bomb disposal experts have never been in greater demand: Afghanistan has become an IED war. The huge number of these homemade bombs is seriously disrupting Nato operations in the country, and efforts to reconstruct it. Almost 400 British soldiers and MoD personnel have died since Britain entered the war in Afghanistan 10 years ago, and the majority of casualties since 2008 have been from improvised explosives. They also accounted for nearly 1,000 civilian deaths in the country last year, according to a new UN report. In December it was announced that British troops were to receive £400 million- worth of new kit to counter the threat. Bombs costing pennies have proved a match for a military machine costing billions.

Please read the entire story here

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment