Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Double sacrifice: Family loses sons in Afghanistan

Associated Press  March 11, 2012

Jeremy Wise

PRESCOTT, Ark. — When their older brother Jeremy died in Afghanistan, Ben and Beau Wise did what loyal brothers and soldiers do. They stood solemnly in uniform at his memorial, laid red roses in front of his picture, and Ben spoke bravely to a chapel full of loved ones who came to mourn

Soldiers themselves, Ben and Beau knew what their fallen brother had experienced and seen. They knew the difficulties of being a warrior and a devoted husband, and what a testament it was to Jeremy’s character that he had excelled at both.

“Jeremy, I miss you and I love you, brother,” Ben said. “And see you again.”

Benjamin Wise

Two years later, Ben died at a hospital in Germany after an insurgent attack left him with injuries that first cost him his legs, then cost him his life. He was 34, a year younger than Jeremy was when a suicide bomber killed him at a CIA base where he was working as a defense contractor.

For a family that had already paid the highest price of war, it was time for another funeral, another eulogy, another grave.

The eldest Wise boys are two of the thousands of Americans who have died since the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan began. But they share a link that most do not: They were brothers.

“They laid down their lives, both of them, so that others could live,” their mother, Mary Wise, said.

Jeremy had just retired as a Navy SEAL and was working as a defense contractor in Afghanistan. He thought he could spend more time with his family that way and still serve his country. When he was home in Virginia, he played ninjas with his stepson, Ethan, and hung around his wife, Dana, even if she was doing something as mundane as laundry.

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Blackwater, CIA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Government Contractor, Private Security Contractor, State Department | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Security Fears Lead Groups to Rethink Work in Afghanistan

The New York Times  March 11, 2012

WASHINGTON — The management at a company that does aid and development work for the American government knows that some of its employees in Afghanistan are keeping weapons in their rooms — and is choosing to look the other way. At another company in the same business, lawyers are examining whether the company can sue the United States Agency for International Development for material breach of contract, citing the deteriorating security in Afghanistan

An Afghan government plan to abolish private security companies at the end of this month, along with the outbreak of anti-American demonstrations and attacks in the past month, has left the private groups that carry out most of the American-financed development work in Afghanistan scrambling to sort out their operations, imperiling billions of dollars in projects, officials say.

That, in turn, threatens a vital part of the Obama administration’s plans for Afghanistan, which envision a continuing development mission after the end of the NATO combat mission in 2014.

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March 11, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. serviceman kills 16 in house-to-house village shooting, Afghan officials say

By msnbc.com staff and news services  March 14, 2012

Updated at 7:59 a.m. ET: KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. soldier who allegedly shot 16 Afghan villagers was caught on surveillance video that showed him walking up to his base and raising his arms in surrender, Afghan officials who viewed the footage said.

The video reportedly was shot from a blimp and showed the soldier walking up to his base covered in a traditional Afghan shawl. The soldier removed the shawl and put his weapon on the ground, then raised his arms in surrender, unidentified Afghan officials told Reuters and The Associated Press.


The video had been shown to investigators to help dispel a widely held belief among Afghans, including many members of parliament, that more than one soldier must have been involved because of the high death toll, the officials told journalists.

Shooting suspect was trained sniper  March12, 2012

The soldier detained for the shootings in Afghanistan was a qualified infantry sniper, a senior Department of Defense official told CNN. (See also: heightened security in Afghanistan)

The soldier was injured in a vehicle rollover while in Iraq in 2010, according to the official. The official described it as a non-combat rollover. He was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) but was found fit for duty.

His family has been moved on to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for their safety, the official said.

After an Afghan soldier alerted the U.S. military at the base of the soldier’s initial departure, the U.S. military put up an aircraft to search for the missing soldier. Soon after, Afghan civilians came to the gate carrying wounded civilians, the first indication the military had of the shooting.

When the soldier turned himself over to the search party, he immediately invoked his rights not to speak. He has been moved to Kandahar and put in pre-trial confinement, a congressional source told CNN.

Seattle Times  March 11, 2012 10pm

“It appears he walked off post and later returned and turned himself in,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Williams, a military spokesman. The NATO force said the assailant acknowledged he had inflicted an unspecified number of casualties during the shootings, which began about 3 a.m.

The soldier’s name has not been released, but a U.S. official told ABC News he is a 38-year-old staff sergeant who is married with two children and had served three tours in Iraq. This was his first tour in Afghanistan, where he has been since early December, the official said.

Separately, a senior U.S. military official confirmed that the sergeant was attached to a unit based at Lewis-McChord, located near Tacoma, and that he had been part of what is called a village-stabilization operation in Afghanistan, in which teams of Green Berets, supported by other soldiers, try to develop close ties with village elders, organize local police units and track down Taliban leaders. The official said the sergeant was not a Green Beret himself.

Soldier accused in Afghan killings from Lewis-McChord

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in cold blood is based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, ABC News is reporting.

The soldier is reported to be a 38-year-old staff sergeant. His name and unit were not immediately available.

LA Times  March 11, 2012

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — A lone American serviceman slipped away from his base in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday and went on a methodical house-to-house shooting spree in a nearby village, killing 16 people, nearly all of them women and children, according to Afghan officials who visited the scene.

The NATO force confirmed that the assailant was in military custody, and that he had inflicted an unspecified number of casualties during the shooting spree at about 3 a.m. Sunday. The U.S. Embassy called for calm and expressed deep condolences; the Taliban referred to the killings as an “act of genocide.”

The British Broadcasting Corp. reported that the shooter was a staff sergeant and a member of the U.S. special operations forces who had been involved in training the Afghan police.

The incident, potentially the worst atrocity of the 10-year war to be deliberately carried out by a single member of the Western military, represents a stunning setback to U.S.-Afghan relations, already shaken by last month’s burning of copies of the Koran at a U.S. military base north of Kabul

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March 11, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment