Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Marine EOD Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine killed in Afghanistan

Update from Rick Crawford

On Tuesday of this week, Staff Sergeant Joseph D’Augustine was killed in Afghanistan by an IED. He was 29 years old.

Staff Sergeant D’Augustine was an EOD tech in the United States Marine Corps, and he had four tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq to his credit. He enlisted in the Marine Corps the day after he graduated from Waldwick High School in New Jersey in 2001. As an EOD tech, Staff Sergeant D’Augustine displayed the full extent of his bravery by clearing explosive threats in defending the lives of his fellow marines, soldiers, airmen, and sailors.

EOD techs, like Staff Sergeant D’Augustine, play an invaluable role in securing our freedom and in combating terrorism, but too often their heroic deeds go unreported

North Jersey.com  March 28, 2012

Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine of the U.S. Marine Corps was killed in Afghanistan this week. He was 29.

Twenty four hours after four Marines showed up at his parent’s home on Campbell Street in Waldwick with news of his death, the family had gathered and members were rifling through boxes of photos of the 2001 Waldwick High School graduate to find one in which he was flashing just the right smile.

D’Augustine is survived by his parents, Anthony and Patricia, and sisters, Nicole, Jennifer and Michele and her husband, Len Kulesa of Mahwah. He also had two nephews and one niece.

As of 3:30 p.m. March 28, the Department of Defense had not released information surrounding D’Augustine’s death.

Joseph D’Augustine left for boot camp the day after his graduation from Waldwick High School in 2001, his sisters said. This was his fourth tour; previous deployments had taken him to Iraq and Fallujah, Afghanistan.

“We loved him. He was a great brother, great uncle and great son,” said Michele Kulesa. “My parents were really proud of him. His nephews looked up to him and couldn’t wait for him to come home. He was a happy guy. God just took him too soon.”

The family said they planned to leave in several hours for Delaware on March 28 to await the arrival of D’Augustine’s remains.

D’Augustine was a member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and belonged to Waldwick VFW Post 1049 and American Legion Nightengale Post 57, according to VFW commander Michael Echevarria.

“Not only did he want to be a Marine, but he wanted to be wherever the action was,” Echevarria said in an interview March 28. “That’s true of him with everything. In high school he was a hell of a linebacker and he was a great wrestler.”

Echevarria described D’Augustine as someone who “wasn’t happy unless everyone around him was laughing.”

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Oil Police-Iraq bans private security for oil subcontractors

Arabian Oil and Gas  March 25, 2012

Iraq has taken another step in taking ownership of its oil infrastructure, with the Oil Ministry recently telling companies which provide goods and services to the operators of the oil fields in the south that that private security companies are now forbidden, and subcontractors should instead rely on the country’s Oil Police for protection.

“All the security services related to the drilling contracts of the subcontractors who are contracting with the lead contractors for oil fields development […] should be cancelled and it will never be accepted from now on,” said a memo from the South Oil Company. “The Oil Police will provide the necessary protection.”

The memo goes on to state that the Oil Ministry requires security licences issued to private firms working for subcontractors, including oilfield services companies, be suspended immediately. Operators themselves can still use private security.

Please see the original and read more here

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

GOP, Dems come together to fight human trafficking by contractors in Iraq, Afghanistan

The Hill

A bipartisan group of members from the House and Senate proposed legislation on Monday that seeks to crack down on human trafficking by contractors that the U.S. military hires for work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act is a reaction to reports from the Commission on Wartime Contracting and the inspectors general of the Defense and State departments that overseas contractors are known to engage in practices that are illegal under U.S. employee rights standards. These include seizing workers’ passports to trap them at a work site, lying about compensation, engaging in sexual abuse and generally keeping workers in a state of indentured servitude.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the lead Senate sponsor of the bill, said the legislation would help improve the treatment of third-country workers who are lured to work in Iraq and Afghanistan only to be defrauded or enslaved.

“Modern-day slavery by government contractors — unknowingly funded by American taxpayers — is unconscionable and intolerable,” Blumenthal said. “Current law prohibiting human trafficking is insufficient and ineffective, failing to prevent or punish abuses

Blumenthal’s bill, S. 2234, is also co-sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The House companion bill, H.R. 4259, was sponsored by Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), and is co-sponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.).

Issa’s committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., with Blumenthal and Portman expected to testify on the bill at that time

Please see the original and read more here

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Human Trafficking, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-Defense official sentenced in Ga. for bribery

ATLANTA (AP) – A high-ranking Department of Defense employee who pleaded guilty to taking a bribe from an Afghanistan-based contractor was sentenced to 20 months in prison for his crime.

Desi Deandre Wade was also ordered on Wednesday to pay a $4,000 fine for taking a backpack stuffed with $95,000 in cash to influence a lucrative contract.

Wade is a U.S. Army veteran and firefighter who was the department’s Chief of Fire and Emergency Services in Afghanistan when he was arrested in August.

Authorities say he received a $4,000 bribe in Afghanistan to award a maintenance contract to a firm and later proposed steering a $4.5 million contract to the same company in exchange for a payoff. He was arrested at a conference in Atlanta moments after taking the backpack.

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March 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Italy donates 500,000 euros for Lebanon demining work

The Daily Star  March 20, 2012

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s efforts to recover from rampant land mines and cluster bombs in the south have received a new donation from Italy, it was announced Friday.

The Italian Foreign Ministry’s Development Cooperation Department has approved a financial contribution of 500,000 euros ($677,350) to the UNDP for the Lebanon Mine Action Program (LMAP), the ministry said in a statement. The initiative aims at empowering communities affected by cluster bombs, through a demining program to reduce the risk of death and injuries and alleviate the socio-economic impact of cluster bombs.

Please see the original and read more here

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, Humanitarian Assistance, Lebanon, Mine Clearance, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment