Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Ronco Consulting named in Contractor Lawsuit for EEOC violations

Ronco Consulting was named in the Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit against Defense Base Act Insurance Companies and some Overseas Civilian Contractor Companies.

The EEOC granted a former Ronco Consulting Employee and American Injured War Zone Contractor the Right to Sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act after investigating the complaint.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Even those who were disabled due to the negligence of the company in question.

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Government Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Taxes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IRAQ: Mine-free 2018 target will be missed

IRIN  May 22, 2012

BAGHDAD – Iraq is drawing detailed maps of areas contaminated by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), but is unlikely to clear these areas by a 2018 deadline, says a government official.

“Lack of detailed maps for landmines was one of the major problems and it delayed our mine-clearance efforts because the previous regime planted them randomly,” Deputy Environment Minister Kamal Hussein Latif told IRIN.

“We have teamed up with the ministries of interior and defence since 2011 to start our own survey which will help to identify the exact contaminated areas,” he said.

Despite this, Latif added, the country will not meet the 2018 deadline to clear all landmines and UXO. Iraq set itself the target in 2008 when it joined the Ottawa Convention, under which it committed not to use, produce, acquire or export landmines.

The first province to be mine-mapped is Thi Qar, 400km south of Baghdad, where 98sqkm are confirmed as hazardous. Teams will continue work this year in the most contaminated southern provinces of Basra, Maysan, Muthana and Wasit.

“These areas represent almost 80 percent of the contaminated areas nationwide,” the deputy minister said. “The maps, which we plan to have ready by the end of the year, will help us draw up the best plans and the budget, and identify the number of teams needed and the time required to clear each area.”

Many of Iraq’s landmines date back to the 1960s when fighting began between the Baghdad government and pro-independence Kurdish rebels in the north. The 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 US-led invasion added to the problems.

The largest contaminated area stretches for hundreds of kilometres along the border with Iran. Large quantities of UXO also remain scattered throughout cities and towns. Today, Iraq is one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world with landmines and UXO covering 1,730sqkm, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Around 1.6 million Iraqis in 1,600 communities, or one in every 20 Iraqis, are affected.

Up to 90 percent of contaminated land is agricultural, with many landmines also found around major oil fields.

Please see the original and read the entire article here

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Iraq, Landmines, Mine Clearance, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vehicle hits mine in Niger, killing 7

Official: Vehicle hits mine in Niger, killing 7
May 22, 2012 15:15 GMT

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Regional authorities say a vehicle carrying West African migrants toward Libya struck an anti-tank mine in Niger, killing seven people.

Gov. Garba Makibou of Agadez in northern Niger says five people were injured in the accident that happened over the weekend when the vehicle veered off the road to avoid a routine check about 17 kilometers (10 miles) from Dao Timi, the last Niger military post before the Libyan border. He says the injured were evacuated to Agadez for treatment.

Makibou also announced that a weapons cache containing 53 missiles was discovered by people in the same region. He didn’t give further details.

Since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi arms have been circulating in Niger near its northern border with Libya.

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Landmines, Mine Clearance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leaked Memo: Afghan ‘Burn Pit’ Could Wreck Troops’ Hearts, Lungs

Spencer Ackerman at Wired’s Danger Room

For years, U.S. government agencies have told the public, veterans and Congress that they couldn’t draw any connections between the so-called “burn pits” disposing of trash at the military’s biggest bases and veterans’ respiratory or cardiopulmonary problems. But a 2011 Army memo obtained by Danger Room flat-out stated that the burn pit at one of Afghanistan’s largest bases poses “long-term adverse health conditions” to troops breathing the air there.

The unclassified memo (.jpg), dated April 15, 2011, stated that high concentrations of dust and burned waste present at Bagram Airfield for most of the war are likely to impact veterans’ health for the rest of their lives. “The long term health risk” from breathing in Bagram’s particulate-rich air include “reduced lung function or exacerbated chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, atherosclerosis, or other cardiopulmonary diseases.” Service members may not necessarily “acquire adverse long term pulmonary or heart conditions,” but “the risk for such is increased.”

The cause of the health hazards are given the anodyne names Particulate Matter 10 and Particulate Matter 2.5, a reference to the size in micrometers of the particles’ diameter. Service personnel deployed to Bagram know them by more colloquial names: dust, trash and even feces — all of which are incinerated in “a burn pit” on the base, the memo says, as has been standard practice in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade.

Accordingly, the health risks were not limited to troops serving at Bagram in 2011, the memo states. The health hazards are an assessment of “air samples taken over approximately the last eight years” at the base.

Please see the original and read the entire article here

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Friendly Fire, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment