Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Jordan- Israeli demining operations to take place near Balqa on Today

MENAFN – Jordan Times  May 24, 2012

The Jordan Armed Forces on Wednesday said Israeli troops will work on removing anti-tank mines in the land opposite Al Rabei area in Deir Alla in Balqa Governorate on Thursday.

The mine clearance will be carried out from 8:00am to 7:00pm, according to a source from the JAF, who noted that Jordan has requested that Israelis abide by the amounts of explosives previously agreed on during demining operations.

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Price of Sacrifice

The government decided that contractors are eligible for public honor as civilians, through awards such as the Defense of Freedom Medal. This is described as the “civilian equivalent” of a Purple Heart, as both require the recipient to have been injured or killed. But the contractor is honored as victim; not hero.

While this Medal is available the majority of injured contractors will not receive it

Defense of Freedom Medal Held Hostage by the Defense Base Act

David Isenberg at Huffington Post  May 24, 2012

Please see David’s blog  The Isenberg Institute of Strategic Satire

How should one recognize an act on the battlefield that gets you wounded? If you are a soldier, marine, sailor or airman the answer is easy; you get a Purple Heart. That medal, originally created by General George Washington, is awarded to U.S. soldiers wounded by the enemy in combat. It was ordered by the Continental Congress to stop giving commissions or promotions, since the Congress could not afford the extra pay these entailed, so Washington drew up orders for a Badge of Military Merit made of purple cloth. In 1782 he directed that “whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings, over his left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding.”

In short, Washington gave cloth because he could not give money. But if you are a private contractor and you get wounded you don’t get a Purple Heart. You, hopefully, will get medical care and benefits which your employer is required, at least theoretically, to provide under the Defense Base Act.

To Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, a professor at the State University of New York, Buffalo Law School this raises the question as to whether they are forms of value which can be substituted one for the other.

In an essay he wrote, “Value of Valor: Money, Medals and Military Labor,” published earlier this year he explores the divide between money and medals. This raises interesting questions about motivation.

Please read the entire post here

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Government Contractor | , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghans say kidnapped aid workers in mountains, talks begin

Reuters May 24, 2012

Gunmen in Afghanistan are demanding money for the release of five aid workers, including two Western women doctors, held in remote mountains and authorities have opened negotiations in the hope of freeing them, an investigator said on Thursday.

The aid workers employed by Swiss-based aid group Medair were making their way from Faizabad city in rugged northeast Badakhshan province on Tuesday to visit flood-stricken areas when they were abducted about half-way to their destination.

“All five aid workers have been carried to the mountainous district of Shahr-e Bozorg and they are keeping them there,” said Sakhidad Haidari, the senior police detective for the remote province.

“We have found their position and we are in negotiation, but that process has not reached any conclusion yet,” Haidari said.

The kidnapping of foreigners has become relatively common in parts of Afghanistan since U.S-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001, heralding a 10-year anti-insurgent war.

In 2010, 10 foreign medical workers, including six Americans, were killed in Badakhshan in an attack blamed on insurgents.

Haidari said the gunmen in the latest incident were thought to belong to kidnap and criminal groups who were taking advantage of the difficult terrain and the loose grip on the area of Afghan security forces.

“I don’t think that they have any connection with the Taliban or other insurgent groups,” Haidari said.

Please see the original and read more here

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues | , , , | Leave a comment

Pirate attack foiled on US ship in Gulf of Oman

Associated Press at MSN News Center  May 24, 2012

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Danish shipper A.P. Moller-Maersk says armed guards have thwarted a pirate attack on one of its U.S.-flagged cargo ships in the Gulf of Oman.

The Copenhagen-headquartered company says “multiple pirate skiffs” headed toward the 488-feet (148-meter) long Maersk Texas on Wednesday, despite receiving “clear warning signals” from guards onboard.

The pirates opened fire on the ship, and guards returned fire, eventually forcing the pirates to abandon their attack.

No one was injured in the incident and the ship continued on its voyage to the U.S. No other details were immediately available Thursday.

Somali pirates have been increasing their range, but attacks around the vital oil lanes near the Strait of Hormuz remain relatively rare.

Please see the original and read more here

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Maritime Security, Pirates, Private Security Contractor | , , , , | Leave a comment