Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

SIGAR Audit 13-1 October 2012

SIGAR Audit 13-1  October 31, 2012

Afghanistan National Security Forces Facilities:

Concerns with Funding, Oversight and Sustainability for Operation and Maintenance

The Afghan government will likely be incapable of fully sustaining ANSF facilities after the transition in 2014 and the expected decrease in U.S. and coalition support. The Afghan government’s challenges in assuming O&M responsibilities include a lack of sufficient numbers and quality of personnel, as well as undeveloped budgeting, procurement, and logistics systems.

We found:
 As of June 1, 2012, the Afghan government had filled less than40 percent of authorized O&M positions. U.S. officials cited salary discrepancies between these ANSF positions and private sector jobs, such as contract positions, as a prime factor in the lagging recruitment efforts.
 The ANSF lacks personnel with the technical skills required to operate and maintain critical facilities, such as water supply, waste water treatment, and power generation.
 The Ministry of Defense’s procurement process is unable to provide the Afghan army with O&M supplies in a timely manner.
The Ministry of Interior did not make its first budget allocation for O&M at police sites until March 2012.
 As of August 1, 2012, 25 sites had started the transition process.  However, USACE had not yet developed a plan and procedures

Please read the entire report here

October 31, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, SIGAR | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overseas Contractor Count – 4th Quarter FY 2012

Thanks to Danger Zone Jobs for this Post

This update reports DoD contractor personnel numbers in theater and outlines DoD efforts to improve management of contractors accompanying U.S. forces. It covers DoD contractor personnel deployed in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Iraq, and the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).

In 4th quarter FY 2012, USCENTCOM reported approximately 137,000 contractor personnel working for the DoD in the USCENTCOM AOR. This total reflects no change from the previous quarter. The number of contractors outside of Afghanistan and Iraq make up about 13.7% of the total contractor population in the USCENTCOM AOR. A breakdown of DoD contractor personnel is provided below:


A breakdown of DoD contractor personnel is provided below:

DoD Contractor Personnel in the USCENTCOM AOR


Total Contractors U.S. Citizens Third Country Nationals Local & Host Country Nationals
Afghanistan Only 109, 564 31,814 39,480 38,270
Iraq Only* 9,000 2,314 4,621 2,065
Other USCENTCOM Locations 18,843 8,764 9,297 782
USCENTCOM AOR 137,407 42,892 53,398 41,117

*Includes DoD contractors supporting U.S. Mission Iraq and/or Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq



Afghanistan Summary

The distribution of contractors in Afghanistan by contracting activity are:


Theater Support – Afghanistan: 16,973 (15%)
LOGCAP: 40,551 (37%)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: 7,647 (7%)
Other:* 44,393 (41%)
Total: 113,736
*Includes Defense Logistics Agency, Army Materiel Command, Air Force External and Systems Support contracts, Special Operations Command and INSCOM.


OEF Contractor Posture Highlights:

There are currently approximately 109.5K DoD contractors in Afghanistan. The overall contractor footprint has decreased 3.7% from the 3rd quarter FY12.

The contractor to military ratio in Afghanistan is 1.13 to 1 (based on 84.2K military).

Local Nationals make up 34.9% of the DoD contracted workforce in Afghanistan.


Iraq Summary

Contractor Posture Highlights:

The total number of contractors supporting the U.S. Government in Iraq (DoD+DoS) is now approximately 13.5K, which meets the USG goal of reducing the contractor population at the end of FY 2012.

The Department of Defense and Department of State continue to refine the requirements for contract support. Some contractor personnel employed under DoD contracts are supporting State Department and other civilian activities under the Chief of Mission, Iraq. These DoD contractors are provided on a reimbursable basis.


General Data on DoD Private Security Contractor Personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan

USCENTCOM reports, as of 4th quarter FY 2012, the following distribution of private security contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq:


Total* U.S. Citizens Third Country National Local & Host Country National
DoD PSCs in Afghanistan 18,914 2,014 1,437 15,413
DoD PSCs in Iraq 2,116 102 1,873 191

*These numbers include most subcontractors and service contractors hired by prime contractors under DoD contracts. They include both armed and unarmed contractors. They do not include PSCs working under DoS and USAID contracts.

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ronco Riff

October 25, 2012

Voluntary Today, Involuntary Tomorrow

Another Successful Flush by Wackenhut G4S

Will the last Ronco Consulting Corporation Employee out please close the lid ?

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Follow the Money, Friendly Fire, G4S, Government Contractor, Iraq, Landmines, Lawsuits, Mine Clearance, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, State Department, Sudan, Taxes, United Nations, United Nations Board of Inquiry, Vetting Employees, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

EOD Technology merges with Sterling International

Defense firm links with Va.-based Sterling

An East Tennessee defense contractor has joined forces with a Virginia firm.

Knoxville Biz  October 25, 2012

EOD Technology announced Wednesday that it has merged with Reston, Va.-based Sterling International to form Sterling Global Operations.

The new company will be based in Lenoir City, and EODT CEO Matt Kaye will serve as president and CEO of the new venture.

Kaye said Wednesday that the combined companies form “the world’s preeminent conventional munitions disposal organization.”

Asked about the benefits of the deal for EODT, Kaye said: “It really diversifies our customer base. It strengthens our footprint around the world and provides us greater breadth and depth of resources.”

EODT got its start in 1987 as a company specializing in explosive ordnance disposal, and for years specialized in cleaning up contamination at former U.S. military sites. During the George W. Bush administration, EODT branched out into security operations and eventually became a major player in that market.

The company has also received some unwelcome scrutiny in connection with that work, however. In 2010, a U.S. Senate committee criticized EODT for its hiring practices in Afghanistan, and the following year it was revealed that the U.S. State Department had fired the company from a contract to guard the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

EODT was raided by federal agents in 2010, although no charges have been filed in connection with the raid.

According to a news release, EODT’s employee stock ownership plan acquired Sterling International. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The release said Sterling manages a $175 million weapons removal and abatement program for the State Department, and Kaye said that in comparison to EODT, the Virginia firm is more involved in the work of nonproliferation.

“While the activities that (EODT does) are nonproliferation, they’re much more in a mass-quantity stockpile reduction,” he said. “Sterling is on the forefront of … assisting countries with treaty compliance (and) establishing mine action centers.”

Kaye said Sterling has approximately 150 employees, and the new company will have about 3,500 employees.

After a round of layoffs earlier this year, EODT said it had 250 American employees and 3,000 foreign nationals.

Kaye said Sterling International’s program manager for conventional weapons destruction will remain in that position with the new company.

Sterling’s website does not identify the company’s top executives, and Kaye declined to identify the founder or CEO of the company. “He’s asked not to be named,” Kaye said, adding that the individual would stay on as an executive adviser.

The release said the combined companies will continue to serve existing customers, but will also expand into markets including energy exploration and development, and judicial and criminal justice support.

The new company will have annual revenues of $150 million.

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, EODT, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Government Contractor, Humanitarian Assistance, Landmines, Mine Clearance, State Department | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iraq bomb hits private security convoy, kills four

Business Recorder October 4, 2012

BAGHDAD: A car bomb hit a private security convoy in Baghdad on Thursday, killing four people and wounding at least nine others, security and medical officials said.

The bomb exploded in the Mansur area of west Baghdad about 9:00 am (0600 GMT), killing four people and wounding nine, an interior ministry official said.

A medical source from Al-Yarmuk hospital confirmed the facility had received four bodies, but put the number of wounded at 14.

It was not immediately clear whether the casualties were bystanders, people travelling the convoy, or both. Neither official gave details on the name of the security company.

October 22, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Iraq, Private Military Contractors, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , | Leave a comment

As Iraq, Afghan wars end, private security firms adapt

Rueters October 21, 2012

* Iraq, Afghan withdrawal may mean leaner times for contractors

* Shift to guarding private sector’s oil fields and mines

* Some see big shakeout in private security industry

* U.N. member states wary of private security forces

By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – On a rooftop terrace blocks from the White House, a collection of former soldiers and intelligence officers, executives and contractors drink to the international private security industry.

The past decade – particularly the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – provided rich pickings for firms providing private armed guards, drivers and other services that would once have been performed by uniformed soldiers.

But as the conflicts that helped create the modern industry wind down, firms are having to adapt to survive. They must also, industry insiders say, work to banish the controversial image of mercenary “dogs of war” that bedevil many firms, particularly in Iraq.

“This industry has always gone up and down,” Doug Brooks, president of the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA), told Reuters on the sidelines of its annual conference in Washington. “What we’re seeing now is that it is becoming much more mature – and much more responsible.”

The free-for-all atmosphere that pervaded the industry, particularly in the early years of the war in Iraq, insiders say, appears gone for good. A string of high profile incidents – often involving armed private guards firing on sometimes unarmed Iraqis – trashed the reputation of firms such as Blackwater, a Virginia-based firm since renamed several times, as well as the wider industry.

Members of the ISOA – which include some but not all of the major contracting firms as well as smaller players – subscribe to a code of conduct that they say helps identify responsible firms.

Despite these efforts, industry insiders and other observers say quality remains mixed. Some firms providing armed guards for merchant ships passing through the Somali pirate-infested Indian Ocean, for example, only hire elite personnel who have served in the Marines or special forces. Others, however, have a reputation for being less discriminating and for unreliable staff and weapons.

Please read the entire article here

October 21, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Iraq, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Military Contractor Whistleblowers Videotaped ‘Animal House On Steroids’ In Afghanistan

Excessive Partying In Kabul Illustrated In Lawsuit Brought By Ex-Employees

CBS New York  October 18, 2012

Some former military contractors have blown the whistle on ex-colleagues for drinking and partying while in Afghanistan.

Employees of Jorge Scientific, a company that provides security for U.S. personnel operating in a war zone, videotaped some private defense contractors drunk and high on drugs at a residential villa in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The video shows co-workers wrestling and one private contractor passed out. He had to be tended to in order to keep from choking on his own vomit. A medic summoned to help appears to be nodding off as well and an empty syringe is seen at his feet, the video shows.

In another scene, their supervisor is shown staggering around a roaring bonfire in an open courtyard loudly bringing attention to what is supposed to be a secret location, CBS 2′s Lou Young reported.

The video is part of a whistleblower lawsuit brought by two ex-employees.

“It was an intelligence mission we were on. We were the security portion of the mission and there were some days some of those guys couldn’t get up out of bed. They were still so messed up from night prior, from the partying,” whistleblower John Melson told Young in a recent interview. “Many times, Kenny and myself were the only two sober personnel in the house.”

Melson and Kenny Smith said they were fired from their jobs at Jorge Scientific for objecting to the behavior they partially documented in the video.

The two said the video shows precisely the type of unsupervised activity that is making U.S. soldiers a target in Afghanistan, Young reported.

“The Americans definitely didn’t set a good image in that location. We had Afghan generals next door to us, special police all around us. Everyone was complaining about the behavior,” Smith told Young.

Please read more here

October 19, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Lawsuits, Private Military Contractors, Vetting Employees, Whistleblower | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Canadian man and American woman kidnapped in Wardak

Khaama Press  October 12, 2012

According to reports two foreign nationals were abducted by unknown gunmen in central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan.

A local security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the two individuals were kidnapped in Syedabad district.

The source further added the two individuals including a Canadian Man and an American woman were civilians.

They were kidnapped while they were on their way from eastern Ghazni province to capital Kabul.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Afghan government officials yet to comment regarding the report.

Please see the original and read more here

October 12, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Contractors Missing | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iraq convoy was sent out despite threat

Unarmored trucks carrying needed supplies were ambushed, leaving six drivers dead. Records illuminate the fateful decision.

“Can anyone explain to me why we put civilians in the middle of known ambush sites?”

“Maybe we should put body bags on the packing list for our drivers.”

T Christian Miller The LA Times  September 3, 2007

Senior managers for defense contractor KBR overruled calls to halt supply operations in Iraq in the spring of 2004, ordering unarmored trucks into an active combat zone where six civilian drivers died in an ambush, according to newly available documents.

Company e-mails and other internal communications reveal that before KBR dispatched the convoy, a chorus of security advisors predicted an increase in roadside bombings and attacks on Iraq’s highways. They recommended suspension of convoys.

“[I] think we will get people injured or killed tomorrow,” warned KBR regional security chief George Seagle, citing “tons of intel.” But in an e-mail sent a day before the convoy was dispatched, he also acknowledged: “Big politics and contract issues involved.”

KBR was under intense pressure from the military to deliver on its multibillion-dollar contract to transport food, fuel and other vital supplies to U.S. soldiers. At Baghdad’s airport, a shortage of jet fuel threatened to ground some units.

After consulting with military commanders, KBR’s top managers decided to keep the convoys rolling. “If the [Army] pushes, then we push, too,” wrote an aide to Craig Peterson, KBR’s top official in Iraq.

The decision prompted a raging internal debate that is detailed in private KBR documents, some under court seal, that were reviewed by The Times.

One KBR management official threatened to resign when superiors ordered truckers to continue driving. “I cannot consciously sit back and allow unarmed civilians to get picked apart,” wrote Keith Richard, chief of the trucking operation.

Six American truck drivers and two U.S. soldiers were killed when the convoy rumbled into a five-mile gauntlet of weapons fire on April 9, 2004, making an emergency delivery of jet fuel to the airport. One soldier and a seventh trucker remain missing.

Recriminations began the same day.

“Can anyone explain to me why we put civilians in the middle of known ambush sites?” demanded one security advisor in an e-mail. “Maybe we should put body bags on the packing list for our drivers.”

Please read the entire story here

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Contractors Missing, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, Lawsuits, Politics, Private Military Contractors, Safety and Security Issues, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The DBA’s Exclusive Remedy- A License to Kill

Halliburton and its former KBR Inc. subsidiary knowingly sent military supply convoys into danger on roads in the Baghdad area.

High court won’t hear case against Halliburton

SF Gate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled out reviving lawsuits against Halliburton Corp. over insurgent ambushes that killed civilian truck drivers in Iraq.

In its order Tuesday, the court said it will not review a federal appeals court ruling that threw out suits filed by truckers and their families claiming that Halliburton and its former KBR Inc. subsidiary knowingly sent military supply convoys into danger on roads in the Baghdad area.

The attacks killed seven KBR drivers and injured at least 10 others in April 2004.

The appeals court said a federal law prohibits the lawsuits because it provides workers’ compensation to civilian employees injured while under contract with defense agencies.

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Halliburton, KBR, Lawsuits, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Contractors in War Zones: Not Exactly “Contracting”

There are more contractors than troops in Afghanistan

Time’s Battleland  October 9, 2012 by David Isenberg

U.S. military forces may be out of Iraq, but the unsung and unrecognized part of America’s modern military establishment is still serving and sacrificing — the role played by private military and security contractors.

That their work is dangerous can be seen by looking at the headlines. Just last Thursday a car bomb hit a private security convoy in Baghdad, killing four people and wounding at least nine others.

That is hardly an isolated incident. According to the most recent Department of Labor statistics there were at least 121 civilian contractor deaths filed on in the third quarter of 2012. Of course, these included countries besides Iraq.

As the Defense Base Act Compensation blog notes, “these numbers are not an accurate accounting of Contractor Casualties as many injuries and deaths are not reported as Defense Base Act Claims. Also, many of these injuries will become deaths due to the Defense Base Act Insurance Companies denial of medical benefits.” To date, a total of 90,680 claims have been filed since September 1, 2001.

How many contractors are now serving on behalf of the U.S. government?

According to the most recent quarterly contractor census report issued by the U.S. Central Command, which includes both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 18 other countries stretching from Egypt to Kazakhstan, there were approximately 137,000 contractors working for the Pentagon in its region. There were 113,376 in Afghanistan and 7,336 in Iraq. Of that total, 40,110 were U.S. citizens, 50,560 were local hires, and 46,231 were from neither the U.S. not the country in which they were working.

Put simply, there are more contractors than U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

These numbers, however, do not reflect the totality of contractors. For example, they do not include contractors working for the U.S. State Department. The CENTCOM report says that “of FY 2012, the USG contractor population in Iraq will be approximately 13.5K.  Roughly half of these contractors are employed under Department of State contracts.”

While most of the public now understands that contractors perform a lot of missions once done by troops – peeling potatoes, pulling security — they may not realize just how dependent on them the Pentagon has become.

Please read the entire post here

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Iraq, KBR, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Man, 38, dies from deadly tropical disease after returning to the UK from Afghanistan

The Daily Mail  October 6, 2012

A man diagnosed with a tropical disease after returning to the UK from Afghanistan has died in hospital, it has emerged today.

The 38-year-old was fighting for his life in a high security isolation ward at the Royal Free Hospital in London after contracting the deadly Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF).

He was transferred by the RAF on a C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Brownlee Unit in Glasgow to the specialist high security unit at the Royal Free London on Thursday.

It is the first laboratory-confirmed case of CCHF in the UK, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

Other passengers who sat close to him on an aircraft are undergoing daily health checks.

‘Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever can be acquired from an infected patient only through direct contact with their blood or body fluids, therefore there is no risk to the general public,’ the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said.

‘We would like to extend our condolences to his family.’

The man, 38, was diagnosed when he returned to Glasgow on a flight from Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday.

He had flown into Scotland on a connecting flight from Dubai.

More Details at The Mail Online

October 6, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bug Watch, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Health Watch, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Private Army Formed to Fight Somali Pirates Leaves Troubled Legacy

The New York Times  October 4, 2012

Eric Prince

WASHINGTON — It seemed like a simple idea: In the chaos that is Somalia, create a sophisticated, highly trained fighting force that could finally defeat the pirates terrorizing the shipping lanes off the Somali coast.

But the creation of the Puntland Maritime Police Force was anything but simple. It involved dozens of South African mercenaries and the shadowy security firm that employed them, millions of dollars in secret payments by the United Arab Emirates, a former clandestine officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, and Erik Prince, the billionaire former head of Blackwater Worldwide who was residing at the time in the emirates.

And its fate makes the story of the pirate hunters for hire a case study in the inherent dangers in the outsourced wars in Somalia, where the United States and other countries have relied on proxy forces and armed private contractors to battle pirates and, increasingly, Islamic militants.

That strategy has had some success, including a recent offensive by Kenyan and African Union troops to push the militant group Al Shabab from its stronghold in the port city of Kismayu.

But with the antipiracy army now abandoned by its sponsors, the hundreds of half-trained and well-armed members of the Puntland Maritime Police Force have been left to fend for themselves at a desert camp carved out of the sand, perhaps to join up with the pirates or Qaeda-linked militants or to sell themselves to the highest bidder in Somalia’s clan wars — yet another dangerous element in the Somali mix.

Please read the entire story at the The New York Times

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Maritime Security, Pirates, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civilian Contractor Bitten by Bat in Contra Costa, Dies of Rabies

NBC Bay Area  October 4, 2012

A Contra Costa man who was bitten by a bat in June, has died of rabies.

The 34-year-old unidentified man, died July 31st, in Zurich, Switzerland, according to the CDC. The man had previously been getting treatment in a Dubai hospital in the United Arab Emirates.

He had been a civilian contractor in Iraq, and traveled back and forth between the States and Iraq. The man is believed to have been on eight international flights between the time he was bitten and the time he died.

Rabies is almost always fatal after symptoms are present. It can be transmitted from person to person if the infected individual’s tears or saliva are introduced into another person’s open wounds or mucous membranes.

The CDC interviewed others believed to have come in contact with the man, and no secondary cases have been identified

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wackenhut, WSI, fired after nuke plant break-in

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) –  October 1, 2012

The security contractor at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee was fired Monday after authorities said three protesters cut through fences and vandalized a building in an unprecedented break-in.

Security contractor WSI Oak Ridge said it has started winding down operations and will transfer its protective force functions to B&W Y-12, the managing contractor at the plant, over the next several weeks. The Department of Energy had earlier recommended that WSI’s contract be terminated.

The security contractor was criticized for its poor response when the protesters, including an 82-year-old Roman Catholic nun, cut through fences on July 28 and defaced a building that stores the plant’s weapons grade uranium

Please read the entire article here

October 2, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, G4S, Private Security Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Safety and Security Issues, Vetting Employees, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment