Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

First new civilian medal presented posthumously to Norfolk suicide bomb victim Nic Crouch

Norwhich Evening News  March 3, 2012

The first of a new set of civilian medals has been presented posthumously to a Norfolk man who died in a suicude bomb blast

But the small piece of metal carries a huge message of hope and comfort for the family of Nic Crouch.

The Civilian Service Medal recalls his service as a private security worker in the Middle East – and sees the fulfilment of a wish he penned in a poignant letter to his parents in north Norfolk in case he was killed.

After Mr Crouch died, aged just 29, in a suicide car bomb blast in Iraq in July 2010, his family received a letter saying: “If I should be killed in Afghanistan/Iraq and the media is interested, I should like them to know how I and all the other former soldiers contributed to the Great Game.

“I seek no personal glory, but many good Paras and ex-Servicemen have died supporting these operations with little or no recognition of their bravery.”

Now after an 18-month battle by his parents, who have moved from Trimingham to Sheringham since Nic’s death, Mr Crouch has been awarded the first of the newly-created Civilian Service (Afghanistan) Medals.

His father Clive Crouch said: “I am pleased we have managed to get a tick in the box for one of Nic’s requests. The medal is not just for him, but for all his colleagues, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

With more and more civilian workers doing support duties for shrinking armed forces it was all the more important to get recognition for their service, which was a far cry from the mercenary “dogs of war” that some people associated with overseas security duties.

What Nic did was “duty in a tough environment” and the MP was pleased the posthumous medal was presented at the Foreign Office this week by Alistair Burt, the foreign secretary for Middle Eastern affairs.

“Bereavement is incredibly difficult particularly when a young man is involved, and when you feel there has not been proper recognition of what your child has done. It hurts profoundly,” said Mr Lamb, who hoped the award would help the family move on.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the Queen approved the introduction of the new medal last June, which would be awarded to UK civilians who, like Mr Crouch, had “served in direct support of Her Majesty’s Government’s objectives in Afghanistan since 2001.

“It recognises their dedicated work in this challenging, often dangerous environment. Their important work is integral to the achievement of a stable and secure Afghanistan,” he added, confirming Mr Crouch was the first recipient

Please see the original and read more here

March 4, 2012 Posted by | Aegis, Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Iraq, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The rise of the UK’s private security companies

Major General Graham Binns is not your typical chief executive.

As a lifelong soldier, he is more used to commanding an armoured division than a company boardroom.

In 2003 he commanded British troops invading southern Iraq, and in 2007 returned as the commander of British forces overseeing the handover of Basra to the Iraqis.

But now, four months into his new job as chief executive of Aegis Defence Services – a British private security company (PSC) – he has left army life behind.

“It’s liberating,” he says, sitting in Aegis’s comfortable headquarters in a plush office building in central London.

“Thirty-five years in government service was a wonderful experience. But in the world of business, ex-military people have got a lot to offer – I certainly hope so anyway.”

For Aegis, netting a leading figure from the Iraq war can only be good for business – particularly when your business is in the often-controversial world of armed private security.

Now one of the UK’s biggest PSCs, Aegis has made millions from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since it was founded just eight years ago.

Iraq bubble

“It’s liberating,” he says, sitting in Aegis’s comfortable headquarters in a plush office building in central London.

“Thirty-five years in government service was a wonderful experience. But in the world of business, ex-military people have got a lot to offer – I certainly hope so anyway.”

For Aegis, netting a leading figure from the Iraq war can only be good for business – particularly when your business is in the often-controversial world of armed private security.

Now one of the UK’s biggest PSCs, Aegis has made millions from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since it was founded just eight years ago.

Please read the full story here

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Aegis, Civilian Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , | Leave a comment

Wikileaks: British security contractors embroiled in chaos of war

The chaos of war enveloped British and American security contractors, as well as coalition and local troops, according to documents released by Wikileaks.

By Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent Telegraph.co.uk
A British firm, Aegis, is revealed as having suffered the highest losses of any private company. More than 30 of its employees died, according to an analysis by the New York Times, which was given full access to the files.

Most of the dead were Iraqi drivers, guards and other employees.

But it is a handful of American contractors whose actions will come under further scrutiny.

In one incident, employees of a firm called Custer Battles fired at Iraqi security forces at a checkpoint, into a crowded minibus and at the tyres of a car that came too close to their own, all in one spree. No action was taken against them after they paid some compensation money to those affected.

Blackwater, the company which earned notoriety after shooting dead 17 civilians in a square in Baghdad in 2007, is reported to have been seen “firing indiscriminately” in an incident the year before. In another case the same year, Blackwater security guards killed two civilians in a taxi “travelling at high speed”, causing demonstrations.

In some cases, security contractors were themselves shot as a result of mistaken identity. Sometimes they just thought they were being shot at: one report, also from 2006, describes a particularly chaotic incident involving three large SUVs from the Triple Canopy security company.

They were driving “at high speed” down a highway and tried to force a local vehicle out of their way by “bumping” it. It veered off but skidded back into the third SUV, sending it off the road.

The security guards then thought they were under attack, and tried to destroy the damaged vehicle by throwing a grenade at it, setting it on fire and firing 40 rounds into it. A second local vehicle that was approaching in the other direction was then also fired on.

Despite the force employed, the only injury recorded is a minor graze to the driver of the second car.

 

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Aegis, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Worldwide Protective Services (WPS) Sept 29 Contract Awards

The Worldwide Protective Services (WPS) program provides comprehensive protective security services to support U.S. Department of State operations around the world.

Solicitation Number: SAQMMA10R0005-A
Agency: U.S. Department of State
Office: Office of Logistics Management
Location: Acquisition Management
:
SAQMMA10R0005-A

:
Award Notice

:
September 29, 2010

:
SAQMMA10D0094SAQMMA10D0095SAQMMA10D0096SAQMMA10D0097SAQMMA10D0098SAQMMA10D0099SAQMMA10D0100SAQMMA10D0104

:
10,000,000,000.00 Maximum Program Value

:
SEE DESCRIPTION

:
SEE DESCRIPTION
SEE DESCRIPTION, SEE DESCRI
United States

:
Added: Sep 30, 2010 9:40 pm

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) made the following eight base contract awards for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security – Worldwide Protective Services (WPS) Program resulting from solicitation: SAQMMA10R0005 (-a) on September 29, 2010.  The maximum program value is $10,000,000,000.00 USD.  The maximum value is cumulative and includes all work performed by all contractors during the WPS program period of performance, including all option periods.

The base contracts include a one year base period of performance with four one year option periods.  DOS included the minimum guarantee of $5,000.00 for each WPS contractor with each base contract award.

Please see section M of solicitation: SAQMMA10R0005 (-a) for more information on the evaluation criteria that DOS used to select the firms listed below for base contract awards.

SAQMMA10D0094 :  Aegis Defense Services, LLC
SAQMMA10D0095 : DynCorp International, LLC
SAQMMA10D0096 : EOD Technology, Inc.
SAQMMA10D0097 : Global Strategies Group (Integrated Security), Inc.
SAQMMA10D0098 : International Development Solutions, LLC
SAQMMA10D0099 : SOC, LLC
SAQMMA10D0100 : Torres International Services, LLC
SAQMMA10D0104 : Triple Canopy, Inc.

:
P.O. Box 9115
Rosslyn Station
Arlington, Virginia 22219

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Worldwide

United States

:
Thomas C. Lemole,
Administrative Contracting Officer
Phone: 1-571-345-7908

:
Sharon D James,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 7038756077
Fax: 7038755272

October 3, 2010 Posted by | Aegis, Afghanistan, Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, DynCorp, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Triple Canopy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Security firm Aegis creates Swiss holding

GENEVA  Bloomberg

Aegis, one of the world’s biggest private security contractors, has set up a Swiss holding company that effectively moves the British firm’s headquarters to the Alpine nation, a Swiss newspaper reported Monday.

London-based Aegis Defence Services Ltd., which operates in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, is now wholly owned by a shell company in the northwestern city of Basel, local daily Basler Zeitung reported.

A public relations company acting on behalf of Aegis declined to immediately comment on the report.

Citing confidential documents, Basler Zeitung reported that Aegis’ seven owners — including founders Tim Spicer, Mark Bullough, Jeffrey Day and Dominic Armstrong — have swapped their shares for stakes in the Basel-based holding company.

The three remaining shareholders in Aegis are James Ellery, one-time head of the U.N. mission in southern Sudan, retired British diplomat John Birch and former U.K. army chief Peter Inge, according to the newspaper.

Founded in 2002, Aegis was awarded one of the biggest U.S. security contracts in Iraq — valued at more than $430 million.

In 2005, some Aegis employees posted videos on the Internet showing company guards firing automatic weapons at civilians from the back of a moving security vehicle.

Aegis claimed the shootings were legal and within rules established by the now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority. U.S. Army auditors, in their own investigation, agreed with Aegis

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Aegis, Civilian Contractors, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , | 1 Comment

UK Aegis Contractor Killed, Two Americans Seriously Injured, Mosul, Iraq

Iraq suicide bomb kills UK contractor

Attacker rammed bomb-laden car into convoy

A British security contractor was killed in Iraq today when a suicide bomber rammed a bomb-laden car into a convoy of four armoured SUVs in western Mosul.

Two other western contractors – believed to be Americans – and an Iraqi were seriously injured in the attack, while five passers-by suffered moderate wounds. All the contractors worked for the British company Aegis.

It is the first British fatality in Iraq in more than 12 months. Since the British Army withdrew from its garrison near the southern city of Basra in April last year, contractors – once regular targets of insurgent bombs – have been attacked far less frequently. Around 100 British officers remain in Iraq, helping to train the Iraqi Navy in the southern port of Umm Qasr.

However, Mosul has remained dangerous for contractors and the US military alike, with daily attacks on security forces and civilians reported for much of the past year.

As the US military prepares to withdraw its combat troops by the end of next month, heavily armoured and easily recognisable contractor convoys are set to present an increasingly attractive target to militants who see private security companies as an adjunct to the military.

An estimated 400 British contractors work in Iraq today, this is well down on the 2,000 plus who worked across the country during the height of the postwar chaos three years ago.

However the lure of reconstruction work stemming from the lucrative oil sector is expected to attract many more over the coming years.

Today’s blast took place near a bridge in western Mosul around 9am. The SUV was reportedly blown 40 metres into a nearby ravine. A second Aegis car was also reportedly damaged.

The officer in charge of operations in Mosul, Colonel Edan Ali, said he dispatched an Iraqi Army patrol to the scene, but it was kept at bay by contractors who would not let anyone near them.

“They were a company there for reconstruction,” he said. “The British flags on their cars were obvious.”

US forces evacuated the dead and injured by helicopter and closed the road. The British Embassy in Baghdad said it was providing consular assistance.

August 6, 2010 Posted by | Aegis, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Iraq | , , , , , , | 1 Comment