Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

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

Boy, 6, dies after triggering landmine in Bosnia

Huffington Post  August 10. 2012

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Authorities say a 6-year-old boy died when he triggered a landmine while collecting wood with his father in the forests of central Bosnia. The father was wounded in the blast.

Aldina Ahmic, spokeswoman for the police in central Bosnia, says the area the two were exploring Friday is a marked minefield some 50 kilometers north of Sarajevo.

Ahmic says the boy died instantly. His father, 37, is being treated at a Sarajevo hospital for serious shrapnel wounds.

Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war turned it into one of the world’s most mine-infested countries. Clearing the explosive devices is costly and complicated.

According to Bosnia’s Mine Action Center, 1,674 people have been killed or injured by mines since the war ended.

Please see the original here

August 10, 2012 Posted by | Balkans, Civilian Casualties, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance, UXO | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wildfires set off explosions in Bosnia minefield

As firefighters tried to contain two wildfires near an ammunition factory in southern Bosnia on Thursday, one of the blazes began setting off explosions in a minefield left over from the country’s war in the 1990s, officials said.

Associated Press at the Seattle Times  August 9, 2012

KONJIC, Bosnia-Herzegovina —

As firefighters tried to contain two wildfires near an ammunition factory in southern Bosnia on Thursday, one of the blazes began setting off explosions in a minefield left over from the country’s war in the 1990s, officials said.

No one was injured, but the risks of entering the minefield and heavy winds were making it difficult for the firefighters and several military helicopters assisting them to battle the two blazes in the populated area.

Both fires were threatening the Igman ammunition factory on the outskirts of Konjic village from opposite sides, with one of them burning in the heavily mined forest.

“We are doing our best but with the heat and the wind the fires are spreading fast and there is not much we can do about it. It’s all in the minefields,” said Fadil Tatar, commander of Konjic civil protection.

Tatar, who is in charge of coordinating the rescue services and firefighters, said several explosions could be heard Thursday morning as the fire set off some of the mines.

Please see the original and read more here

August 10, 2012 Posted by | Balkans, Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance, UXO | , , , , | Leave a comment

Libya’s abandoned weapons put civilians at risk: report

Abandoned weapons that were once part of toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi’s arsenal pose an ongoing and serious threat to civilians in Libya, warned a report published by Harvard University on Thursday

Times Live  August 2, 2012

“These weapons may have been abandoned, but their ability to harm civilians remains intact,” said Bonnie Docherty, leader of the research team sent to Libya by Harvard Law School and partner organisation CIVIC.

Weapons left behind after last year’s conflict range from bullets and mortars to torpedoes and surface-to-air missiles, creating an “explosive situation” in a country with a weak central government, the report said.

“The sheer scale of weapons here is shocking,” co-author Nicolette Boehland told AFP in Tripoli.

“Arms are spilling out of hundreds of inadequately secured bunkers. Other weapons have spread across the country to militia stockpiles in urban centers, museums, fields and even homes,” she added.

Threats to civilians include stockpiles at risk of explosion in or near populated areas, civilian curiosity and access to contaminated sites and munitions, plus the harvesting of abandoned weapons for sale or personal use.

Civilians are endangered during the clearance of munition by local communities that lack professional training and the display of weapons as mementos of war, the report found.

In one instance, in the western town of Dafniya, where a brigade kept weapons in some 22 shipping containers, an explosion spread so much dangerous material that it endangered the whole community.

Steve Joubert of JMACT (Joint Mine Action Coordination Team) was quoted as saying that there are “now more weapons than people in Misrata,” in reference to Libya’s third-largest city, which suffered a brutal siege in 2011.

The report noted that the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and international organisations have shouldered the brunt of the work in clearing ordnance and advising local communities on stockpile management.

Citing UNMAS, Boehland said that as of June, there had been at least 208 casualties, including 54 fatalities, from explosive remnants of war. The toll included 72 children either wounded or killed.

“Children are especially attracted to weapons because they are brightly coloured or look like toys,” she said, noting that the number of casualties is likely to be higher than those documented so far.

The report called on Libya’s newly elected authorities to develop a national strategy to secure leftover ordnance and manage stockpiles. It urged international organisations, notably NATO, to help out.

NATO’s bombings of ammunition bunkers during the conflict last year “spread ordnance across open fields, thus creating a more dangerous and difficult problem,” it said.

August 2, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Libya, NATO, United Nations, UXO | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Job Op-Head of Operations – Explosive Ordnance Disposal & Humanitarian Mine Action

See at Reliefweb  July 12, 2012
Closing date: 09 Aug 2012

DanChurchAid (DCA) is seeking a visionary, dynamic Head of Operations for its Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) programmes around the globe. DCA is offering a job that will make a difference and improve the lives of people living at risk from Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and assist in the reconstruction of societies after conflict.

DCA has operational HMA programmes in Angola, Burma/Myanmar, DR Congo, Laos, Lebanon, Libya and Sudan, implementing the entire range of HMA activities.

The Head of Operations (HO) will be responsible for the coordination and supervision of all operational mine action aspects of the DCA HMA programmes. The HO will be comfortable in dealing with all external actors in strategic global HMA at all levels from UN agencies to local partner organisations. The challenging role extends to strategic advice, strategic planning, operational supervision, recruitment, training, impact measurement and ownership and operation of DCA’s HMA quality assurance mechanism.

How to apply:

Submit your application Please upload your letter of motivation, your CV and latest relevant diploma to www.noedhjaelp.dk/job or http://www.danchurchaid.org/get-involved/jobs/jobs-in-denmark no later than Thursday 9 August 2012. The interviews with the shortlisted candidates will be scheduled for Monday 20 August 2012. Initial interviews may take place by Skype, and relevant candidate(s) may be invited for a further interview in Copenhagen later in August.

For further information about this position please contact Head of Mine Action, Mr. Richard MacCormac at +45 2969 9138 or acting Head of Operations, Mr. M.J. Fred Pavey at +45 2969 9125. DCA promotes equal opportunity in terms of gender, race/ethnicity and belief and encourages all qualified and interested candidates to apply.

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Humanitarian Assistance, Landmines, Mine Clearance, NGO's, United Nations | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Urged to Increase Bomb-Clearing Aid for Laos

WASHINGTON  Inter Press Service  July 10, 2012

Disarmament activists and former U.S. ambassadors are urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to increase U.S. aid to Laos to clear millions of tonnes of unexploded ordinance (UXO) left by U.S. bombers on its territory during the Indochina War during her brief visit to the country Wednesday.

The visit, scheduled to last only a few hours on a hectic eight-nation tour by Clinton designed in part to underline the Barack Obama administration’s “pivot” from the Middle East to Asia, will nonetheless be historic. No sitting U.S. secretary of state has visited Laos since 1955.

Sources here said Clinton is considering a 100-million-dollar aid commitment to support bomb-clearing efforts over a 10-year period. Such a commitment would more than double the nearly 47 million dollars Washington has provided in UXO assistance since 1997 when it first began funding UXO programmes in Laos.

Please see the original and read more here

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Humanitarian Assistance, State Department, UXO | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ronco Consulting, Wackenhut, G4S 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.

June 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, G4S, Government Contractor, Landmines, Lawsuits, Private Military Contractors, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, State Department, Veterans, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

13,000 Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Cleared from Majnoon Oilfield

Iraq Business News  June 27, 2012

Hans Nijkamp, the head of Shell‘s operations in Iraq, has highlighted the success in removing explosive remnants of war (ERW) at the Majnoon oilfield, in which Shell has a 45% stake.

Speaking at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum 2012 conference in London last week, Nijkamp said that more than 12 million square metres had been cleared so far, and work was proceeding at a rate of around 70,000 m2 per day.

Over 250 staff from 4 different contractors were involved in the operation, and well over 13,000 items have been removed and disposed of through controlled demolition by the Iraqi Army. The largest single item was a 500 kg explosive.

Shell’s other partners in the Majnoon venture are Petronas (30% share) and the Missan Oil Company, representing the Iraqi State (25% share).

June 27, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Iraq, Landmines, UXO | , , , , , | 1 Comment

List of Unexploded Arms in Libya Is Called Lacking

The New York Times Africa  June 25, 2012

The release by NATO of a list of unexploded munitions from the alliance’s military action in Libya has been both welcomed as a step toward postconflict accountability and criticized as a half-measure that falls short of protecting civilians and specialists trying to rid the country of its hazards.

The United Nations said this month that NATO, in an exchange not publicly disclosed, had shared details of 313 possible sites of unexploded ordnance from the alliance’s action against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government last year. The alliance provided the latitude and longitude for each site, the weight of the ordnance and a description of the means of delivery (fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter gunship or naval vessel).

With the widespread use of sophisticated targeting sensors, with which aircrews record infrared video of the impact of a missile or bomb, air forces have a greater capacity than ever to know exactly where weapons struck and when they have failed to function properly. Such data is routinely gathered as part of what militaries call battle damage assessment. It is used to determine whether a target has been destroyed or should be hit again, and to assess the reliability and effectiveness of various missiles and bombs.

The data also presents options for humanitarian and cleanup efforts. When shared, it can allow for governments and mine-clearing organizations to alert residents of specific risks at specific places, and to focus efforts on removing high-explosive remnants of war. Its existence also suggests an opening for Western militaries to adopt a new standard for responsibility in air campaigns.

For these reasons, the United Nations, which had asked NATO for the data last year, welcomed the list, even though it contained limited information.

Please see the original and read more here

June 25, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Libya, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations, UXO | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Job Ops- Danish Demining Group South Iraq

At Alert Net   June 20, 2012

DDG Business Developer/Project Manager – South Iraq

Posted: 20 June 2012 Deadline: 08 July 2012
Job type: Contract Salary: TBD
Location: Iraq
Organisation: Danish Refugee Council (DRC) – Denmark

Purpose
The purpose of the Business Developer/Project Manager position is to provide oversight of Danish Demining Group Mine Action current activities and opportunities in Iraq and, where applicable, neighbouring countries, and thereby reveal new opportunities linked to humanitarian Mine Action as well as Service contracts.

Here for details

June 20, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Iraq, Landmines | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Death Illustrates Issues With Loose Weapons Stockpiles in Libya

The New York Times  June 13, 2012

The death of an Estonian explosive ordnance disposal technician in Libya this spring illustrates the continuing problem of loose weapons stockpiles almost a year after Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was driven from power.

The technician, Kaido Keerdo, died in March while examining unexploded munitions scattered near a police compound and checkpoint in Ad Dafniyah as part of his work for the nongovernmental group Danish Church Aid.

The checkpoint had been fought over by rival Libyan militias three nights before. The groups were quarreling over access to 22 shipping containers of Qaddafi-era munitions, according to the aid group’s investigation, the findings of which were described this week to The New York Times.

One of the containers was struck during the fighting and caught fire. The explosion that followed ruptured at least 11 containers, heaving into the air a poorly stored collection of grenades, rockets and mortar rounds, some of which landed almost 500 yards away.

The munitions, once seen by Libya’s armed groups as instruments for breaking free from internal repression and making the country safe, were then scattered near houses, a mosque and a school along Libya’s main coastal road. The inadequately trained militias and ad hoc police officers had stored rockets and shells with fuzes inserted, a configuration that compounded their dangers.

Among this refuse were 122-millimeter rockets containing Type 84 land mines, one of the most volatile weapons in Libya’s prewar stocks. Mr. Keerdo, a demining team leader, was surveying the police compound and apparently knelt near one of these rockets. At least one mine exploded, killing him instantly.

Please see the original and read more here

 

June 15, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Libya, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations, UXO | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lankan boy dies as bomb explodes in hands during beachcombing

Khaleej Times Qadijah Irshad / 6 June 2012

COLOMBO — A 15-year-old boy was killed when a bomb belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) exploded in his hands at a beach in Nainateevu, Jaffna.

Investigations have revealed that the ‘Arul bomb’ which the boy had picked up on the beach 10 minutes away from his home, was corroded and was unidentifiable as an explosive.

The bomb was a popular explosive used by the LTTE during the three-decade war against the Sri Lankan army.

“We were able to determine that the Arul bomb the boy had picked up was heavily corroded to an extent that the boy could not identify it as an explosive. We believe it might have exploded when he tried to clear the corrosion because he would have thought it was something of value,” said Military Spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya.

The parents of the boy said that their son had the habit of combing the beach for interesting items every morning.

June 5, 2012 Posted by | ERW, Explosive Remnants of War, Sri Lanka, UXO | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cambodia’s Most Dangerous Job?

Working in the fields isn’t typically considered a dangerous job. But with plantations still littered with unexploded ordnance, some Cambodians are looking for companies to step up.

The Diplomat May 30, 2012

Frustration grips Von Tha’s face as she fumbles with a hand that no longer works. Ron Run says that seeing his wife’s physical and mental struggle has, for him, been one of the hardest parts of the family’s ordeal. Two months since the explosion at a cassava plantation in Kratie, and the group of five are still feeling its effects. It’s a case that underscores the danger for workers at contaminated sites.

In Cambodia, companies and landowners can choose whether or not to clear areas used for commercial purposes such as agriculture, mining or ecotourism. With improved access to previously difficult to reach areas comes increased economic interest in utilising the land. Accidents on land used for enterprise illustrate the importance of ensuring known-risk areas are cleared of explosive remnants of war (ERW) before workers can enter the site and start tilling the soil.

Please see the original and read more here

June 4, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Cambodia, Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance, Safety and Security Issues, UXO | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somalia bans antipersonnel landmines

at Danish Demining Group May 29, 2012

The Trans Federal Government in Somalia has decided to join the Mine Ban Treaty of the United Nations. The mine action unit within the Danish Refugee Council recognizes and supports the development.

Somalia is one of the regions in Africa most contaminated by mines. As the last African country to officially ban use of landmines, Somalia has now agreed to destroy all stockpiles no later than 1 October 2016 and to clear all contaminated land no later than 1 October 2022.

In addition to this, Somalia is obliged to provide assistance to the thousands of mine victims. Somalia has never produced mines, but it is assessed that around 200 communities are contaminated by mines.

At least 159 casualties of landmines and explosive remnants of war in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) where recorded in 2010, including 19 children killed and 86 children injured. The true casualty figure is likely to be much higher.

“Joining the international Mine Ban Treaty happens despite ongoing conflict and shows that Somalia now recognizes the humanitarian impact of landmines,” says Klaus Ljørring Pedersen, DDG Regional Director for Horn of Africa & Yemen

Please see the original and read more here

June 4, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance, Somalia | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment