Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Undercounting Contractor Casualties in Iraq

by David Isenberg at Huffington Post  July 30, 2012

See Also Davids blog at the Isenberg Institute of Strategic Satire

A new report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) provides some detail on the sacrifices made by private contractors who engaged in reconstruction or stabilization activities in Iraq between May 1, 2003, and August 31, 2010.

The total number includes 318 Americans (U.S. military, federal civilian employees, and U.S. civilian contractors), 111 third-country nationals, 271 Iraqis and 19 of unknown nationality who were working in support of the U.S. reconstruction or stabilization mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Of course, the actual total number, as opposed to the merely official one, is almost certainly higher, according to the report

For several reasons, an exact calculation is not possible. First, no agency managed a central database for reconstruction or stabilization casualties. Each U.S. government entity involved in Iraq’s reconstruction–the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of State (DoS), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)–maintained its own employee casualty database. The Department of Labor (DoL) maintains a database of civilian contractors of all nationalities that were killed in Iraq who worked for or were contracted by U.S.-based companies or were insured through U.S. insurance carriers and notified DoL through the Defense Base Act.
Second, the databases we could access often did not contain enough detail to confirm whether a casualty was stabilization- or reconstruction-related. For example, there were 1,047 military casualties where the type of mission could not be determined.

Finally, there was no central source of information on third-country nationals or Iraqi civilians killed while working on or in support of U.S. projects.

What the report, “The Human Toll Of Reconstruction Or Stabilization Operations During Operation Iraqi Freedom” does say is that “Americans suffered 44 percent of the total reconstruction or stabilization-related deaths, including 264 from the Department of Defense (37 percent) and 54 U.S. federal civilian employees and U.S. civilian contractors (8 percent).” So, looking just at the very limited subset of contractors working stabilization and reconstruction-related activities, you get 57 deaths.

Please read the entire post here at Huffington Post

July 30, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Federal Workers, Government Contractor, SIGIR | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran respects all international demining treaties

Press TV  April 4, 2012
The Iranian Defense Minister says the country respects the content of all international treaties and conventions on demining and is planning to join them, Press TV reports.

“There are international treaties on demining and we respect their content. There is the Ottawa Convention and we are mulling accession to that convention,” Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi told Press TV on the sidelines of an international conference on demining.

The international conference on demining kicked off at Tehran’s permanent International Fairgrounds on Tuesday along with an exhibition of modern demining methods and a demining robot competition.

The three-day event is attended by Iranian and foreign military and civilian officials whose main goal is to find practical solutions for removing landmines and decreasing injuries and deaths caused by them.

According to some participants, there are around 120-140 million mines planted worldwide and for every mine removed, six mines are planted.

Mohammad Hossein Amir-Ahmadi, head of the Iran Mine Action Center, said the center was established in 2006 and 85 of the people working for it have lost their lives demining since then

Please see the original, the video, and read more here

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Demining, ERW, Federal Workers, Iran, Landmines, Mine Clearance, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bill giving flags to families of federal workers killed in the line of duty appears poised to pass

by Ed O’Keefe  Federal Eye The Washington Post  August 7, 2011

House lawmakers get back to work today and plan to vote on a bill dealing with federal workers. Amazingly — after years of acrimonious political debate and disagreement over the fate of federal workers — the legislation appears poised to pass with bipartisan approval.

The Civilian Service Recognition Act would require federal agencies to give flags to the families of federal employees killed in the line of duty.

Though the honor is normally reserved for military service members and veterans, Hanna says his bill “would provide a modest, but significant, benefit in honor of these dedicated individuals who sacrificed on our behalf.”

Since 1992, 2,965 federal workers have been killed while on duty, including diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan and an Internal Revenue Service killed when a small aircraft crashed into his Austin office building.

The bill, authored by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), would authorize agencies to pay for a flag for workers killed while on the job, to send the flag to the worker’s family at their request and to let workers know that the option is available. In order to make this happen, the bill also authorizes agencies to disclose information showing that the worker died, so long as revealing the information doesn’t jeopardize national security.

The bill has dozens of cosponsors of both parties and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — a frequent critic of feds — is also pushing for the bill’s passage

Please see the original here

September 7, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Federal Workers | , , , | Leave a comment