Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

At Least 59 Civilian Contractor Deaths in Second Quarter of 2012

WE ARE THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF THE WARS

According to the Department of Labor’s Defense Base Act Claim Summary Reports there were at least 59 Civilian Contractor Deaths filed on in the second quarter of 2012.

Keep in mind that 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.

Many foreign national and local national contractors and their families are never told that they are covered under the Defense Base Act and so not included in the count.

6 Contractor Deaths this quarter were in Iraq

42 Contractor Deaths  were in Afghanistan

1 Contractor Death  are Nation Pending

1 Contractor Death  in the United States

1 Contractor Death in the  United Arab Emirates

2 Contractor Deaths in Qatar

1 Contractor Death in Columbia

1 Contractor Death in Pakistan

1 Contractor Death in Liberia

1 Contractor Death in Mozambique

1 Contractor Death in Tajikistan

At least 2, 685  Defense Base Act Claims were filed during this quarter

At least 59 were death claims

At least 1074 were for injuries requiring longer than 4 days off work

At least  92 were for injuries requiring less than 4 days off work

At least 1460were for injuries requiring no time off of work

A total of 87, 505  Defense Base Act Claims have been filed since September 1, 2001

Contact dbacasualty@yahoo.com for questions regarding these numbers

July 3, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Iraq, Kuwait, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Benjamin Davine, Civilian Contractor with ITT Mission Systems, Killed in Kuwait

Hampstead veteran killed in Kuwait accident   August 5, 2011

HAMPSTEAD – The Hampstead community is mourning the death of a local Air Force veteran who was killed in an accident Wednesday while working as a civilian contractor in Kuwait.

Benjamin Davine, 27, died when his car was struck by a fuel tanker, his family told WMUR-TV.

A graduate of Pinkerton Academy in Derry, Davine was the son of Nancy and Howard Davine, a former Hampstead selectman and school board member.

Davine was reportedly working for ITT Mission Systems, providing support for military operations as a contract firefighter.

According to his Facebook page, Davine served as a firefighter for six years in the military before becoming a contractor.

Davine’s death overseas is the third to strike this small community in recent years.

Pfc. Matthew L. Bertolino, a Marine from Hampstead, was killed in Afghanistan in 2006. Army Capt. Jonathan D. Grassbaugh died a year later in a roadside bombing in Iraq. Grassbaugh was the son of Hampstead Middle School Principal Patti Grassbaugh.

“I really feel so, so sad. It’s just really unbelievable to have lost three of our students,” said Hampstead School Board Chairman Natalie Gallo.

Gallo remembers all three men when they attended school in Hampstead, where she was the middle school librarian for over 30 years before retiring in 2000. Davine’s mother also once worked at the middle school.

“I just really and truly can’t believe it,” Gallo said.

Please see the original article here

August 5, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Government Contractor, Kuwait | , , , , | Leave a comment

Prosecutors Pursuing New Charges Against Suspended Defense Contractor Agility

POGO Project on Government Oversight

This week, it was reported that federal prosecutors are investigating potential new criminal charges against Agility, the Kuwaiti logistics company under indictment for overcharging the U.S. military on food supply contracts.

Agility (formerly Public Warehousing Company KSC and PWC Logistics), has been suspended from federal contracting since being indicted in November 2009. (The suspension record can be found on the Excluded Parties List System website.) Agility is also facing a civil False Claims Act lawsuit in the matter. The criminal charges also prompted DynCorp International to fire Agility as its main subcontractor in Afghanistan. This is what happens when you get caught “Playing With Uncle Sam’s Food,” as POGO wrote when we first heard about the case.

According to a court order, prosecutors subpoenaed an Agility executive, retired U.S. Army General Dan Mongeon, to testify before a grand jury in order to explore possible new charges. Agility is accused of overcharging the Department of Defense by inflating food prices and submitting false information on food supply contracts awarded between 2003 and 2005. It is not clear what General Mongeon’s testimony will add to the case, which seemed on the verge of settling last year.

Please read the entire report at POGO

July 27, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Iraq, Kuwait, Legal Jurisdictions | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ITT Systems Corp wins Kuwait Base Operations and Security Support Services Contract

Defpro  July 19, 2011

ITT Systems Corp., Colorado Springs, Colo., was awarded a $267,918,208 cost-plus-award-fee contract.

The award will provide for the modification of an existing contract to provide base operations and security support services in support of the military troops and equipment moving through the country of Kuwait. Work will be performed in Kuwait, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 28, 2015. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with five bids received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-10-C-0062).

July 19, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contracts Awarded, Government Contractor, Kuwait, Private Military Contractors | , , , , | 1 Comment

Subcontracting Substandard Services: Military Contracts in Iraq Still Controversial

by David Isenberg  at CorpWatch   June 27th, 2011

Najlaa International Catering Services won a $3 million five-year contract in February 2010 to prepare food for the U.S. Agency for International Development compound in Iraq. The deal was approved despite the fact that Bill Baisey, CEO of the Kuwaiti company, faces numerous complaints and court actions for non-payment of bills and alleged fraud in Kuwait and Iraq.

U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been plagued by private military contractors that have performed poorly or failed miserably in fulfilling their contracts. Some overstated their capabilities or were badly managed and under-skilled, while others committed outright fraud.

Past investigations concentrated on major contractors such as Halliburton and Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), but recently the smaller companies – such as Najlaa – to which these giants subcontract have drawn fire.

“The government has limited visibility into subcontractor affairs and limited ability to influence their actions,” said former U.S. Congressman Christopher Shays at a July 2010 hearing of the Commission on Wartime Contracting. “This fact presents a challenge to transparency and accountability for the use of taxpayers’ dollars. Poorly conceived, poorly structured, poorly conducted, and poorly monitored subcontracting can lead to poor choices in security measures and damage to U.S. foreign policy objectives, among other problems.”

The United States, however, has become so dependent on contractors who do the laundry, feed the troops, and build and run facilities that it would be difficult if not impossible for the military to continue without them.

Please read the entire story here

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Iraq, KBR, Kuwait, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SAIC subcontracts ammo logistics support to DynCorp

FALLS CHURCH, Va.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)DynCorp International (DI) announced today that it has been selected as a subcontractor by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) [NYSE: SAI] to support the 1st Theater Sustainment Command (1st TSC), providing munitions logistics services support for Department of Defense and coalition forces throughout the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility.

The subcontract has a one-year base period of performance and four one-year options. The total contract value is more than $33 million, if all options are exercised. Work will be performed primarily in Kuwait.

Under the subcontract, DynCorp International will help provide labor and other resources necessary for the storage and handling of ammunitionRead the entire press release here

March 17, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, DynCorp, Government Contractor, Kuwait | , , , , , | Leave a comment

KBR Managers Allegedly Received Kickbacks from Dining Facility Subcontractor

MsSparky at MsSparky.com  March 16, 2011

WASHINGTON – March 16, 2011 – In response to a pending lawsuit from Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. (KBR) in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the Department of Justice has filed counterclaims alleging that KBR managers had received kickbacks from a dining facility subcontractor in violation of the and the .  The subcontractor was retained in connection with KBR’s contract with the U.S. Army to provide logistical support to the military in Iraq and elsewhere.  The counterclaims also allege that the kickbacks should cause KBR to forfeit its claims against the United States and to return money paid by the United States as reimbursement to KBR upon the tainted subcontract.

The counterclaims assert that, from late 2002 through 2003, , who was KBR’s regional food services manager for Iraq and Kuwait, and his deputy, , received more than $45,000 in kickbacks from , vice president of Global Company.  Khan provided the kickbacks to ensure that was treated favorably by KBR.  Hall and Holmes used their positions to advocate on behalf of , and, during the time that they received the kickbacks, KBR awarded subcontracts worth more than $400 million.  Other KBR managers knew of apparent irregularities involving the Tamimi subcontracts, but approved them anyway.

Please read the entire post here

Department of Justice Press Release

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Government Contractor, Iraq, KBR, Kuwait | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ManTech wins $488 million logistics contract with U.S. Army

Virginia Business.com

ManTech International Corp. has received a $488 million contract to provide logistics support for the U.S. military’s mine-resistant vehicles.

The Fairfax-based defense contractor will monitor and sustain the armored vehicles, which are designed to survive IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and ambushes. ManTech will assess and repair damaged vehicles.

Work will be performed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and at locations throughout the U.S. as required.

The contract includes a base period and 11 options totaling 11 months.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contracts Awarded, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Iraq, Kuwait, Pentagon | , , , | 2 Comments

Maj Eddie Pressley, Eurica Pressley go on Trial Today

Updated:  Jury selection begins

Brian Lawson The Huntsville Times

HUNTSVILLE, AL — A couple from Harvest are scheduled to go on trial this morning in Decatur on nearly $3 million in federal bribery and money laundering charges stemming from Army contract work in Kuwait and Iraq.

U.S. Army Maj. Eddie Pressley, an Army contracting officer, is charged with taking $2.8 million in bribes from a defense contractor in exchange for approving an open-ended contract to provide bottled water and fences in Kuwait and Iraq.

Prosecutors allege the deal occurred while Pressley was serving in Kuwait from October 2004 to October 2005.

The contractor, Terry Hall of Georgia, pleaded guilty to bribery and money laundering last year. Hall allegedly received $9.3 million from the arrangement with Pressley and a total of $21 million in contract work in dealings with other Army officials who have also been charged in the case.

Along with the bribery charges, the government charged the couple with money laundering of the bribery funds. They allege Mrs. Pressley set up bank accounts in Madison, Dubai and the Cayman Islands, between 2004 and 2007, moved money around and later bought property and cars.

The case is to be heard in the U.S. District Court in Decatur, before U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins.

The prosecution is being led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s of Public Integrity Section, which operates out of Washington, D.C.

Eddie Pressley is being represented by attorney Clyde E. Riley of Birmingham. Eurica Pressley’s attorneys are Robert Joe McLean and Thomas J. Spina, also of Birmingham, according to court records.

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Iraq, Kuwait, Legal Jurisdictions, Pentagon | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-military contractor gets prison for bribery

Chron AP Texas News

HOUSTON — A former senior employee of a U.S. military employee got a three-year-and-one-month prison sentence for her part in a conspiracy to bribe Army contracting officials at a U.S. base in Kuwait.

Dorothy Ellis was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to a single count of conspiracy to bribe public officials. U.S. District Judge David Hittner of Houston also ordered the 53-eyar-old Texas City woman to serve three years of probation and pay $360,000 in restitution. She’s the 14th of 16 people charged in the case to plead guilty.

Maj. Eddie Pressley and his wife Eurica Pressley are scheduled for trial in a Decatur, Ala., federal court Jan. 31. They allegedly took $2.8 million in bribes from a contractor who delivered bottled water and building fences in Kuwait and Iraq.

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Iraq, Kuwait | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pentagon forced to extend Iraq contracts that are under appeal

By Walter Pincus at The Washington Post

The Defense Department is being forced to extend multimillion-dollar contracts for services in Iraq, including one with a firm under criminal indictment, because losing bidders have legally challenged the companies selected as replacements.

Agility, a Kuwaiti firm charged in November 2009 with overbilling food contracts worth $8.5 billion over four years for troops, civilians and contractors in Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait, recently received a $26 million, six-month contract extension. The extension was granted because another Kuwaiti concern challenged the April award of the food contract to Agility’s replacement, Anham, a Dubai-based conglomerate.

A second firm, Fulcra Worldwide of Arlington was awarded an extension worth $5 million on its strategic communications contract in Iraq with U.S. Central Command after Fulcra itself filed a claim against loss of the contract to another bidder, SOS International, a New York firm with offices in Reston.

The Defense Logistics Agency, which supervises the food contract, decided to extend the Agility contract through April 2011 while the protest against Anham by another bidder is being adjudicated by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Agility had been scheduled to transition the work, which amounts to more than $300 million a year, to Anham. However, cargo shipper Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport filed a protest against the award on the grounds that Anham’s proposal failed to meet criteria set out in the contract offering.

While a decision by the GAO is expected shortly, Anham has been delayed in preparing to take over the contract, which involves not only purchasing and supplying food and other items, but also warehousing it in Kuwait before shipping to Iraq and Jordan to meet the needs of about 145,000 people.

Meanwhile, Agility, which has been barred from bidding directly or through affiliates on new U.S. contracts, will continue to provide provisions under the contract extension. The company also has been fighting the Justice Department indictment in federal court in Georgia claiming it cannot be subpoenaed or tried anywhere outside Kuwait. After the indictment, Agility closed its U.S. offices, even though top officials of the subsidiary handling the contract are not only U.S. citizens but also former Army generals, one of whom served in a senior position with the Defense Logistics Agency.

Central Command announced last week it had to extend the Fulcra contract for six months because to “award to any other source would result in unacceptable delays and negatively impact the ability” of U.S. forces in Iraq to carry on “all aspects of media communications activities,” according to the paper justifying the decision.

Under the contract, which it has had for more than three years, Fulcra not only works directly with the Iraq government spokesman and ministers at the Defense and Interior ministries, but also carries out monitoring of media in Iraq, plans strategic messaging, and manages web materials for English and Arabic sites supporting the Iraq command. Fulcra is the new name for the Lincoln Group, which as a Pentagon contractor in 2005 was found to have paid Iraqi newspapers to print stories written by American soldiers or its employees.

Fulcra lost its bid on the new contract in June and in July filed the first of three complaints with the GAO. It lost the first two and before the last one was settled, the firm filed a protest in October with the United States Court of Federal Claims, where it is pending. Meanwhile, Central Command was faced with a dilemma since Fulcra’s complaint prevented SOS International from making preparations to begin work and keeping Fulcra in place was its only option.

Fulcra is claiming that SOS filed an “unreasonably low-priced proposal,” according to its complaint before the Court of Federal Claims. Arguing the new contract was “largely similar” to the one Fulcra now holds, the firm said its current monthly price was $531,459 while the SOS bid averaged out to $158,620 a month for what were to be “largely similar” services. In the complaint, Fulcra argues that SOS’s bid, which offered a 70 percent reduction in cost, was “unrealistic” and thus should have been”technically unacceptable” by Central Command.

Fulcra described the SOS bid as a “bait and switch” violation, where the offer misrepresents its costs with the hopes of winning the contract and then expects to be paid based on higher actual expenditures.

SOS’s response to the allegations was sealed and a lawyer representing the firm said she would not comment on the case. Please see the original here

See also at MsSparky

December 13, 2010 Posted by | Contractor Corruption, Department of Defense, Iraq, Kuwait, Pentagon | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anham Says Logistics Contract With U.S. Department of Defense is Final

Bloomberg Middle East

Anham FCZO LLC said its logistics contract with the U.S. Department of Defense is final and that it has started to implement it with a view to fully taking over the order by the end of this year.

“It has been final for a while,” Managing Director Mogheith Sukhtian told reporters today in Kuwait City. “We have a signed contract with the U.S. government.”

Dubai-based Anham said April 16 it was awarded a $2.2 billion contract by the U.S. Defense Department to provide logistical support to U.S. troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan.

Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Co., a cargo shipper, said April 28 that it filed an objection to the awarding of the contract to Anham, which it said failed to meet criteria. The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency decided to take “corrective measures” regarding the objection and will receive amended offers from bidders “to take new decisions for a new settlement,” Kuwait & Gulf Link said in July.

“The protest process is a part of the U.S. government contracting process and it’s conducted in the normal course of U.S government contracts,” Sukhtian said. “So we’re undergoing the process but in the meantime, what we can say, is that the contract is being executed. We anticipate the transition between the incumbent and us to be completed by the end of the year,” Sukhtian added.

The incumbent contractor, Agility Public Warehousing Co., is the Middle East’s largest storage and logistics company and faces charges of overbilling the U.S government on a multibillion dollar contract to supply food for troops in Kuwait and Iraq. Agility had said it was in talks to resolve legal cases with the U.S. Department of Justice and there was no guarantee a settlement would be agreed.

A U.S. magistrate recommended the dismissal of an indictment against Agility’s unit, Agility DGS Holdings Inc., in connection with the company’s contract to feed U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait, Agility said Oct. 11. Please see the original story here

 

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Iraq, Kuwait | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overseas Contractor Count For Third Quarter 2010

From Danger Zone Jobs

In 3rd quarter FY 2010, USCENTCOM reported approximately 224,433 contractor personnel working for the DoD in the USCENTCOM AOR. There was a decrease in contractors AOR wide of ~10% this quarter (from 250K to 224K), with significant decreases in Iraq and a steady state in Afghanistan.

A breakdown of those personnel is provided here. This update reports DoD contractor personnel numbers in theater. It covers DoD contractor personnel deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).

 

 

IRAQ SUMMARY

The main categories of contracts in Iraq and the percentages of contractors working on them are displayed below:

Base Support 49,256 (61.8%)
Security 11,413 (14.3%)
Translator / Interpreter 5,165 (6.4%)
Logistics / Maintenance 488 (.6%)
Construction 1,336 (1.7%)
Transportation 1,782 (2%)
Communication Support 603 (.7%)
Training 574 (.7%)
Other 9,004 (11.3%)
Total 79,621

OIF Contractor Posture Highlights:

  • There was a ~17% decrease (from 95K to 79K) in contractors in Iraq compared to the 2nd quarter FY 2010 census due to ongoing efforts to reduce the contractor footprint in Iraq.
  • USF-I remains on track to reduce the contractor footprint to 50K-75K by Sep 30, 2010.
  • The military to contractor ratio in Iraq is 1 to 1.14
  • We expect a steeper decrease in the number of overall contractors as FOBs close and military footprint is reduced throughout FY 11
  • DoD and DoS are planning for post-2011 contract support

 

AFGHANISTAN SUMMARY

The main categories of contracts in Afghanistan are similar to those shown in the Iraq summary. We are working to present a similar detailed breakout for Afghanistan. We are currently capturing data by contracting activity as follows:

Joint Contracting Command- Afghanistan 19,181 (18%)
LOGCAP 27,491 (25.5%)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 26,191 (24.5%)
DLA 6,791 (6%)
INSCOM 5,371 (5%)
Other* 22,454 (21%)
Total 107,479

*Includes Army Materiel Command, Air Force External and Systems Support contracts, Special Operations Command.

OEF Contractor Posture Highlights:

  • The total number of contractor personnel in Afghanistan has remained constant in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2010.
  • The military to contractor ratio in Afghanistan is 1 to 1.07.
  • The number of local nationals employed on DoD contracts in Afghanistan is 68% of the overall contractor mix, just below the commander’s goal of 70%; CENTCOM is analyzing methods to enhance LN percentage to support COIN goals.

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

USCENTCOM reports, as of 3rd quarter FY 2010, the following distribution of private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan:

October 24, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Africa, Civilian Contractors, Iraq, Kuwait, Pentagon | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon watchdog broken, U.S. money at risk: report

The Pentagon’s top watchdog has abandoned efforts to do in-depth audits of defense contracts, leaving billions of dollars in taxpayer money at risk because of overpayments and fraud, according to an investigative report due to be made public on Thursday.

Rueters by Scot J Paltrow

The report, written by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley’s staff and obtained by Reuters, concludes that the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General has focused instead on less important types of audits, and that its productivity has plunged in recent years.

It said the inspector general’s office in fiscal 2009, which ended September 30, 2009, did not audit any “major or non-major weapons contract or contractor.”

The report contends too that the inspector general’s office has failed to follow up even when it finds evidence of serious misdeeds.

In one example, auditors in 2007 stumbled upon a recurring error in the Pentagon’s overall financial statements, because military officials had failed to record $1 billion in proceeds from the sale of closed U.S. military bases in Europe.

They also found that about $107 million of the money had disappeared. However, senior officials turned down the auditors’ recommendation to launch an investigation.

The watchdog’s poor performance, the report says, has resulted in little oversight in recent years of annual payments to contractors, which currently total more than $390 billion, up from $154 billion in 2001.

The report said that misdirected efforts by the watchdog left “huge sums of the taxpayers’ money vulnerable to fraud and outright theft.”

It said this lack of thorough audits occurred despite a 35 percent increase in the inspector general’s staff since 2003, to 765 employees.

The Grassley report, however, also puts heavy blame on the Defense Department itself for inadequate oversight of contracts.  Please read the entire story here

September 9, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, DynCorp, Iraq, Kuwait, Pentagon | , , , , , | Leave a comment

GORDON DUFF: “ZOMBIE CONTRACTORS,” THE PENTAGON’S 100 BILLION DOLLAR BOONDOGGLE

PENTAGON SCAM ENRICHES “REVOLVING DOOR” BUDDIES

Cookies and Bible Verses

By Gordon Duff at Veterans Today

A water truck backs up to the Euphrates River in Iraq.  The driver, a Ugandan or maybe an Ethiopian, gets out, lowers a hose into the sewage ridden flow and fills his truck.  5 miles away, a US Army water purification center sits, too far away.  The driver thinks, “water is water.”  Another of the Pentagon’s “Zombie Contractors” take their toll, part of the army of “undead” and unqualified who are the world’s most expensive work force.

The driver, an employee of a company once headed by the Vice President of the United States, could care less, clean water, filth or sewage, it is only going to American troops as drinking water.

The words “typhoid” or “hepatitis” mean nothing to him, he has never heard them and certainly didn’t read them in his daily log.  He never reads anything.  He can’t as he is illiterate like tens of thousands of other employees that the American taxpayer is coughing up $1000 a day for, even more, sometimes much more.

The driver considers himself well paid at $10 dollars a day.

The troops drinking the water would only find out weeks later that it was contaminated with sewage.  Similarly, 33 American soldiers have been electrocuted by faulty wiring installed by work crews that wouldn’t know “positive” from “negative.”  The Pentagon paid for journeymen and got third world unemployed, swept up off the streets, trucked out of the slums of Africa or South America, many decent and hard working people but to the contracting firms, American, British and Israeli, mostly, they are nothing but a way of defrauding the Pentagon, something any child could do.

The Pentagon doesn’t care, not as long as the company’s politics are right and, under the Bush administration, “right” meant extreme right.

Americans have been told the hundreds of thousands of highly paid contractors in, not only Iraq and Afghanistan but throughout the Middle East, were veterans, most Marines, Rangers, Seals and Special Forces, paid a thousand dollars a day to put their lives on the line and, in the process, building a “net egg” for their lives, should they survive and return home.  The controversy, we were told, was that our active duty troops only made a fraction as much.  This story, however, was only meant to deceive, dissemble and misinform. Yes, many veterans hold security contracting jobs and pull down high dollars but the truth is far different than we were told.

One contracting firm, handing security for the United States Air Force, had over 8000 employees in Afghanistan.  All were assumed to be Rangers, SAS or other combat vets.  In reality, only 6 were trained military veterans from these services.  Every other employee was, not only “third world” but also never trained or members of military forces rated, frankly, as armed rabble.

The Pentagon paid nearly as much for one of these shoeless, uneducated and untrained contractors in a week as a flag officer makes in a month, actually more than that, embarrassingly more.

What are these contractors paid, who sees if they are qualified or even checks of they are wanted criminals?  Well, actually, no one.  Americans, veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan go through security screenings, rigorous and continual,even humiliating drug testing but the majority of their fellows, including tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of “kitchen workers” or related professions could be anyone, could be and certainly are.

Questions come to mind.  Why would the most expensive and highest paid military force on earth with the most technologically advanced surveillance systems imaginable need to be guarded by third world nationals cited for performing their duties in filthy shorts, no shoes or shirt and carrying an aging rusted Soviet weapon from a scrap heap?

Have you noticed you have never seen one of the thousands of real security contractors from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Uganda and other areas of Africa in photographs?  All you see are burly ex-Marines, armed to the teeth.

Ever see a photograph of the living quarters for the other workers, the ones who clean the toilets, cook the food, and outnumber our troops?  Why are they hidden?  Is something wrong?  Why the secrecy?  Are we too busy photographing troops tiptoeing  through poppy fields to look into the issue of “guest workers.”  How do the Pentagon’s favorites, the “no-bid” boys get away with over-billing billions for “mercenaries” when, in actuality they are supplying house maids, janitors dishwashers and billing as though they were all hedge fund managers.

For those who are working “security,” for each burly ex-Ranger, there are a hundred near starving Ethiopians being paid “cigarette money.”  Try finding a photograph of one of them.  You stand as much chance of finding nuclear weapons assembly videos.

At least the mercenary army, shoes or no shoes, has weapons that work, no matter how old or dirty.  The Pentagon has more games than simply throwing away billions to pay workers that may not exist.  There is big money in defective weapons also.

Yes, we admit, a 30 year old AK 47 assembled in Nigeria is less likely to jam in combat than the M-4 carbine, according to every test ever run.  We could talk about the boondoggle “single source” contract, spending hundreds of millions on a weapon troops not only don’t trust but has proven useless in the long range combat of Afghanistan.  We could talk about where 250,000 AK 47′s, not junk, but new “top of the line” models with forged receivers simply disappeared.

Our hope is that they ended up at the bottom of the Euphrates River, dumped, truckload after truckload by impatient Rwandan truckers looking to shorten their workday.  I am sure we will be seeing those weapons again, not at a local gun show in Colorado, but “business end first” during our next “endless war” but I digress.

What don’t we know about who we pay hundreds of billions of dollars for?

At one time I was told the US Army had 125,000 kitchen workers in Iraq alone.  Then I was told the figure was actually much higher.  The total contractor figure, during the time of our highest troop deployments was three times that of the number of soldiers in theater.  Who are they and what are they paid?  Nobody knows, in particular, congress, the General Accounting Office and the Department of Defense and no one is asking.

We don’t have a remote idea what any of the contractors actually do, where they live, what their jobs are and if they do them at all or if they actually exist at all.  We simply pay and pay.

In fact, the job of overseeing contractors is, in itself, actually contracted out.  Oh, it gets better, the job of overseeing the contractors who oversee the contractors is contracted out also.  Is there an end to this?  We haven’t found it yet.

See the Original at Veterans Today

September 5, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Iraq, Kuwait, Pentagon, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment