Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Consequences of Pursuit of Profit

That dispute led to the under-equipment and under-preparation of the security team on which the four Blackwater employees died.   Their deaths led the military to launch an invasion of Fallujah.

So here it is: A contract dispute led to a major development in a major war of the United States – and that is Paul’s point.

David Isenberg at PMC Observer

Reduced to its essentials every argument and debate about the use of private military and security contractors comes down to two words; outsourcing and privatization. The argument is simply whether they are good and bad.
Personally I think that, like most other things, the answer is maybe. Hey, if you want absolutes take up physics.

But lately, partly I suppose, in response to the predictable quadrennial Republican party blather about the glories of the free market – cue the inevitable segue into why America needs a purported businessman like Mitt Romney to “fix America” – my repressed academic side has been pondering the pitfalls of privatizing the battlefield.

Before going any further let me acknowledge the contribution and sacrifice of PMSC personnel. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never has so much depended on such an unacknowledged few.

That said, let’s turn to one of the iconic contractor moments of the U.S.involvement in Iraq; the killing of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah in 2004.

Please go to David’s blog and read the entire post

 

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Follow the Money, Halliburton, KBR, LOGCAP, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CENTCOM rewards KBR’s dismal LOGCAP performance with $3.8 billion MATOC Contract

Awarded U.S. Central Command’s Multiple Award Task Order Contract

Cross Posted from MsSparky

BusinessWire – June 30, 2011
KBR (NYSE:KBR) today announced that it has been awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Middle East District the U.S. Central Command’s () Multiple Award Task Order Contract (). This new program has an overall value of $3.8 billion, with a period of performance currently at two base years, with one-year options available for the following three years.

Under the previous CENTCOM MATOC program, KBR successfully executed $620M worth of projects across 32 separate task orders, thereby establishing a longstanding history with this client. The current MATOC program will support design-build and construction projects throughout the 20 countries of the CENTCOM area of responsibility, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, U.A.E., Uzbekistan and Yemen. A large majority of the task orders anticipated for this MATOC program include vital projects directly supporting the U.S. Military and U.S. Government in the various regions.

“It is a privilege for KBR to be given the opportunity to continue to work with the Middle East District , and to continue to offer a high level of services and quality facilities to our military personnel located throughout the world,” said , Group President, Infrastructure, Government & Power.

KBR is a global engineering, construction and services company supporting the energy, hydrocarbon, government services, minerals, civil infrastructure, power, industrial, and commercial markets. For more information, visit www.kbr.com. (Click HERE for original article)

Please see the original post at MsSparky.com

June 30, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Contracts Awarded, KBR, LOGCAP, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sallyport Wins KBR LOGCAP Contract and Transitions in 60 Days

Press release from PR Web  June 29, 2011

Sallyport was awarded the Fire and Emergency Services contract for Iraq under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP III). The Prime contractor for the LOGCAP in Iraq is Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc, who provides basic life support services to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and civilian contract personnel.

Fire and Emergency Services is categorized as a “High Risk” job, and has many critical components. Recognizing Sallyport’s reputation in this critical sector, KBR sub-contracted the entire Fire and Emergency portion of the BLS to them. This allowed KBR to focus on what they do best, whilst benefiting from Sallyport’s industry-wide experience in protecting lives, fighting fire, and mitigating property damage.

The transition for this contract was exceptional; within 60 days, Sallyport had established an HQ in Baghdad, transitioned 21 sites across the country – an area the size of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama combined – and built an operational capacity of over 500 firefighters. This made Sallyport the largest contract fire department in the DoD, and the 78th largest fire department nationwide.  Read the entire press release here

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contracts Awarded, Government Contractor, Iraq, KBR, LOGCAP | , , , , | Leave a comment

DynCorp International Mourns the Loss of LOGCAP Team Member

March 28, 2011 The DI family is mourning the loss of Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) team member Angela Kiti of Nairobi, Kenya, who was killed on March 27, 2011 during a rocket attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Ms. Kiti, 26, joined the team as a billeting coordinator on February 2, 2011.

“Every one of our team members who leaves the comforts of his or her home in order to help others around the world is a hero. Angela worked with our LOGCAP team in Kandahar and, sadly, is now part of a group of heroic individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice while supporting coalition military and civilian personnel in Afghanistan,” said DI chairman and CEO Steve Gaffney. “We are deeply saddened by this loss and our hearts go out to all of Angela’s loved ones during this difficult time.”

Please keep Angela’s family, friends, colleagues and the entire LOGCAP team in your thoughts and prayers.

March 30, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, DynCorp, LOGCAP | , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Another Dyncorp LOGCAP IV Project Manager bites the dust

March 1, 2011 MsSparky

It was just last September when I wrote about the resignation/demotion/transfer call it what you will of Dyncorp’s manager Hank Miller and his Deputy Project Manager . Many many employees breathed a sigh of relief as these two headed to the tarmac.

During the rein of Hank Miller and Scott Mount, many Dyncorp employees were not being paid on time, employee turnover was very high, moral was very low and according to my sources the client was not happy with Dyncorp’s performance. There was much anticipation with the announcement that would replace Hank Miller in the position of Project Manager. I have to be honest the number of complaints I’ve heard from Dyncorp employees has drastically reduced since took the helm.

That didn’t last but six months and now Joe Schmitt has joined the ranks of “Past LOGCAP PM’s”. Reportedly there was a “incident” at near Kandahar involving Schmitt and the Base Commander, Colonel Applegate. It is alleged, the incident may have gotten physical. Regardless of the reasons, no one should EVER go there, especially our leaders. I don’t know if it was a voluntary or encouraged resignation of his position, but Dyncorp really had no other choice but to remove him from Theater. I have yet to confirm the rumors regarding Colonel Applegate’s consequences. It’s unfortunate on both sides.

Please read the entire post with documents and comments here

March 2, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, DynCorp, LOGCAP | , , , , | 3 Comments

Troops or Private Contractors: Who Does Better in Supplying Our Troops During War?

Charles M. Smith for Truthout Wednesday February 23, 2011

In testimony before the House on March 11, 2010, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Dr. Ashton B. Carter, stated, “All studies show that that [organic support, i.e. using troops] is more expensive than contractors and a distraction from military functions for military people.”(1)

While this is sometimes an accurate statement, the Army should not just automatically choose contractor support over organic support without serious and honest additional analysis. With the continuing experience of extensive LOGCAP logistics support for Afghan and Iraq wars, the Army has the opportunity to re-evaluate decisions to use contractors for combat service support. The main support contractor for most of the time of these current wars, KBR, has had many failed reviews and received much criticism by DoD investigators and Congress. With the price tag of KBR’s LOGCAP contracts hitting above $40 billion, there are many lessons to be learned from their cost and performance failures. Such a review can evaluate the additional risks posed by contractors on the battlefield, along with any cost savings.

Cost Comparison

The major cost comparison study of troop versus KBR LOGCAP support was performed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in 2005. This study was performed during the first two years of combat in Iraq and had significant data. The CBO compared Task Order 59 on the LOGCAP III contract, which provided support to Joint Task Force Seven (CJTF-7), the initial designation of troop units in Iraq. Task Order 59 accounted for over 50 percent of LOGCAP costs during the two years it was in effect.

The CBO estimated the number of Army units necessary to carry out the full range of tasks which Task Order 59 provided for JTF-7. They determined that “177 units of 38 distinct types, populated by 12,067 soldiers” would be required. They took into account units already in the military force structure, but unavailable because they are assigned to other missions, such as Korea. For their model, CBO assumed a 20-year period with two contingency operations and two periods of peacetime, in which units were trained and reconstituted. They calculated the cost per soldier, with the average length of service and the accumulation of veterans and retirement benefits. Unlike previous studies, the CBO factored in the different costs of reserve and regular Army units.

Based on these calculations, the cost of troop support would be $78.4 billion for the 20-year period. LOGCAP support is calculated to cost $41.4 billion for this period. Based upon the CBO calculations, the cost difference over a 20-year period would be $37 billion dollars, in 2005 dollars. The study found that organic support costs approximately 90 percent more than using contractors.

The CBO study examined a variety of operational scenarios, differing lengths for missions and peacetime, and found that the cost differential was not sensitive to these variations. The study is, however, extremely sensitive to a major assumption of the analysis, the Army’s rotation schedule. The Army policy is for a three-year rotational schedule. One year is spent performing a mission, followed by a year of reconstitution and a year of training for the next mission. Given this schedule, each unit created to replace the LOGCAP contract must have two other similar units to complete the rotation cycle. If the Army could live with a two-year rotational schedule for support units, the cost differential between organic support and LOGCAP would be significantly reduced especially since, in reality, the Army has not strictly kept to a three-year schedule and many of our troops are on their fifth or sixth deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Please read the entire article/report here

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, LOGCAP, Pentagon, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , | Leave a comment

IG finds Army mismanaged contingency operations support contract

Logistics Civil Augementation Program Support Contract Needs to Comply with Aquisition Rules

by Robert Brodsky at Goverment Exec

Army procurement officials failed to properly manage a key support contract for contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, awarding millions of dollars of work without competition and disclosing bidders’ proprietary information without their knowledge or consent, according to a watchdog’s new report.

The report by the Defense Department inspector general found scores of internal control weaknesses associated with the Army Sustainment Command’s management of a support contract for the massive Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, which provides a host of services and in-theatre assistance to soldiers. Three firms — DynCorp International, Fluor Corp. and KBR — compete for task orders on the LOGCAP IV contract.

Serco Inc. of Vienna, Va., in February 2007 won a $117 million support contract to help the Army plan and estimate costs of task orders on the LOGCAP IV contract. But, according to auditors, Army officials allowed the scope of Serco’s contract to expand to non-LOGCAP requirements without taking the proper steps to ensure competition and prevent conflicts of interest.

Please read the entire article by Robert Brodsky here

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Contract Awards, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, DynCorp, Fluor, Government Contractor, Iraq, KBR, LOGCAP, Pentagon | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MsSparky’s 1000th Blog Post

Cross Posted from MsSparky

Oh my! 1000 published blog posts! Who would have figured after 30 months of investigative blogging I would still be at it. 1000 published posts is a huge accomplishment for any blogger. I’m very proud of this milestone!

One would think I would have run out of things to write about regarding Defense contracting fraud and Pentagon incompetence, but it just keeps spewing forth. It’s like the Defense Departments very own “Old Faithful” geyser of crap! It just keeps blowing! I have to thank companies like Fluor, Dyncorp, CSA, SBH, Blackwater, ArmorGroup, Agility and mostly….(tearing up) KBR for making stupid management decisions that always give me something to write about. I will be forever grateful (sniff sniff).

I couldn’t have met this milestone without the support of my friends and family, my regular readers, guest writers, other collaborating bloggers, published authors, investigative reporters, super sleuths, whistle blowers, attorneys, concerned citizens, former and current defense contractor employees, widows, spouses, parents and most importantly………

I have to say, this has been a most amazing journey with the most interesting twists and turns along the way. Blogging at is not like any 9-5 job I’ve ever had. I can’t really plan my day. I may THINK I know what I’m going to be doing after I get that first cup of coffee, but then reality sets in when I open my email and there’s some little (or big) gem of information. I just get all excited like a kid on Christmas morning! 2010 has been an interesting year because the majority of my work has been unpublished and behind the scenes. It doesn’t pay much in dollars, but I think this is the most rewarding and satisfying job I have every had!

One of the hardest, but most rewarding parts of this job is watching victims prevail as they doggedly pursue justice not only for themselves but for others. I’ve watched victims overcome tragedy and turn their pain and grief into something positive for those still suffering. I’m in constant awe of the strength and determination of the human spirit.

Without a doubt, the very best part of this job are the friends I’ve made along way.  Some, I’ve never met in person. Some, I never will, but friends just the same. I am truly blessed!

Thank you for the FIRST 1000 posts!

Please see the original with comments at MsSparky

December 15, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, ArmorGroup, Blackwater, Burn Pits, Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Contractor Corruption, DynCorp, EODT, G4S, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, LOGCAP, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, Triple Canopy, Wackenhut | , , , | 1 Comment

‘OFWs returning from Iraq won’t be punished’

abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – Job offers, not sanctions, are waiting for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who violated the Philippine government’s deployment ban to Iraq.

This was the assurance made by Carmelita Dimzon, head of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), amid the US government’s order to its subcontractors in Iraq to repatriate Filipino workers.

“I don’t think punishing them or sanctioning them at this point will be done,” Dimzon said in an interview on ANC’s On The Scene on Tuesday.

She said that there are at least 8,000 to 10,000 Filipinos working for US military contractors and subcontractors in Iraq.

In a memorandum issued by the United States Central Command last July 20, Colonel Richard Nolan, senior contracting officer of the Iraq CentCom Contracting Command said: “All contractors in Iraq have 20 days from the date of this letter to ensure their employees comply with US and international law and understood their redeployment responsibilities under the term of their contract.”

The memo added: “It is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that it is not employing people from countries prohibited from entry to Iraq.”

August 3, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq, KBR, LOGCAP, Private Military Contractors | , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Contractor Use in Iraq Expected To Rise

By William Mathews at Defense News

As the U.S. military pulls troops and equipment out of Iraq, the State Department will have to rely increasingly on contractors to perform such services as flying rescue helicopters and disarming roadside bombs, a congressional commission warned.

That is not an ideal solution but none other seems available, members of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan said during a July 12 hearing.

While the Defense Department works to reduce its dependence on contractors, the State Department will have to greatly increase its use of hired help.

“Boy, that really troubles me,” said Dov Zakheim, a commission member and former Pentagon budget chief. “You’re going to be getting contractors not only doing what they’re doing today, but doing things that are inherently governmental.”

In a scenario spelled out by commission Co-chairman Michael Thibault, if State Department employees working as trainers for the Iraqi police come under fire from Iraqi insurgents, the injured might well have to be rescued by contractors because U.S. military forces are pulling out of the country.

Thibault, who described being rescued by an Army helicopter during his own wartime service, said he would be leery about being rescued by a contract pilot, who he said is unlikely to be as well-trained as a U.S. military pilot.

But the State Department appears to have little choice. It lacks its own force of personnel to fly helicopters, disarm bombs or provide dozens of other services that U.S. military personnel now provide. And the military is scheduled to reduce its Iraq footprint to 50,000 troops in August and be out of that country by the end of next year.

In Iraq, the State Department has relied on the military to recover damaged vehicles and downed aircraft, manage contractors, protect convoys, provide emergency response forces, provide communications support, gather intelligence and more.

In a letter to the Pentagon this spring, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service complained that its capabilities are “inadequate to the extreme challenges in Iraq.”

In many countries, the State Department relies on its host nation to provide for emergency needs, security and other services. But Iraq is in no condition to do that.

Thibault said the State Department will have to more than double its force of 2,700 security personnel. And department officials have asked to keep military equipment, including helicopters and mine-resistant armored vehicles.

The State Department also asked to be allowed to continue using the Army’s LOGCAP contract and Defense Logistics Agency support to buy food, fuel and other necessities.

The commission criticized a lack of coordination between the two departments as the military moves toward handing the Iraq mission over to the State Department. In a report, the commission has criticized Congress for failing to provide money to pay for support the State Department will need as the military withdraws.

Much of the July 12 hearing, however, focused on whether the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) included enough discussion of the military’s increased reliance on contractors.

Thibault complained that the 2010 QDR says even less about using contractors than the 2006 document did. “The new QDR pays scant attention” to planning for contractor use in wartime, he said.

In 1973, when Richard Nixon was president and gasoline was 37 cents a gallon, the Total Force Policy, which created the all-volunteer military, “made a pretty clear statement” about the importance of contractors, Thibault said.

But today, “37 years later, they are still not fully recognized or incorporated in planning and training.”

Other commission members counted the times “contingency contracting” – the hiring of contractors for war-zone duties – was mentioned in the QDR.

“There are only three specific mentions,” said Charles Tiefer, a law professor. “We have two wars going on and more contractors than troops in those wars, yet the QDR has basically two mentions of things having to do with contractors.”

There are “just two mentions,” said commissioner Clark Kent Ervin.

Kathleen Hicks, deputy undersecretary of defense for strategy, plans and forces, offered her own word count. She insisted that the 2010 QDR contains 12 references to contractors compared with nine in the 2006 document.

Hicks said policies on planning for the use of contractors and reducing their numbers have been thoroughly spelled out in instructions from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.  Original Story here

July 12, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Iraq, LOGCAP, State Department, Wartime Contracting | , , , , | Leave a comment