Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

UK sailors injured in Oman boat blast

Arabian Business.com

An explosion on-board an Omani warship undergoing sea trials off the coast of England injured three British sailors, it was reported.

The 99m long Al Shamikh vessel was undergoing a pre-delivery testing operation off the coast of Dorset in the UK when the blast occurred, according to local newspaperthe Dorchester People.

The ship, which was due to be handed over to the Sultanate of Oman Navy later this year, was carrying a crew of Omani sailors and employees of British military contractor BAE Systems.

According to reports, three of the sailors were injured during the blast and taken to Dorset County Hospital, and the ship was covered with a tarpaulin following the incident.

The circumstances of the explosion remain unclear, but BAE Systems confirmed that the incident occurred during test firings.
Upon its arrival in Oman, the ship is expected to take part in patrols off the coast of the country, help defend Omani waters and aid peacekeeping and anti-piracy operations.

This is the second time the Al Shamikh has had difficulties during its test stage. BAE said it also experienced engineering issues during sea trials last year.

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March 19, 2012 Posted by | Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Large Contracts Awarded past quarter

From GovConExec News  September 6, 2011

The Veterans Affairs Department awarded spots on a $12 billion contract to modernize IT operations to 14 firms, including Booz Allen, CACI, HP and Harris.
DynCorp International, PAE Group, SAIC and Tetra Tech, among others, were added to a five-year, $10 billion IDIQ contract from State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs to provide worldwide civilian police and criminal justice assistance.
The U.S. Army selected Northrop Grumman Technical Services, Inc., L-3 Communication Services, Inc., Mission Essential Personnel, CACI Premier Technology Inc., and DynCorp International and AECOM’s joint venture Global Linguist Solutions to compete for task orders on its $9.7 billion defense language interpretation translation enterprise contract.
The U.S. Army awarded 16 contractors a place on a $997 million contract for force protection measures. Awardees include DRS, ITT, SAIC, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, BAE, Ideal Innovations, among others.

Please read more at GovConExec News

September 6, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Contracts Awarded, Government Contractor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hundreds of Army Social Scientists Unqualified, Former Boss Says

by Spencer Ackerman at Wired’s Danger Room

Nearly five years after the Army began a controversial program to embed social scientists in combat units, the former director and chief bureaucratic force behind the program says that over a third of those researchers never should have been part of the program in the first place.

“Thirty to 40 percent of the people were not qualified,” says Steve Fondacaro, the retired Army colonel who ran the Human Terrain System from its 2006 birth until he was ousted in June. He’s speaking out in a rare post-firing interview because the contract to supply HTS with social-science experts is up for grabs — and the company that handled the job for the last five years hobbled the program, he says.

The Army’s Training and Doctrine Commands disagrees, and the company, BAE Systems, didn’t answer Danger Room’s questions. But with the program expanding, the ability of the next HTS contractor to provide local commanders with quality cultural advisers could make an enormous difference in the American combat efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Simply put, if the United States can’t understand the populations it deals with in complex, irregular wars like Afghanistan — their traditions, their social structures, their power dynamics — then American counterinsurgency efforts are in deep trouble.

“Dealing with BAE was extremely difficult,” Fondacaro tells Danger Room. The contractor found it staggeringly difficult to provide “what I needed in terms of people and functions” for the program. That is, social scientists who both were physically and intellectually fit to operate in austere conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who were “flexible enough to work with a military organization.”

But BAE struck Fondacaro as “unwilling to do the hard work in terms of screening and testing, finding the people capable of working with the energy, the intellectual capacity and the competence for this exercise we were about to embark on.” In one case, BAE provided HTS with an octogenarian Iraqi-American for a job translating in Iraq.

In another case, it gave HTS an applicant with a warrant out for her arrest for vehicular manslaughter — “which could have been easily ascertained through a cursory background investigation,” says Montgomery McFate, until recently the program’s top social scientist. “While BAE sent us some amazing people, they also sent us some people who were clearly not deployable,” she adds.

“Some of the people they were sending me were not up to par, and I had to let them go from the program,” Fondacaro says. “We had some people who did not work out downrange. It was just a very uncooperative arrangement.”

Please read the whole story here

Human Terrain’ Chief Ousted

Human Terrain’ Contractors’ Pay Suddenly Slashed

Petraeus Quietly Disses ‘Human Terrain’

December 21, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Iraq, Pentagon | , , , , , | Leave a comment