Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

EOD Contractor, US Navy EOD, Narvis Sarvis killed in bike crash

Motorcyclists Question Verdict

After the death of Noah Lee Sarvis in September, his family and friends are still seeking justice since the man who committed the crime was only charged with careless driving.

However, the case isn’t as cut and dry as some may assume. Judge Tim Campbell found Felton Bland guilty of careless driving because there wasn’t enough evidence to hold him for any other charges. Some of the family and friends of Sarvis felt that Bland should have been charged with vehicular homicide or DUI manslaughter, but according to the State Attorney’s Office, there wasn’t enough evidence to support the charges

Bland was found guilty of careless driving and fined $1,400. He also will take a victim awareness and driving safety class and his license has been suspended.


Noah Lee Sarvis  “Flatliner”

Noah Lee Sarvis, 53, of South Carolina, passed away on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.

Noah served in the U.S. Navy for 22 years as a Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. He was a member of the Navy/Marine Corps EOD Association, Patriot Guard Riders, and American Legion Post 392 PC.

Noah loved to ride his motorcycle, enjoyed fishing and being outdoors. He appreciated meeting people and never met a stranger.

Noah is survived by his wife of 23 years, Liz Sarvis; son, Christopher Maulden (Jennifer); mother, Genette Taylor; brother, Rick Sarvis; sister, Jeanita Vaughan; grandchildren, Madysen and DJ; mother-in-law, Betty Yancey; brothers, Robert Yancey (Crystal) and Victor Yancey (Holly); niece and nephews, Hunter, Addison, and Catherine.

He was preceded in death by his father and brother.

A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, at the Kent-Forest Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, with Mike (GunnrMike) Fennewald officiating.

April 14, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Veterans | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine EOD Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine killed in Afghanistan

Update from Rick Crawford

On Tuesday of this week, Staff Sergeant Joseph D’Augustine was killed in Afghanistan by an IED. He was 29 years old.

Staff Sergeant D’Augustine was an EOD tech in the United States Marine Corps, and he had four tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq to his credit. He enlisted in the Marine Corps the day after he graduated from Waldwick High School in New Jersey in 2001. As an EOD tech, Staff Sergeant D’Augustine displayed the full extent of his bravery by clearing explosive threats in defending the lives of his fellow marines, soldiers, airmen, and sailors.

EOD techs, like Staff Sergeant D’Augustine, play an invaluable role in securing our freedom and in combating terrorism, but too often their heroic deeds go unreported

North Jersey.com  March 28, 2012

Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine of the U.S. Marine Corps was killed in Afghanistan this week. He was 29.

Twenty four hours after four Marines showed up at his parent’s home on Campbell Street in Waldwick with news of his death, the family had gathered and members were rifling through boxes of photos of the 2001 Waldwick High School graduate to find one in which he was flashing just the right smile.

D’Augustine is survived by his parents, Anthony and Patricia, and sisters, Nicole, Jennifer and Michele and her husband, Len Kulesa of Mahwah. He also had two nephews and one niece.

As of 3:30 p.m. March 28, the Department of Defense had not released information surrounding D’Augustine’s death.

Joseph D’Augustine left for boot camp the day after his graduation from Waldwick High School in 2001, his sisters said. This was his fourth tour; previous deployments had taken him to Iraq and Fallujah, Afghanistan.

“We loved him. He was a great brother, great uncle and great son,” said Michele Kulesa. “My parents were really proud of him. His nephews looked up to him and couldn’t wait for him to come home. He was a happy guy. God just took him too soon.”

The family said they planned to leave in several hours for Delaware on March 28 to await the arrival of D’Augustine’s remains.

D’Augustine was a member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and belonged to Waldwick VFW Post 1049 and American Legion Nightengale Post 57, according to VFW commander Michael Echevarria.

“Not only did he want to be a Marine, but he wanted to be wherever the action was,” Echevarria said in an interview March 28. “That’s true of him with everything. In high school he was a hell of a linebacker and he was a great wrestler.”

Echevarria described D’Augustine as someone who “wasn’t happy unless everyone around him was laughing.”

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Brett Linley deactivated five bombs before his death

Birmingham Mail  March 20, 2012

A BRAVE Birmingham soldier died a hero as he tried to defused his SIXTH Taliban bomb in two days, an inquest has heard.

Staff Sergeant Brett Linley, 29, was killed instantly by blast injuries while trying to deactivate an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan, a week before he was due to return home on leave.

The Royal Logistic Corps soldier, from Bournville, was later posthumously awarded the George Medal for his actions, which saved the lives of many colleagues.

Yesterday, a Birmingham inquest heard Staff Sgt Linley had defused 22 bombs in three months while in Afghanistan.

He made two IEDs safe the day before his death and deactivated another three the following morning – before he set out on his fatal sixth operation.

The soldier was working with his team from the 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment to secure a crucial route from Lashkar Gar to Gereshk, in Helmand Province, when he was killed on July 17, 2010.

Insurgents were active in the area and had filled the route with hidden IEDs.

Major Charlie Crowe told the inquest: “Brett was the expert on IEDs and had cleared an enormous number of them. Each IED he had pulled out of the ground saved one life. He was better than anyone else.”

Staff Sgt Linley was working alongside American forces when a mechanical digger used to pull IEDs out of the ground malfunctioned

After a discussion, the bomb disposal expert, who was in full armour, went to defuse the IED alone, while colleagues withdrew to a safe distance.

Please see the original and read more here

March 20, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Woman hurt in homemade bomb blast

Borneo Post March 2, 2012

ALOR GAJAH: A woman was seriously injured when a box she was carrying, believed to contain a homemade bomb, exploded in front of her house in Lubok China here yesterday.

Earlier, Norasyikin Md Esa, 27, found the box in front of her house in Kampung Ramuan China Besar about 8.40am.

As it was addressed to her brother, Saiful Eszwan, 35, she carried the box while opening the main gate to go to work at a shopping complex in Masjid Tanah where she worked as cashier.

At that juncture, the bomb exploded, injuring Norasyikin in the face and body.

She was warded at the Malacca Hospital where her condition was reported to be stable.

Melaka CID chief ACP Raja Shahrom Raja Abdullah said the homemade bomb contained gasoline and other unidentifiable materials.

He said, initial investigations revealed the bomb was “linked” to Saiful who worked as a cleaning contractor.

“We are investigating the matter from various angles, with the aid of a bomb disposal and forensics units, to derive the motive behind the incident,” he said, adding that the case was being investigated under the Firearms Act

Please see the original and read more here

March 1, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal | , , | Leave a comment

Sergeant killed while defusing roadside bomb in Nusaybin

A sergeant was killed and another injured while attempting to defuse a home-made bomb in the Nusaybin district of Mardin by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Saturday.

Turkish security officials were informed that PKK terrorists had placed a bomb alongside a road in Söğütlü Village in Nusaybin. After receiving this intelligence, gendarmerie units blocked the road and identified the explosives, which weighed approximately 40 kilograms. The bomb detonated while Spc. Sgt. Cışkun Göl and another sergeant were trying to defuse it. Gök was killed, while the other sergeant received minor wounds.

Military officials said the device was connected to a 5 kilometer cable allowing it to be detonated by remote control. Security officials have commenced an operation in the area to identify the terrorists who placed the bomb.

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal | , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Afghan police die while defusing bomb

KABUL, Afghanistan –AP News 13  February 25, 2012

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense says six Afghan soldiers have been killed and 16 others wounded while trying to defuse a roadside bomb.

The ministry says the soldiers died Saturday in Mukar district of Baghdis province in western Afghanistan.

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , | Leave a comment

In the line of fire: Afghanistan’s IED experts

The Telegraph February 17, 2012

The heavy doors of the armoured personnel carrier swung open with a bang: Warrant Officer Gareth Wood (known to everyone as Woody) was about to tackle his first improvised explosive device (IED) of the day.

The hum of engines was replaced by the shrill whine of metal detectors as the search team set to work. After locating the device they stood in a huddle, chatting and chain-smoking. A sniper was called forward and moved into position, scanning the horizon for trouble. Woody picked up his metal detector and started walking towards the bomb – alone. Everyone watched him go. He lay down, the bomb inches from his head, and started brushing away dirt with a knife and a paintbrush, as careful as an archaeologist. ‘You’re in your own little world,’ he would tell me later. ‘It’s quite surreal.’

Staff Sgt Olaf 'Oz' Schmid

When Woody, who is married with two children, left for Afghanistan in early 2010, he knew it was far from certain that he would return home. ‘There’d been a mass of casualties,’ he recalls now. ‘I think there was a one-in-six chance of us not coming back.’ In the lead-up to his deployment, his fellow bomb disposal operator, Staff Sgt Olaf ‘Oz’ Schmid, a close friend and colleague from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, died while defusing a roadside bomb near Sangin, after having successfully neutralised 64 bombs during his five-month tour. Another friend and fellow operator, Capt Daniel Read (also from 11 EOD), was killed while tackling a device in northern Helmand. ‘I didn’t go to Dan’s repatriation,’ Woody recalls. ‘It was literally hours before I was due to fly out to Afghanistan; I couldn’t face it.’

Bomb disposal experts have never been in greater demand: Afghanistan has become an IED war. The huge number of these homemade bombs is seriously disrupting Nato operations in the country, and efforts to reconstruct it. Almost 400 British soldiers and MoD personnel have died since Britain entered the war in Afghanistan 10 years ago, and the majority of casualties since 2008 have been from improvised explosives. They also accounted for nearly 1,000 civilian deaths in the country last year, according to a new UN report. In December it was announced that British troops were to receive £400 million- worth of new kit to counter the threat. Bombs costing pennies have proved a match for a military machine costing billions.

Please read the entire story here

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Navy Bomb School Told to Remove Unofficial Motto

Melissa Nelson Associated Press  February 15, 2012

The school where bomb technicians from all branches of the U.S. military learn their craft has been ordered to remove the unofficial motto “Initial Success or Total Failure” from its classroom walls.

Rear Adm. Michael Tillotson told school leaders this month that the motto could be viewed as disrespectful to the hundreds of Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians who have died in the line of duty.

“The motto itself holds potential insensitivities and implies that our fallen and wounded EOD Warriors have somehow failed,” Tillotson, who is based in Norfolk, Va., said in a memo to the Florida school.

“Throughout history many EOD techs from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, other U.S. government and civilian agencies, as well as foreign partners have lost their lives or been wounded in the line of duty. To imply that they failed is insensitive and disrespectful. We owe our fallen warriors and their families honor and dignity for their heroic service,” the admiral said in a prepared statement.

Officials said the admiral is especially concerned about the hundreds of family members who visit the school each spring for a memorial to military bomb technicians who have died in the line of duty the previous year

The school will add the names of at least 17 of its graduates to its memorial wall when it holds its annual ceremony this May, said Ed Barker, a spokesman for the Naval Education and Training Command that over sees the EOD school at Eglin Air Force Base. The elite school trains EOD techs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and is among the toughest schools in the military.

The admiral’s mandate was not popular with some current and former EOD members. A Facebook page has been dedicated to keeping the motto. They wrote on the Facebook page that the motto reminds them of the life or death consequences of their jobs.

“The motto is not about the individual, it is about the mission, and when you are dealing with an explosive device you generally get one shot to render it safe,” Will Pratt, a former Army EOD technician, wrote in an email to the Northwest Florida Daily News newspaper of Fort Walton Beach.

Barker said many of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed by remotely detonated devices, and there is nothing they could have done to prevent the bomb from exploding in the seconds before someone triggered it.

He said the admiral is sensitive to this and doesn’t want anyone to imply that these EOD technicians failed in their mission.

“That’s something they had no control over,” he said

Please see the original and read more here

February 14, 2012 Posted by | Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ronco Consulting settles Fantham Lawsuit before bothering to respond

What a disappointment that this lawsuit never made it to discovery. 

The history of how this contract was managed deserved to be exposed. 

Another day…..

Ronco made this lawsuit go away, but this United Nations Board of Inquiries Report and others stand.

And no matter how big a settlement, Stephan will not be growing any body parts back

Careful who you follow

Substantial Settlement Achieved in Personal Injury Suit:

In August 2011, Blake Hannafan and Jim McGuinness settled a Personal Injury lawsuit on behalf of Stephen Fantham, arising from a traumatic leg amputation as a result of a land mine explosion in Sudan, Africa, against Ronco Consulting Corporation pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

In addition, the settlement also included claims for loss of consortium to Mr. Fantham’s wife. The settlement was reached before Ronco even responded to the complaint.

The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.

Ronco Consulting Sued for Negligence by United Nations Mine Action Employee

Fantham vs Ronco Consulting

January 10, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Follow the Money, Landmines, Lawsuits, Legal Jurisdictions, Mine Clearance, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Safety and Security Issues, Sudan, Uncategorized, United Nations, United Nations Board of Inquiry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Seidler, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Killed in Afghanistan

By Kirk Mitchell The Denver Post  January 7, 2012

A 24-year-old airman who had been stationed at Peterson Air Force Base was one of three service men killed Thursday after an improvised explosive device blew up, authorities said.

Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Seidler, who is from Westminster, Md., was serving in southern Afghanistan when he was killed, according to a Peterson Air Force Base news release.

Seidler, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom​.

He and the other two men were part of a road clearance team in the Helmand province when their vehicle was struck by the road-side bomb, according to a Department of Defense news release.

Also killed by the bomb were Senior Airman Bryan R. Bell, 23, of Erie, Pa. He was assigned to the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Tech. Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, 34, of Traverse City, Mich., assigned to the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.

“This is a tragic day for Team Pete, the 21st Space Wing​, the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron and especially for Matt’s family,” said Col. Chris Crawford, 21st SW commander. “We will come together to help Matt’s family and friends through their grief.”

Lt. Col. Mark Donnithorne, 21st CES commander, said Seidler’s fellow soldiers will never forget his sacrifice and dedication to his “critical, yet dangerous, mission.”

Seidler, 24, entered active duty in November 2009.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Please see the original and read more here

January 7, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices, ISAF | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bryan Bell, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, killed in Afghanistan


A Barksdale Air Force Base Airman was killed on Thursday while serving in Afghanistan.

23-year-old Bryan Bell died after he was hit by an I-E-D.

Bryan was a member of an elite ‘Explosive Ordinance Division’ (Bomb Squad) based at Barksdale.

His parents say Bryan was originally from Erie, Pennsylvania. He joined the Air Force in April of 2007 and got his bomb disposal training at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida before being assigned to Barksdale.

He married his wife, Alaina in August of 2008 and would have turned 24 next month. Bell also attended Louisiana Tech.

Bryan’s remains are expected to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware about 11:30 EST.


Family friend, Jim Hawryliw told KTAL’s sister station JET24/FOX66 that Bell was a volunteer firefighter who joined the Air Force in 2007.
Both Bryan and Alaina are from Pennsylvania, Friedley said, and they lived in base housing on Barksdale AFB.

Bell was a member of the 2nd Civil Engineering Squadron based at Barksdale, was an EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) Specialist.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Technical Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, killed in Afghanistan

Traverse City Record Eagle

TRAVERSE CITY — A former Traverse City resident died in combat in Afghanistan during his sixth tour of duty, family members said.

Technical Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, 34, a 1996 graduate of Traverse City Central High School, died Wednesday after a bomb blast, said his grandmother, Pat Bristol.

Schwartz was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, had been based in Cheyenne, Wyo., and served as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist in Afghanistan.

He also served in the war in Iraq.

He had a wife, Jenny, also formerly of Traverse City, and three young daughters, Bristol said.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chad Regelin, Navy EOD, Sailor of the Year, Killed in Afghanistan

KRCRTV  January 3, 2012

Northstate sailor was killed in Afghanistan on Monday.According to Defense Department documents obtained by KRCR News Channel 7, 24-year-old Petty Officer Chad Regelin of Anderson was killed Monday, January 2nd while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

This is a huge loss for the Navy.

Regelin was named Sailor Of The Year last November.

Chad’s parents, Shirene and Scott, traveled from Anderson to the nation’s capitol last November to accept the award on his behalf

Regelin received the award for personally locating and destroying 24 explosive devices and preventing an insurgency attack against his team.

He served a tour of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.He was stationed at Explosive Mobile Unit Three out of San Diego, Ca

From Fallen Heroes

24-year-old US Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad R. Regelin, from California, was killed in action during a combat operation in Helmand on 2nd January 2012. He died after being caught in the blast of an insurgent bomb.

PO Regelin served as a bomb disposal technician with Marine Special Operations Company Bravo. He was stationed at the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, San Diego, California.

PO Regelin’s family told local news that he was killed just an hour after he’d spoken to his family by telephone. His parents, Shirene and Scott Regelin of Anderson, were notified of his death shortly after 2 p.m.

“He called us while he was on watch,” PO Regelin’s brother, Justin, said. “He was really upbeat because he had just gotten his orders to come back stateside on Feb. 15. He told us that he had about a week to go (in Kandahar) before they could helicopter in the replacement team.”

January 3, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Marine EOD Nick Daniels killed in Afghanistan

Chicago Tribune   November 6, 2011

Outside the Elmwood Park home where 25-year-old Marine Nick Daniels grew up, his younger sister, Kati, is still coming to grips with her family’s loss.

“I never thought it would happen to him,” she said. “It’s really hard, ya know — he was just so young.”

Daniels was an all-conference football player, graduating from St. Pat`s high school on Chicago’s Northwest Side before going onto college briefly.

Less than two years ago, he enlisted in the Marine Corps– the first of his generation to do so.

His sister said that becoming a marine was something Daniels always wanted to do so he went ahead and did it.

A family photograph was taken in August as they said goodbye before his first deployment as a bomb disposal Marine in Afghanistan.

“I just didn`t believe it because he was only there for a month and a half and he just got an award for digging up a bomb and then this happened,” Kati said, “and I didn`t want to believe it when they came to our house.”

Now others, like the Patriot Guard Riders, are making visits, helping this family deal with a sudden loss.

Patriot Guard Rider Dave Hume said “we’ve seen way too many grieving families [and that he has] been in too many airports, in too many hangars, watching too many caskets come off of the flights.”

“This Marine will not be unattended,” Hume added, “There will be a marine at his side the entire time.”

Some comfort for the Daniels family, who will now hold onto memories of their oldest son and brother.

Kati added that her brother “just loved making everyone laugh. He was a great guy; he just wanted everyone to have fun.”

November 7, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking care of business: Meet the bomb-disposal experts

Theirs is the most dangerous profession in the world: every time they go to work, there is a good chance of being killed. Yet there’s no job they’d rather do.

The Independent UK  November 6, 2011

Captain Richard McCarthy lumbers forwards, completely encased in 80lb of Kevlar and ballistic plates, breathing battery-pumped air in a helmet that restricts his vision as he approaches the stolen silver Peugeot parked outside Heathrow. Painstakingly, he begins to examine the vehicle. Opening the boot, he finds what the police feared most: four mortar bombs primed to cause devastation.

A short while later the 26-year-old officer has saved the busiest airport in Britain from terrorist attack; or to be more accurate, he has just passed his six-monthly licensing test as a joint-service bomb-disposal operator – just one small step in the arduous marathon of examinations towards becoming one of the army’s “high-threat” officers.

The word elite is overused in praise of many military units, but it appears justified when referring to the high-threat operators of 11 EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) k Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps – the men and women who make the “long and lonely” walk to dismantle bombs.

The devices can be anything from a firework with nails created by teens intent on blowing up a phone box, to the command-wire bomb found in Northern Ireland a couple of years ago that contained three chemical barrels with 250kg of explosives – enough to obliterate anything within a 30 metre radius

Please read the entire story here

November 6, 2011 Posted by | Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , | Leave a comment