Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Marine helicopter crashes in Afghanistan killing six US personnel

The commander of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 confirmed on the unit’s Facebook page that all six Marines killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan were from the Kaneohe-based unit.

Cpl. Jesse W. Stites, 23, of North Beach, Md.

Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, 22, of Willis, Texas.

Capt. Nathan R. McHone, 29, of Crystal Lake, Il

Capt. Daniel B. Bartle, 27, of Ferndale, Wash

U.S. Marine Cpl. Kevin Reinhard  and here

Gunnery Sgt. Travis Riddick  and here

Sources in Afghanistan and Washington tell CBS News it was a U.S. Marine CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter that crashed

US defense official says all 6 killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan were US Marines

Radio Netherlands

Six US service personnel have been killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, US officials said Thursday, indicating the incident was not believed to be the result of enemy fire.

The helicopter went down in volatile Helmand province, one official who asked not to be named told AFP. One official confirmed that the dead were members of the US military.

“Initial indications are that this was not hostile fire,” an official said.

In a brief statement, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said the cause of the crash was “under investigation.”

“However, initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash,” it said.

Earlier this week, three people died when a civilian helicopter contracted to ISAF crashed in flames in Helmand, officials said.

KABUL (BNO NEWS) — Six coalition service members were killed on late Thursday evening when a NATO helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said. It said there were no reports of enemy activity in the area.

MyFox Orlando  January 19, 2012

DEVELOPING:US military sources tell Fox News that a Marine CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan on Thursday.

Sources say there were casualties as a result, however, the military is still gathering details about the incident.

According to one source, the accident is so recent that the crash site has yet to be secured.

January 19, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, ISAF | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old landmines kill six in Iraq’s Rumaila oilfield

Associated Press  October 10, 2011

BASRA, Iraq (AP) – Iraqi officials say six members of a demining team died when a controlled detonation of old land mines went wrong.

As the troops went to investigate, the explosion happened, killing three Iraqi soldiers and three explosives experts.

Six people killed by mines in Rumaila oilfield Reuters

* Iraq has an estimated 20 million landmines

* Demining one hurdle for oil companies

Basra, Iraq, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Six workers clearing mines in Iraq’s Rumaila South oilfield were killed over the weekend when a pile of mines and old ordnance exploded prematurely, police sources said.

Millions of old mines and abandoned weapons from the 1980 Iraq-Iran war and the first Gulf War still litter the southern part of Iraq where foreign oil companies are helping develop the country’s vast oil reserves.

The explosions on Saturday killed four people working for a local demining company and two Iraqi army officers, police sources said.

“The explosion happened when a joint team… tried to blow up a pile of war materials and mines inside Rumaila South oilfield,” a senior Oil Police official said.

Rumaila, a supergiant oilfield with a production of around 1.2 million barrels per day, is being developed by BP and China’s CNPC. BP did not immediately respond to a request for details on the incident.

Landmines are one threat to Iraq’s goal of rebuilding its war-ravaged economy and infrastructure by becoming a top global oil producer. The government signed deals with oil majors to develop its reserves, which are among the world’s largest.

Mines are among the hurdles faced by oil firms working on fields like Rumaila, Majnoon and West Qurna in southern Iraq.

Two Iraqi army engineers were killed by a landmine in a separate incident on Saturday when they tried to defuse it in a town near Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad.

Decades of war have left Iraq with one of the worst mine problems in the world, according to UNICEF, with around 20 million anti-personnel mines and more than 50 million cluster bombs believed to remain in border areas and southern oilfields

Please see the original here

October 10, 2011 Posted by | Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Iraq, Landmines | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Censorship of war casualties in the US

AlJazeera   July 28, 2011

US mainstream media and the public’s willful ignorance is to blame for lack of knowledge about true cost of wars.

Why is it so easy for political leaders in the US to convince ordinary citizens to support war? How is it that, after that initial enthusiasm has given away to fatigue and disgust, the reaction is mere disinterest rather than righteous rage? Even when the reasons given for taking the US to war were proven to have been not only wrong, but brazenly fraudulent – as in Iraq, which hadn’t possessed chemical weapons since 1991 – no one is called to account.

The United States claims to be a shining beacon of democracy to the world. And many of the citizens of the world believe it. But democracy is about responsiveness and accountability – the responsiveness of political leaders to an engaged and informed electorate, which holds that leadership class accountable for its mistakes and misdeeds. How to explain Americans’ acquiescence in the face of political leaders who repeatedly lead it into illegal, geopolitically disastrous and economically devastating wars of choice?

The dynamics of US public opinion have changed dramatically since the 1960s, when popular opposition to the Vietnam War coalesced into an antiestablishmentarian political and cultural movement that nearly toppled the government – and led to a series of sweeping social reforms whose contemporary ripples include the recent move to legalise marriage between members of the same sex.

Why the difference?

Numerous explanations have been offered for the vanishing of protesters from the streets of American cities. First and foremost, fewer people know someone who has been killed. The death rate for US troops has fallen dramatically, from 58,000 in Vietnam to a total of 6,000 for Iraq and Afghanistan. Many point to the replacement of conscripts by volunteer soldiers, many of whom originate from the working class, which is by definition less influential

Please read the entire story here

July 28, 2011 Posted by | Contractor Casualties | , , | Leave a comment

IED Casualties Up Despite Increased Vigilance

Military’s outgoing head of IED-combating task force says insurgents will continue to use the cheap, deadly weapons.

Yochi J. Dreazen at National Journal

Shortly after taking command of the military’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization more than 14 months ago, Lt. Gen. Michael Oates and several of his top aides went to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington to visit troops who had been wounded by the makeshift bombs, the insurgent weapon of choice in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

As Oates and his staff made their way through the sprawling hospital, the mother of a soldier who had just lost a leg to an IED asked Oates what he did in the military. Oates responded that he was in charge of the military task force charged with reducing the number and effectiveness of the roadside bombs.

“And she said, ‘Well, you failed with my son,'” Oates recalled during a conversation with a small group of reporters on Wednesday.

For Oates, the encounter was a vivid illustration of the military’s halting progress against IEDs, the primary cause of American casualties in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The general believes he and his team have significantly improved the military’s ability to dismantle insurgent bomb-making networks and find specific IEDs before they can be set off. But as he prepares to relinquish command this Friday, Oates acknowledged that the IED fight is far from won. Please read the entire article here

March 3, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices, Iraq | , , , | Leave a comment

US troop deaths double in Afghanistan

We will get new numbers on Civilian Contractor Deaths and Injuries based on DoL Defense Base Act Claims filed soon.   While not accurate these should reflect a similar spike if not a larger one.

KABUL – The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year as Washington has added tens of thousands of additional soldiers to reverse the Taliban’s momentum.

Those deaths have been accompanied by a dramatic spike in the number of wounded, with injuries more than tripling in the first two months of the year and trending in the same direction based on the latest available data for March.

U.S. officials have warned that casualties are likely to rise even further as the Pentagon completes its deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and sets its sights on the Taliban’s home base of Kandahar province, where a major operation is expected in the coming months.

“We must steel ourselves, no matter how successful we are on any given day, for harder days yet to come,” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a briefing last month.

In total, 57 U.S. troops were killed here during the first two months of 2010 compared with 28 in January and February of last year, an increase of more than 100 percent, according to Pentagon figures compiled by The Associated Press. At least 20 American service members have been killed so far in March, an average of about 0.8 per day, compared to 13, or 0.4 per day, a year ago.

The steady rise in combat deaths has generated less public reaction in the United States than the spike in casualties last summer and fall, which undermined public support in the U.S. for the 8-year-old American-led mission here. Fighting traditionally tapers off in Afghanistan during winter months, only to peak in the summer.

Full story here

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment