Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Afghanistan Black Hawk helicopter crash leaves 7 U.S. troops, 2 Navy SEALS, 1 EOD, 4 others dead, includes 1 Afghan Interpreter

Sean P. Carson, 32, was assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit in San Diego. Carson was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer, first class.

Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, was one of seven Americans killed in the crash Thursday during a firefight with insurgents northeast of Kandahar, officials said.

Associated Press  August 20, 2012

HONOLULU—U.S. Army officials say four soldiers based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii were killed last week when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed they gunned down the Black Hawk, leading to the crash on Thursday.

Army officials said Monday that among the seven Americans and four Afghans killed were: 37-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Brian Hornsby of Melbourne, Fla., 29-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Suresh Krause, of Cathedral City, Calif., 41-year-old Sgt. Luis Galbreath of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and 23-year-old Sgt. Richard Essex of Kelseyville, Calif.

The soldiers identified were part of Schofield’s 25th Infantry Division.

The crash happened during a firefight with insurgents in a remote area of southern Afghanistan. It’s one of the deadliest air disasters of a war now into its second decade.

Three of the Americans were U.S. Navy sailors – two were Navy SEALS and one was an explosive ordnance disposal sailor.

US Navy SEAL David Warsen

US Navy SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks

US Navy Petty Officer First Class EOD Sean P Carson

Richard Essex

Brian Hornsby

Suresh Krause

Luis Galbreath

Reuters August 16, 2012

Eleven people were killed on Thursday in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, including seven U.S. soldiers and three Afghan allies, the NATO-led force in the country said.

CBS News August 16,  2012

NATO says 11 people, including at least three American troops, have been killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan.

The nationalities of the other casualties was not immediately confirmed, but a statement to the media from the international military coalition said the dead were, “four International Security Assistance Force service members, three United States Forces-Afghanistan service members, three members of the Afghan National Security Forces, and one Afghan civilian interpreter.”

Afghan officials told the Reuters news agency the crash took place in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province.

The wording suggests four of the dead were members of the International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan (ISAF) from other allied nations, and three were Afghan service personnel, plus the civilian.

August 16, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Robert Charles McCullough, Civilian Contractor DynCorp, dies in Kandahar Afghanistan

McCullough, Robert Charles, 55, DynCorp International quality-control supervisor, died Saturday in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Services pending. Freeman Harris.

Tulsa -KTUL.com

Robert McCullough, the co-founder of the Tulsa Hope Academy, died Saturday in Afghanistan from a heart attack, officials with the organization say.

McCullough was in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor. A memorial service was held at Kandahar Airbase Wednesday and a dignified transfer will be held at Dover Air Force Base.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Victory Christian Center.

Tulsa Hope Academy was founded in 2005 as the Hope4Kids pilot program to address the escalating dropout rates in the Tulsa community

TULSA, Oklahoma -NewsOn6.com

A Tulsa man working in Iraq as an Army contractor died Saturday of an apparent heart attack.

Robert McCullough, 54, was working for DynCorp upgrading systems to military vehicles in Iraq. He had just started with the company four months ago.

McCullough had no previous military experience and was not involved in combat operations.

McCullough was the co-founder of Tulsa Hope Academy, a faith based non-profit that helps urban children reach their educational goals.

Robert McCullough leaves behind a wife, children and grandchildren.

Memorial Services were held at Kandahar Airbase in Afghanistan on Wednesday. A memorial service will be held in Tulsa at Victory Christian Center in the Chapel at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 3rd

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, DynCorp | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Afghan official says insurgents have launched attack on US-run base in Kandahar

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, October 27, 9:16 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents attacked a U.S.-run civilian and military base Thursday in the southern city of Kandahar, Afghan official said. Two attackers and one civilian were reported dead.

Kandahar provincial police chief, Gen. Abdul Razzaq, who was at the base for a meeting when the attack began, said at least three insurgents took over an office in front of the base and started shooting. Fighting continues at the base. which is home to NATO troops, including Americans, and a provincial reconstruction team

Read more here

October 27, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors | , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan president’s half brother killed in south

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — President Hamid Karzai’s half brother, the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan and a lightning rod for criticism of corruption in the government, was assassinated Tuesday by a close associate. His death leaves a dangerous power vacuum in the south just as the government has begun peace talks with insurgents ahead of a U.S. withdrawal.

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the head of the Kandahar provincial council, was shot to death while receiving guests at his home in Kandahar, the capital of the province that was the birthplace of the Taliban movement and was the site of a recent U.S.-led offensive.

Tooryalai Wesa, the provincial governor of Kandahar, identified the assassin as Sardar Mohammad and said he was a close, “trustworthy” person who had gone to Wali Karzai’s house to get him to sign some papers.

As Wali Karzai was signing the papers, the assassin “took out a pistol and shot him with two bullets — one in the forehead and one in the chest,” Wesa said. “Another patriot to the Afghan nation was martyred by the enemies of Afghanistan.”

Wali Karzai, who was in his 50s and had survived several previous assassination attempts, was seen by many as a political liability for the Karzai government after a series of allegations, including that he was on the CIA payroll and involved in drug trafficking. He denied the charges. The president repeatedly challenged his accusers to show him evidence of his sibling’s wrongdoing, but said nobody ever could.

Please read the entire story here

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, CIA, Civilian Casualties, Contractor Corruption, Private Security Contractor | , , , | 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

David Hillman DynCorp Civ-Pol Contractor/Customs Agent killed by Suicide Bomber in Afghanistan

Buffalo News

A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection worker who began his career in Buffalo and later moved up the ranks was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan earlier this week, Department of Homeland Security officials said today.

David Hillman, a Western New York native, was working as a border mentor and adviser in Afghanistan when the attack occurred at the Inland Customs Warehouse in Kandahar.

Three other retired Customs workers, Michael Lachowsky, Terry Sherrill, and Vernon Rinus, were injured in the attack.

US Says Custom Agent killed in Afghanistan

A U.S. customs employee and two British soldiers have died in insurgent attacks in southern Afghanistan where violence persists despite a winter lull in fighting across the nation.

A suicide bomber killed a retired U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer and wounded three other American customs workers Monday in Kandahar, which remains a hotbed of Taliban activity despite an influx of U.S. troops over the past year,

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement released late Tuesday in Washington that David Hillman, a retired customs officer who had worked for the U.S. government for 30 years, died in the blast at the Inland Customs Warehouse in Kandahar.

Afghan police said the suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside the city’s customs house compound during a visit by NATO forces.

Buffalo Man Killed Working in Afganistan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – For the second time this week, western New York has lost a native son overseas. David Hillman, a civilian contractor, fell victim to a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

The family is grieving, but wants the community to know about David Hillman’s devotion to his country, his loved ones, and friends.

David’s mom, Angeline Hillman, said, “He kept telling us, ‘Don’t worry, everything is safe.'”

David Hillman at age 60 had gone to Afghanistan to help teach the police there how to protect their border.

David’s father, “Bud” Hillman said, “He said he just wanted to go over and help.”

David had been situated in the southern province of Kandahar, which remains a hotbed of Taliban activity. A suicide bomber attacked the customs warehouse where David was working. His family believes the bomber was 12-years-old.

Please read the entire article here

February 9, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Suicide bomber kills deputy governor of Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan

By Rahim Faiez at The Canadian Press

KABUL — A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle packed with explosives rammed into a car carrying the deputy governor of Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province on Saturday, killing him and wounding three of his bodyguards, the Interior Ministry said.

The attacker struck as the official, Abdul Latif Ashna, was being driven to work in the provincial capital, said a ministry spokesman, Zemeri Bashary.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. In a text message to reporters, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef said the suicide bomber killed the deputy governor as well as three of his body guards and his driver.

U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, who was travelling in Kandahar, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the assassination.

Kandahar, located in the Taliban’s traditional southern stronghold, has been the scene of several attacks recently. Two weeks ago a bicycle bomb targeting police vehicles near the city centre wounded at least 10 people — six civilians and four police. Last month, a suicide car bombing in the city centre killed three people and wounded 26 others, most of them police

Please read the entire report here

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , | Leave a comment

Kevin Davis, DynCorp, Killed in Christmas Day Kandahar Attack

Update:  Kevins family has informed us that he had also spent several years working for KBR on a contract in Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan with DynCorp.

 

Thanks to MsSparky for this

DynCorp International LOGCAP Team Member Killed in Rocket Attack

December 27, 2010 – We are deeply saddened to report that LOGCAP team member died from injuries sustained during a rocket attack in , , on December 25.

Kevin, 40, of Missouri City, Texas, joined DI on September 30, 2010, to support the U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract.

DI CEO Steve Gaffney acknowledged Kevin’s dedication to the mission and expressed condolences on the tragic loss saying, “Kevin lived and worked in a warzone to help support our troops – that kind of selfless courage is remarkable but too often goes unrecognized until the unthinkable happens. Kevin’s service to our military was heroic and our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this difficult time.”

The DI family extends deepest condolences to all of Kevin’s loved ones and to the entire LOGCAP team.

See the original at MsSparky

December 27, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, DynCorp | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The other, powerful Karzai boss in Afghanistan

By Dan Murphy Wed Jul 14

Kandahar, Afghanistan – Ahmed Wali Karzai, leader of the Popalzai tribe and the most powerful man in Kandahar, settles down in his chambers for another round of grievance hearing, dispute settling, and political strategizing.

Gazed down upon by a photo of his assassinated father and bathed in the aura of his half brother, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Wali Karzai’s avid eyes flit over the tribal chieftains and petitioners around him as he dispenses the business of the day.

Increasingly, the business of the day in Kandahar and the business of Ahmed Wali Karzai are indistinguishable. To his supporters, that’s all to the good – a supporter of the United States effort with his hand on the tribal political levers in a province and city that’s the key to defeating the Taliban.

Encouraging corruption?But to others, Mr. Karzai is building a traditional patronage network – with his family at the top of the heap – that is encouraging corruption, creating tribal divisions, and shifting support to the Taliban from the NATO-backed government of his brother.

Kandahar, awash in drug money and contractor profits, where Taliban assassinations occur almost daily, is currently the focus of a US military buildup. Karzai – or AWK in the language of the blossoming diplomatic cables and military intelligence dossiers on his activities – is the man in the middle.

He’s been accused of having business ties to the heroin traders and warlords that have proliferated across the south since NATO ousted the Taliban in 2001. Almost everyone – local journalists, businessmen, political rivals – alleges he’s amassed a fortune, though Kandaharis, when pressed for details, often respond with the Pashtun phrase, “My mouth is full of water.”

‘I’m like a spice’AWK denies all the charges against him, and says he’s simply a tribal leader and politician whose power comes from a famous and respected name among the Pashtun tribes of the south. He says his critics are trying to weaken President Karzai, with family ties and his influence proving an easy target. “I’m like a spice,” he says. “To make the dish more delicious, you add a little Ahmed Wali.”

Whatever the source, a few days spent with him demonstrates his local power. A Kandahar without AWK could be as problematic, or more so, than one with him.

It’s a point that a US officer in Kabul – who thinks NATO should hold its nose and deal with him – makes: “We think there’s some dirt on him. But everyone’s got dirt on him. And we know that he’s working with us to deal with the Taliban.”  Read the entire story here

July 15, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, NATO | , , , | Leave a comment

Former Sheriffs Deputy Wayne Willard Killed in Afghanistan

Mark Millican  Dalton Daily Citizen

Wayne Willard, who was killed Monday in a suicide attack in Afghanistan while working as a private contractor, was described by those who knew him as a humble law enforcement officer who left a legacy across the state and in war zones where America is involved in conflict and training missions.

“He was a real quiet individual, but he was assertive when he needed to be,” said Maj. John Gibson with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, where Willard worked for many years. “Wayne was just an outstanding officer from the standpoint of having a tremendous amount of patience when he was dealing with the public. And his ability as an instructor — as far as his passing on his training skills to other employees — was just invaluable. I mean, we sent him all over the state at other departments’ request to do trainings, so he was really strong in that area.”

Gibson called Willard “a good friend” who came to work at the sheriff’s office around 20 years ago when W.G. Tallent was sheriff. Willard first left the department to go to Bosnia on contract work during that conflict, came back to the sheriff’s office and then went to Iraq. Willard left the Calhoun Police Department — where he worked since 2001 — to go to work for Dyncorp, a private security firm, in 2008, according to a press release from the police department. Gibson said his specialty was training police officers.

“He was one of these guys, you know, you always hear about (his ability) — he was really, really skilled — but you’d never know it by talking to him,” he said. “He never even acknowledged his capabilitites (but) the officers, obviously, who worked with him were very aware of his capabilities, who were around him day to day. When I first met him I was working in the drug unit for the Dalton (Police Department), and he was assigned to the drug unit for the county (sheriff’s office), so we worked together a lot initially. He was a former military (U.S.) Marine Recon(naissance) officer (and) he was a highly trained individual. I hated to hear that about him, I hate to see him go, but in a war zone things happen. The last time I saw him was three or four years ago. He was always there, a dependable guy.”

Calhoun Police Chief Garry Moss said outside of his experience with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams and as a bomb technician, Willard had a sense of mission for training fellow lawmen.

“It was my understanding he was working at a police training facility (when killed), helping train Afghan police,” he said. “What I remember about him was his enthusiasm and energy. He wanted to prepare police officers … and keep them prepared because he had a sense about the way things were changing in the world and he wanted to make sure the officers he trained were prepared for the future. He was an outstanding officer.”

The Calhoun Times reported that U.S. Embassy officials said a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the police training center in the southern city of Kandahar. It did not disclose the nationality of the other person killed. Moments later, an attempt by two other bombers to enter the compound was foiled by security forces who shot them to death, said reports quoting a spokesman for the provincial governor.

Moss said Willard left behind a wife and two children. A spokeswoman with Thomas Funeral Home in Calhoun (www.thomasfuneral.com) said the mortuary is handling arrangements, but it will be a week before the body is received and service times are announced.

June 9, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contractor Casualties, DynCorp | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taliban attack Kandahar police training base, DynCorp Employees Killed

Update thanks to MsSparky

Two Killed in Attack on Afghanistan Police Training Facility

June 8, 2010 – An American police mentor and a Nepalese security guard working under DynCorp International’s Afghan police training contract were tragically killed yesterday, when insurgents attacked a police training facility in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Gary W. Willard, 44, of Resaca, Georgia, deployed to Afghanistan as a police mentor on June 22, 2009. Prior to his work in Afghanistan, he was a sergeant with the Calhoun Police Department in Georgia. Earlier, he spent almost ten years with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office in Dalton, Georgia. Before his law enforcement career he was a member of the United States Marine Corps.

Hit Bahadur Gurung, 39, of Nepal worked as a security guard at the Kandahar police training facility.

“These men supported the mission in Afghanistan with courage, honor and excellence, and gave their lives in pursuit of a more secure Afghanistan,” says CEO Bill Ballhaus. “We extend our deepest sympathies to their families, loved ones and colleagues.”

Update

Private security contractors also are facing an increase in Taliban attacks across Afghanistan. A U.S. contractor who was training Afghan police was killed on June 7 along with a Nepalese security guard by a brazen suicide attack on a police station in Kandahar.

Update

Two civilian contractors training police, an American and a Nepalese, also died in a brazen suicide attack Monday in the southern city of Kandahar.

Update Two Killed in Afghan Raid

Two foreign nationals were killed in a suicide bomb and commando attack on an Afghan police training centre in Kandahar today, officials said.

An American and another unidentified foreigner, both with the US security firm DynCorp, which is contracted to help with police training, were killed in the attack.

The Kandahar governor’s spokesman said one suspected Taliban insurgent blew himself up, blasting open the gates of the training centre and allowing two other insurgents to enter and start a gunfight before they were killed.

Taliban attack Kandahar police training base

At least two people were killed, including a US contractor, when suicide bombers attacked a police training centre in Kandahar on Monday in the latest Taliban assault aimed at countering a big Nato operation to secure the city.

The US embassy said an American working for Dyncorp, the US security company, and another foreign national were among the dead

Police gunned down two of the would-be bombers after the first attacker blew himself up in an attempt to breach the base wall, said Zemarai Bashary, interior ministry spokesman.

Mr Bashary denied that anybody had been killed apart from the three assailants. It was not immediately possible to account for the discrepancy between his account and the report of at least two civilian deaths announced by the US embassy

The attack happened at approximately 11.40 a.m. local time in the Daman district of Kandahar province, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry

See Also MsSparky

June 7, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contractor Casualties, DynCorp, State Department | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taliban Suicide Bomber kills American Contractor in Kandahar

By RAHIM FAIEZ and MATTHEW PENNINGTON (AP) – 37 minutes ago

On Monday, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least two people — one of them an American contractor — in an attack on a police training center in southern Kandahar city, the U.S. Embassy said.

June 7, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contractor Casualties, State Department | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan suicide attack targets ISAF Contractors

Ten foreigners were injured and two Afghans killed when a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives at the entrance to a compound housing international aid companies in Kandahar.

UPDATE:

Briton Injured in Deadly Carbomb attack in Afghanistan

A British man has been injured in a fatal car bomb explosion on a compound in Afghanistan, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Three internationals and three Afghanis were killed in the explosion in Kandahar. It is understood they had been working as contractors for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

“The nationalities of all the casualties are not yet clear but one of those injured was British. We understand his injuries were not severe and that he did not require hospital treatment,” a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said.

Early reports suggest a car bomb detonated inside a compound housing foreign contractors, killing a number of people.

A spokesperson from ISAF said ten people were injured in the blast and are currently being treated at a nearby hospital.

The Foreign Office said it was in contact with officials in Afghanistan in an effort to establish whether any other British nationals were involved in the incident.

Local official Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, said a foreign contractor had been shipping fuel supplies in the area.

UPDATE at the Australian

KANDAHAR: British military officials are investigating reports that security contractors from Britain were among the victims of a suicide car bombing in southern Afghanistan.

By Ben Farmer in Kabul
Published: 8:18AM BST 16 Apr 2010

Original Here

Early reports had suggested Britons were killed in the attack on Thursday evening, but the provincial governor said 12 hours later on Friday morning that only Afghans had died.

Three Americans and one south African were injured and sources said a Briton had been wounded but was not in a serious condition. The wounded were being treated in the nearby Nato hospital at Kandahar airfield.

The 9pm blast struck a compound housing the offices of the international contracting company Louis Berger Group, the Afghanistan Stabilization Initiative and the aid contracting company Chemonics International.

Windows were blown out across the city and it followed hours after another attack against a Kandahar hotel which wounded eight.

Tooryalai Wesa, governor, said there had been no claim of responsibility for the bombing, which according to some reports involved a fuel tanker.

The vehicle got past a security gate, before detonating at a second in the high security compound.

Nato forces are preparing for a major operation this summer in Kandahar — the largest city in the Taliban-ridden south and the birthplace of the hardline Islamist movement.

April 16, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment