Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

A Military Cutback We Can’t Afford: Fighting Tropical Diseases

Leishmaniasis at The Iraq Infections

“In the coming years leishmaniasis may become the most important condition you have never heard of among veterans”

Barbara Herwaldt CDC on Leishmaniasis

 Contractors will be even less likely to be diagnosed and/or treated timely or effectively.   Diagnoses normally occurs long after they’ve had contact with their families.

Peter Hotez & James Kazura at The Atlantic

In recent months, many politicians and presidential hopefuls have called for budget reductions, and many have specifically targeted military spending for cutbacks. Unfortunately, even programs proven to be cost effective are vulnerable to cuts. Medical research for our troops is no exception to this rule — programs such as the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) often find themselves low on the priority list despite their crucial role in saving the lives of our troops on the battlefield and here at home.

One important area of research is tropical medicine. During World War II and the Vietnam War, more than one million service members acquired tropical infections such as malaria, dengue fever, hookworm, and typhus, and many of these diseases continued to plague our veterans after they returned home. Today, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan still face formidable tropical disease threats, especially from a disease transmitted by the bite of sand flies known as leishmaniasis, which can cause a disfiguring ulcer in one form, and a serious systemic condition that clinically resembles leukemia in another. In the coming years leishmaniasis may become the most important condition you have never heard of among veterans.

WRAIR’s leishmaniasis diagnostic laboratory is the only one of its kind in the world, so each time funding is slashed our military loses considerable expertise and capabilities in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this devastating disease. For example, in the years prior to the Gulf War, the WRAIR leishmaniasis program was officially decommissioned and all research was halted. Only after cases of leishmaniasis among U.S. forces exposed to sand-fly bites in the Iraqi desert were the remaining leishmaniasis experts at WRAIR quickly assembled and tasked with making up for lost time. In 2002, the WRAIR leishmaniasis program was again dissolved only to be urgently activated once more with the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The interruptions to the WRAIR leishmaniasis program are part of much larger budget cuts across all of WRAIR’s tropical infectious disease research programs. There is no end to the irony of such cutbacks given that they coincide with the activation in 2008 of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), charged with fighting the war on terror across the African continent. Today, sub-Saharan Africa has the largest number of cases of tropical diseases anywhere in the world. Many of these tropical infections, such as river blindness and African sleeping sickness, have been shown to destabilize communities and may actually promote conflict in the region.

Please see the original and read more here

January 21, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Africa, Bug Watch, Central America, Civilian Contractors, Columbia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues, Sudan | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ITT Systems Corp wins Kuwait Base Operations and Security Support Services Contract

Defpro  July 19, 2011

ITT Systems Corp., Colorado Springs, Colo., was awarded a $267,918,208 cost-plus-award-fee contract.

The award will provide for the modification of an existing contract to provide base operations and security support services in support of the military troops and equipment moving through the country of Kuwait. Work will be performed in Kuwait, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 28, 2015. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with five bids received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-10-C-0062).

July 19, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contracts Awarded, Government Contractor, Kuwait, Private Military Contractors | , , , , | 1 Comment

Maj Eddie Pressley, Eurica Pressley go on Trial Today

Updated:  Jury selection begins

Brian Lawson The Huntsville Times

HUNTSVILLE, AL — A couple from Harvest are scheduled to go on trial this morning in Decatur on nearly $3 million in federal bribery and money laundering charges stemming from Army contract work in Kuwait and Iraq.

U.S. Army Maj. Eddie Pressley, an Army contracting officer, is charged with taking $2.8 million in bribes from a defense contractor in exchange for approving an open-ended contract to provide bottled water and fences in Kuwait and Iraq.

Prosecutors allege the deal occurred while Pressley was serving in Kuwait from October 2004 to October 2005.

The contractor, Terry Hall of Georgia, pleaded guilty to bribery and money laundering last year. Hall allegedly received $9.3 million from the arrangement with Pressley and a total of $21 million in contract work in dealings with other Army officials who have also been charged in the case.

Along with the bribery charges, the government charged the couple with money laundering of the bribery funds. They allege Mrs. Pressley set up bank accounts in Madison, Dubai and the Cayman Islands, between 2004 and 2007, moved money around and later bought property and cars.

The case is to be heard in the U.S. District Court in Decatur, before U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins.

The prosecution is being led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s of Public Integrity Section, which operates out of Washington, D.C.

Eddie Pressley is being represented by attorney Clyde E. Riley of Birmingham. Eurica Pressley’s attorneys are Robert Joe McLean and Thomas J. Spina, also of Birmingham, according to court records.

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Iraq, Kuwait, Legal Jurisdictions, Pentagon | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-military contractor gets prison for bribery

Chron AP Texas News

HOUSTON — A former senior employee of a U.S. military employee got a three-year-and-one-month prison sentence for her part in a conspiracy to bribe Army contracting officials at a U.S. base in Kuwait.

Dorothy Ellis was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to a single count of conspiracy to bribe public officials. U.S. District Judge David Hittner of Houston also ordered the 53-eyar-old Texas City woman to serve three years of probation and pay $360,000 in restitution. She’s the 14th of 16 people charged in the case to plead guilty.

Maj. Eddie Pressley and his wife Eurica Pressley are scheduled for trial in a Decatur, Ala., federal court Jan. 31. They allegedly took $2.8 million in bribes from a contractor who delivered bottled water and building fences in Kuwait and Iraq.

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Iraq, Kuwait | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iraqi Logistics Contract Case Continues Mired In Controversy

Agility Deny Change of Legal Status as Shares Fall

US – KUWAIT – IRAQ – DUBAI – The lawsuit outstanding against Agility, the Kuwait based logistics contractor, seems destined to continue its controversial way toward the Courts after what appears to be yet another piece of disinformation. The shipping of supplies to the US military machine in Iraq, the previous misinformed press coverage and Agility’s replacement by Dubai listed Anham FZCo has already been liberally covered in these pages.

Although Agility have a published a specialist website to cover their legal wrangle with the US Defense Department which dates back to an FBI announcement in November 2009 there is no mention of this latest development. On Friday Reuters apparently published an article stating US prosecutors had filed a civil suit against Agility containing an accusation that fraud had been involved in the execution of the food logistics contract which was worth close to $10 billion.

Agility shares then apparently fell by around 5% despite Agility having argued all along that they wanted to fight the case as a civil, not a criminal matter. The outcome of the case is of critical importance to Agility which is banned from further US Government tenders until the matter is resolved, penalties could reach double the amount proved to be embezzled.

Reuters now report that a statement from Agility last night saying the allegations of a new lawsuit were untrue saying:

“The new civil case it spoke about is not a new lawsuit against Agility, but a procedural amendment to the case that was announced in November 2009.”

It is not known at this stage the fate of other US freight contracts obtained by the Agility Defense & Government Services (DGS) which predate the scandal, in some cases by only a week or so, for shipping supplies to numerous countries including Afghanistan. Also questions remain over the employment of senior US military officials, including some from the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and responsible for procurement, who latterly became Agility staff members.  Please see the original here

January 10, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Department of Defense, Iraq | , , , | Leave a comment

Anham Says Logistics Contract With U.S. Department of Defense is Final

Bloomberg Middle East

Anham FCZO LLC said its logistics contract with the U.S. Department of Defense is final and that it has started to implement it with a view to fully taking over the order by the end of this year.

“It has been final for a while,” Managing Director Mogheith Sukhtian told reporters today in Kuwait City. “We have a signed contract with the U.S. government.”

Dubai-based Anham said April 16 it was awarded a $2.2 billion contract by the U.S. Defense Department to provide logistical support to U.S. troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan.

Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Co., a cargo shipper, said April 28 that it filed an objection to the awarding of the contract to Anham, which it said failed to meet criteria. The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency decided to take “corrective measures” regarding the objection and will receive amended offers from bidders “to take new decisions for a new settlement,” Kuwait & Gulf Link said in July.

“The protest process is a part of the U.S. government contracting process and it’s conducted in the normal course of U.S government contracts,” Sukhtian said. “So we’re undergoing the process but in the meantime, what we can say, is that the contract is being executed. We anticipate the transition between the incumbent and us to be completed by the end of the year,” Sukhtian added.

The incumbent contractor, Agility Public Warehousing Co., is the Middle East’s largest storage and logistics company and faces charges of overbilling the U.S government on a multibillion dollar contract to supply food for troops in Kuwait and Iraq. Agility had said it was in talks to resolve legal cases with the U.S. Department of Justice and there was no guarantee a settlement would be agreed.

A U.S. magistrate recommended the dismissal of an indictment against Agility’s unit, Agility DGS Holdings Inc., in connection with the company’s contract to feed U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait, Agility said Oct. 11. Please see the original story here

 

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Iraq, Kuwait | , , , , , | Leave a comment

DoD: Civilian contractors in Kuwait didn’t have proper clearances

Washington (CNN) A new Defense Department report says many civilian contractors working in Kuwait didn’t have proper clearances and could have jeopardized the safety of U.S. military personnel and undermined national security.

The Defense Department Inspector General said dozens of contractors worked in sensitive positions without security clearances or the official passes they needed. And some of those people, according to the report, were allowed to remain on the job even after inspectors uncovered the security problems.

The report says a company called Combat Support Associates (CSA) was awarded the contract in 1999 for what was called Combat Support Services Contract-Kuwait (CSSC-K). The contract was extended and is due to expire at the end of September after costing the government more than $3.3 billion dollars.

“CSSC-K contractor employees occupied sensitive positions such as force protection officers, system administrators, and supply inspectors in Kuwait without obtaining security clearances,” the report says.

The the department’s inspector general says the company’s security office failed to track 21 of 379 employees who were in sensitive positions, such as ammunition supply, and that 11 employees did not have a valid security clearance. In addition there was no information whether some of the employees had a U.S. passport, although U.S. citizenship was required by the contract

“Additionally, CSA officials allowed 20 employees to remain in sensitive positions without the required security clearance after its internal quality assurance office and DCMA ( the Defense Contract Management Agency, overseeing the contract) officials informed CSA officials that they were in violation of the contract,” the report says. “If DCMA and contractor officials do not ensure that all employees have the required security clearances and maintain proper security information, they jeopardize the military mission and threaten the safety and security of the military, civilian, and contractor personnel in Kuwait.” Read the entire story here

September 22, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Former Army Contractor Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter and Assault After Collision in Kuwait Kills One Sailor and Seriously Injures Another

by the Department of Justice at PRNewswire (?)

WASHINGTON, July 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A former U.S. Army contractor was arrested today in Newport News, Va., for allegedly killing one sailor and seriously injuring another in a vehicular collision in Kuwait, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia and Brigadier General Colleen McGuire, Provost General of the Army and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Morgan Hanks, 25, of Newport News, was arrested on charges contained in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on July 13, 2010, and unsealed today in the Eastern District of Virginia.  The indictment charges Hanks with one count of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Brian Patton, and one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury for injuring David Morgan.

According to the indictment, in November 2009, Hanks was employed in Kuwait as a canine handler by Combat Support Associates and Combat Support Associates Ltd. (CSA).  CSA provided site security and force protection at U.S. Army bases in Kuwait.  The indictment alleges that on approximately Nov. 19, 2009, Hanks was operating a motor vehicle in excess of the posted speed limit on Alternate Supply Route Aspen in Kuwait.  The indictment alleges that Hanks attempted to pass an eight-vehicle convoy on the two-lane road while traveling uphill and caused a collision with another vehicle in which Patton and Morgan were traveling.  The collision killed Patton and left Morgan with a serious brain injury and multiple fractures.

Hanks is charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), a statute that gives U.S. courts jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed outside the United States by, among others, contractors or subcontractors of the Department of Defense.  If convicted, Hanks faces up to 10 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigative Division and is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorneys Micah D. Pharris and Steven C. Parker of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Hurt for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The Criminal Division announced the formation of HRSP on March 30, 2010.  The new section represents a merger of the Criminal Division’s Domestic Security Section (DSS) and the Office of Special Investigations (OSI).

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Agility Lose Out on US Military Supply Shipments

US Defence Logistics Agency Change Shipping Contractors

KUWAIT – US – IRAQAgility, the Kuwait based company threatened with a major penalty for alleged impropriety over shipping supplies to the US military, report they have been replaced as the chosen logistics supplier by the US Defence Logistics Agency. The company report that they will continue to supply the Government forces for a further six months to ensure a smooth transition.

Agility, referred to in indictments as PWC or Public Warehousing Company, the name under which they formerly traded, stated on Monday that two sister companies, Agility DGS Holdings and Agility DGS Logistics, had been added to the prosecutions case file. The group stand accused of overcharging the US military by millions of dollars for their services and making false statements to disguise their activities.

The Agility Group stated in Monday’s release:

“PWC’s work on the food contract has been timely, reliable and cost effective. Its performance, under the most dangerous and demanding conditions, has been unparalleled. The prices it charges have been negotiated with, agreed to, and continually approved by the U.S. government, which has found PWC’s prices to be fair and reasonable.

“PWC has a strong, compelling legal case. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously if this matter properly goes to court. PWC and the Department of Justice continue to hold discussions aimed at a resolution.

“The decision by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta is regrettable. The indictment contains no new allegations, and simply adds two PWC affiliates as defendants. This move serves only to taint PWC subsidiaries that have a strong record of on-the-job performance and compliance with U.S. law and federal acquisition regulations.”

Requests to the US military by the Handy Shipping Guide for the identity of any new supplier remain unanswered but on Tuesday a Springfield, Virginia based group, Versar Incorporated, announced that they had been awarded two task order contract extensions totalling $7.5 million by the Gulf Region District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is for their support works, including logistics, for their personal services contract to regenerate and reconstruct areas of Iraq. These works should be completed by October this year, just as Agility complete their foreshortened contract. Versar had already received a further $37 million worth of US military contract renewals in the preceding two weeks.

See full story with comments at Ms Sparky

April 15, 2010 Posted by | Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New defendants in Kuwaiti military contractor indictment

By Bill Rankin

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Federal prosecutors have obtained a new indictment charging a Kuwaiti firm and two of its affiliates of defrauding the U.S. military on billion-dollar supply contracts.

The indictment, which remains under seal, was disclosed during a hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Public Warehousing Co., now known as Agility, had previously been indicted on charges it gouged the Defense Department by overcharging food supplies being delivered to U.S. troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan. The new indictment also names Agility DGS Logistics Services Co. KSCC and Agility DGS Holdings Inc.

Lawyers for the companies asked U.S. Magistrate Alan Baverman to keep the new indictment sealed for seven days, saying it might help settlement negotiations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Nelan disagreed, saying that unsealing the new charges “may be helpful” to the parties’ attempts to reach a settlement.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported that parties in the case had been negotiating a possible settlement that could reach $750 million. Since the indictment, the Defense Logistics Agency, which provides supplies to U.S. armed forces worldwide, has barred Agility and 100 of its affiliates from receiving new contracts from the government pending the outcome of the Atlanta case.

Agility has long maintained federal prosecutors did not properly serve the company with the indictment. At Monday’s hearing, only a lawyer for Agility DGS Holdings entered a not guilty plea. Lawyers for Agility and Agility DGS Logistics Services declined, so Baverman entered not guilty pleas for them.

“The decision by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta is regrettable,” the company said in a statement issued after Monday’s hearing. “This move serves only to taint PWC subsidiaries that have a strong record of on-the-job performance and compliance with U.S. law and federal acquisition regulations.”

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Contractor Corruption, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cerberus to take defense contractor DynCorp private in $1 billion deal

From The Associated Press, April 12, 2010 – 10:43 AM

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) – DynCorp International, which has helped train the national police in Afghanistan, said Monday that it is being bought out by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for $1 billion.

A recent decision to shift control of the training program from the State Department to the military may end a contract that DynCorp has held since 2003.

The company is challenging the decision.

DynCorp shareholders will receive $17.55 in cash for each share, a premium of 49 percent from Friday’s closing price of $11.75. The deal also includes debt that pushes its total value to $1.5 billion.

Under the terms of the deal announced Monday, DynCorp has 28 days to solicit proposals from other companies.

Shares of DynCorp International Inc. soared $5.72, or 49 percent, to $17.47.

DynCorp provides services such as aviation support in Iraq to helping flood victims in the U.S. It has contracts in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Two possible drug-related deaths in Afghanistan by two contractors has raised concerns about how well the company selects and manages employees assigned to a police training contract that is considered key as the U.S. looks to hand over more of the security burden to the Afghans.

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, DynCorp, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colonel to Admit Role in Iraq War Corruption

U.S. Army Veteran Is Accused of Taking More Than $50,000 in Bribes

By JOEL MILLMAN at WSJ

A 26-year veteran of the U.S. Army is the latest and highest-ranking officer to plead guilty in a contractor-corruption scandal rising out of the Iraq War.

Col. Kevin A. Davis, who retired from the military in 2005, has agreed to plead guilty next month in a U.S. court in Washington, D.C., according to federal court documents.

Col. Davis is charged with taking more than $50,000 in bribes to help a Kuwait-based contractor win a rigged bid to operate weapons warehouses in Iraq. Col. Davis then went to work for that same company, American Logistics Services, as a senior executive after leaving the military. Col. Davis later joined Lee Dynamics International, which was formed by George Lee, a U.S. citizen who also directed ALS.

LDI was banned from government service after being investigated in probes of defense-contract fraud in Iraq and Kuwait. Mr. Lee is under investigation, and officials say they will likely seek an indictment. LDI challenged the ban in court, but it was upheld. Mr. Lee’s attorney says his client denies any wrongdoing by both himself and any companies he was involved with.

Col. Davis declined through his attorney to speak about the case. He is expected to cooperate with federal investigators after his guilty plea is accepted, according to his lawyer.

Another officer expected to plead guilty next month is Capt. Markus E. McClain, according to federal officials familiar with the investigation. The Mississippian is charged with taking $15,000 to help a Kuwait-based firm secure a contract to provide vehicles to military convoys supplying bases in Iraq.

Capt. McClain, 31, didn’t respond to requests for comment. He served in Kuwait in 2004 after being called to active duty from the Mississippi Army National Guard. A guard spokesman said he resigned from his unit on March 1.

Col. Davis, 52 years old, is the highest-ranking officer to be implicated in a scheme known among federal investigators as the Cockerham Case, for Major John Cockerham, who pleaded guilty last year to receiving more than $9 million in illegal payments for defense contracts, primarily to service the Camp Arifjan military base in Kuwait.

Early in the probe, Major Gloria Dean Davis, came under suspicion by investigators in the case. She committed suicide in Baghdad in December 2006, hours after confirming she received more than $225,000 from the same contractor Col. Davis later joined as a civilian, LDI.

The two officers weren’t related, however investigators familiar with the case say they were involved romantically.

Capt. McClain reported to Maj. Davis in 2004.  Read this story in it’s entirety at WSJ

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Contractor Corruption, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vetted International Launches Medical Management Program to Service Kuwait

Vetted International, Ltd. (www.vetted-intl.com) has announced that it has launched new capabilities in Kuwait to provide & manage medical care for injuries covered under the Defense Base Act (DBA).

Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) February 25, 2010 — Vetted International, Ltd. (www.vetted-intl.com) has announced that it has launched new capabilities in Kuwait to provide & manage medical care for injuries covered under the Defense Base Act (DBA).

Civilian contractors in support of United States strategies abroad are covered by a 1941 law titled the Defense Base Act (DBA). . The DBA covers civilian contractors in a similar fashion as a traditional state worker’s compensation policy; however, there are many challenges that are difficult to overcome without a physical presence in the areas in which losses occur. Vetted initially provided that presence throughout the world to act as liaisons to expedite claims handling. As those challenges became more evident, Vetted expanded its services to include medical management and treasury services.

Numerous companies supporting coalition contracts to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure logistically supported those operations from Kuwait. Workers injured during these activities require ongoing care in Kuwait. While Kuwait has suitable medical facilities to handle illness and injuries, not all facilities are familiar with the Defense Base Act or the American Medical Association Guides on the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

Vetted International has maintained certification in their proficiency of those required AMA guidelines from the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME). Vetted International is recognized as the industry subject matter expert in DBA medical management and understands the complexities of evaluating impairment per American Medical Association (AMA) Guidelines.

“We have implemented a program in Kuwait to successfully assist DBA insured patients while obtaining care from providers that subscribe to the requirements within the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment,” said Brian Sjostedt, Vetted President & CEO.

“Regardless of nationality, insured patients can now expect that they can obtain care with reporting that will assist insurers with addressing losses under the Defense Base Act.”

About Vetted International:

Vetted International is a corporate and government solution based company headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Vetted utilizes a global network of integrity driven local national professionals to minimize risk and implement responsive action plans in various permissive & non-permissive environments. Foreign and domestic insurance companies, financial institutions, government departments & ministries, government agencies & contractors, and healthcare organizations have relied on Vetted’s unique capabilities in over 40 countries worldwide.

Vetted International has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau in that it meets all standards including a commitment to make good faith efforts to resolve consumer complaints.

For more information, contact:

Mark Pauley One Renaissance Center 3301 Benson Drive, Suite 545 Raleigh, North Carolina 27609 919-518-9200 877-838-8331 – Toll Free

Media Contact: Vetted International, Ltd. Mark Pauley 919-518-9200 877-838-8331 – Toll Free

February 27, 2010 Posted by | Contractor Casualties | , , , | Leave a comment