Cross Posted from MsSparky’s November 8, 2011
On September 30, 2011 KBR, along with Berger/Cummins JV and IAP Worldwide Services, Inc. were awarded contracts by the The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide electrical services for contingency operations in Afghanistan. This $490 million dollar contract is to perform electrical services for prime power operations in support of any location within the Afghan Theater of Operations. This contract supports any and all U.S. facilities in Afghanistan, as required, up to the maximum capacity of $500 million.
The contract includes generator set Operations and Maintenance (O&M), preparation, transport, installation, preventive maintenance, scheduled maintenance, emergency maintenance, service, fueling, relocating and recovering generator sets, associated fuel systems (if required), and all transmission/distribution system maintenance including the underground or overhead system at the U.S. Facilities from the generators to the transformer and associated switchgear.
USACE, who has had their own employee issues lately, acts as if there are no other contractors out there who can do this work! Not to mention, I suspect these three contractors will load up on cheap third world or Afghan labor to perform this work instead of licensed electricians, further propagating US sponsored human trafficking.
Let’s take a look at these contractors one by one at MsSparky’s
13 Americans believed killed in Kabul bombing UPDATED October 31, 2011
From the comments
Saturday we suffered a tragic loss of seven of our own teammates during an attack in Kabul. Each of those we lost was a friend and valued part of our team. We lived and worked together. We forged bonds of camaraderie that are only found at times like this.
We each deal with our grief in different ways; some will find comfort in memorial services like the one we held at Dubbs or the ramp ceremony at Bagram, others will find that talking to friends, a Chaplain, or counselor helps. We have Site Managers and Employee Assistance Program teams on site to help us through this difficult time and find ways to cope.
Yesterday we notified the families of those we lost and we have assistance officers with them to help each of the families get through the difficult times ahead. I have asked our leaders to stay engaged with our colleagues that need assistance here and answer the questions that we can. I want to be sure you all have this information, as I know that rumors and internet blogs have not always been the best source for information.
Should you have any questions or need assistance, please talk to your immediate supervisor. He or she can provide the first step to find direction or help and ensure the proper steps are taken. Keep in mind that we have professional counselors on our EAP team available to assist you.
Although many of us know them personally, out of respect for their families we are not releasing any names of those lost in the attack. Please join me as our thoughts and prayers are with our teammates and their families during this difficult time.
George Rabb, Country Manager, LOGCAP
Fluor Government Group
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal agency has filed a civil lawsuit against military contractor DynCorp, alleging that a mechanic in Iraq was subjected to homophobic slurs and a hostile working environment.
The EEOC alleges Friso endured daily taunts from a co-worker during a four-month stint in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. Friso, who is married and heterosexual, complained to managers but was either ignored or threatened with transfer.
Friso was eventually transferred to a lower paying job in Germany.
The lawsuit seeks damages for Friso and a requirement that DynCorp institute policies to prevent sexual harassment of men.
Falls Church-based DynCorp did not respond to a request for comment
Updates: Fluor states that the rape victim did not die but is in critical condition in Germany.
This post has been edited to correct errors in the original that reported the victim had died in Germany of her injuries.-Yes, sometimes I get it wrong too. Ms Sparky-July 26, 2011
Cross Posted from MsSparky July 25, 2011
I’m not certain of the date, but the attack occurred between July 17-22. She was reportedly found unconscious and was medi-vac’d to Bagram Air Field (BAF) and then to Germany where it has been reported, she died of her injuries.
This crime has apparently got the entire FOB locked down. Hopefully, they’ll find the person(s) who committed this heinous crime and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.
This is but another on the long list of tragic rapes and murders in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As soon as I get more information on this sad tragedy I will update the post.
My most heartfelt condolences to the friends, family and co-workers of this victim.
KBR Awarded U.S. Central Command’s Multiple Award Task Order Contract
BusinessWire – June 30, 2011
KBR (NYSE:KBR) today announced that it has been awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Middle East District the U.S. Central Command’s (CENTCOM) Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC). This new MATOC program has an overall value of $3.8 billion, with a period of performance currently at two base years, with one-year options available for the following three years.
Under the previous CENTCOM MATOC program, KBR successfully executed $620M worth of projects across 32 separate task orders, thereby establishing a longstanding history with this client. The current MATOC program will support design-build and construction projects throughout the 20 countries of the CENTCOM area of responsibility, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, U.A.E., Uzbekistan and Yemen. A large majority of the task orders anticipated for this MATOC program include vital projects directly supporting the U.S. Military and U.S. Government in the various regions.
“It is a privilege for KBR to be given the opportunity to continue to work with the Middle East District USACE, and to continue to offer a high level of services and quality facilities to our military personnel located throughout the world,” said Mark Williams, Group President, Infrastructure, Government & Power.
KBR is a global engineering, construction and services company supporting the energy, hydrocarbon, government services, minerals, civil infrastructure, power, industrial, and commercial markets. For more information, visit www.kbr.com. (Click HERE for original article)
KBR truck drivers win a major victory in the ongoing battle with KBR regarding being forced to work “off the clock”. The KBR management war cry of “84 and no more”, meaning a driver could only document 84 hours per week on their time sheet even though they were forced to work much more, meant drivers were forced to risk their lives and work for free in a profession with the highest civilian casualty rate in Iraq.
KBR truck drivers initiated class arbitration proceedings before Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS) on November 1, 2007, asserting that KBR breached their employment contracts with them and other employees by failing and refusing to pay them for all hours worked.
JAMS arbitrator, Michael Loeb granted class certification Thursday to KBR truck drivers who said KBR Inc. breached an employment agreement by pressuring them to under-report hours worked under the military’s Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract in Iraq.
While most cases involving unreported overtime should be dealt with on an individual basis because they usually involve different supervisors giving different orders to different employees, the current dispute is not a “typical ‘off-the-clock’ case,” according to arbitrator Michael Loeb.
In the Certification Award, Arbitrator Loeb granted petitioners’ motion to certify a class of truck drivers and convoy leads who worked for KBR in Iraq between November 1, 2003 and the present.
NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR ORDER CONFIRMING ARBITRATOR’S APRIL 28, 2011 AWARD GRANTING MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION AND APRIL 28, 2011 AWARD CONFIRMING WAIVER OF RIGHT TO CHALLENGE WHETHER ARBITRATION CLAUSE ENCOMPASSES ARBITRATION OF CLASS CLAIMS
The law firms involved with this case are:
I hope other defense contractors are taking note. KBR has gotten away with these and other employee abuses for years, but it looks like it’s finally catching up with them and I do hope it costs them big. If I’m not mistaken, forcing someone to work and not paying them is and always has been considered slavery!
Where was the DoD in all this? Why were they allowing this to go on? Ms Sparky
Hundreds of injuries have occurred in Antarctica since 2001, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, but only three cases have been reported to the U.S. Department of Labor. This, despite the fact that Antarctic contract employees are entitled to special insurance benefits under the Defense Base Act laws and contract companies are required to report all injuries to the Department of Labor. But Raytheon Polar Services (RPSC), the company hired to run the U.S. Antarctic program, failed to comply with the law.
When they do report an injury Liberty Mutual refuses to pay.
Why would Raytheon jeoparadize their quals to bid on further work to help the insurance company?
I worked (wintered over) for Raytheon Polar Services at the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Palmer Station, Antarctica in 2002. I know first hand the unique working conditions and safety hazards faced daily by employees at these U.S. stations. There is no hardware store or supply house down the street to get your parts and material from. If the person ordering parts for your job isn’t clear about the scope of the work, you may find yourself improvising. I also believe the NSF lacks in the oversight capabilities necessary to ensure all work is done to applicable codes and in a safe manner. Raytheon basically inspects themselves. Nothing independent about that!! They’ve gone unchecked for years. I know I brought several safety concerns to the attention of the Station Manager (a Raytheon employee) and was told “I just didn’t know how things were done down here!” (I think I worked for that same guy in Iraq!) I haven’t been following the Antarctica work much so I want to thank our friends at Defense Base Act Compensation Blog for bringing this story to my attention.
Rumor has it KBR is bidding on this contract.
In the ongoing legal battle being waged by several State National Guard Units, this video is pretty typical of what I’ve seen of KBR testimony about the role they played in exposing US and British soldiers, US and local civilians to deadly hexavalent chromium at Qarmat Ali. You can watch more disturbing deposition testimony HERE. I am listing the people giving depositions in the order they appear in this DoyleRaizner video.
As far as I’m concerned, someone or several someones need to be going to prison for murder, assault and treason!
1. K.T. Tseng – KBR engineer who led team conducting April 2003 environmental/safety assessment of Qarmat Ali – Testimony from :53-2:29 of video
2. Ralph Stephenson – Former Corporate Health Safety & Environmental (HSE) Manager – Testimony from 2:45-3:16 of video
3. Mary Wade – KBR Chief Contract Negotiator – Testimony from 3:20-6:08 of video
4. Chris Heinrich – KBR Contract Attorney – Testimony from 6:09-7:00 of video
5. Jack Alvarez – KBR Head of Security – Testimony from 7:19-8:03 of video
6. Young Lee – KBR Environmental Engineering Manager – Testimony 8:08-8:42 of video
7. Mary Wade – KBR Chief Contract Negotiator – Testimony from 8:49-9:46 of video
8. Lt. Col. James Gentry – Former Commander of the Indiana National Guard – Testimony from 9:47-10:52 – Lt. Col James Gentry, 52 died on November 25, 2009 of his illness contracted from exposure to hexavalent chromium at Qarmat Ali.
A federal magistrate imposed the additional condition of release on Monday after it was learned defendant Ralph Mariano had racked up more than $100,000 in casino winnings recently, including while out on bail.
Angela Lemire – (Middletown Patch) – March 14, 2011 – A federal magistrate on Monday banned one of the men charged with engaging in a multimillion defense contractor kickback and bribery scheme from casino gambling, after he reportedly won $112,000 at Twin River Casino in Lincoln since early January, including while out on bail.
Ralph Mariano, 52, of Arlington, VA, who was working as a civilian program manager and senior systems engineer with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Newport at the time of his Feb. 8 arrest, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond on Monday for a bond hearing. Mariano had previously requested extensions to come up with the $50,000 he needed to post to avoid incarceration pending the federal case against him, Projo.com had reported. Please read the entire post here
It was just last September when I wrote about the resignation/demotion/transfer call it what you will of Dyncorp’s LOGCAP IV manager Hank Miller and his Deputy Project Manager Scott Mount. Many many employees breathed a sigh of relief as these two headed to the tarmac.
During the rein of Hank Miller and Scott Mount, many Dyncorp employees were not being paid on time, employee turnover was very high, moral was very low and according to my sources the client was not happy with Dyncorp’s performance. There was much anticipation with the announcement that Joe Schmitt would replace Hank Miller in the position of Project Manager. I have to be honest the number of complaints I’ve heard from Dyncorp employees has drastically reduced since Joe Schmitt took the helm.
That didn’t last but six months and now Joe Schmitt has joined the ranks of “Past LOGCAP PM’s”. Reportedly there was a “incident” at FOB Walton near Kandahar involving Schmitt and the Base Commander, Colonel Applegate. It is alleged, the incident may have gotten physical. Regardless of the reasons, no one should EVER go there, especially our leaders. I don’t know if it was a voluntary or encouraged resignation of his position, but Dyncorp really had no other choice but to remove him from Theater. I have yet to confirm the rumors regarding Colonel Applegate’s consequences. It’s unfortunate on both sides.
We’ll be reporting soon on why the Department of Labor’s numbers are so skewed for this year and who benefited by keeping this a secret.
In a recent article published by to DangerZoneJobs.com, the foremost authority on overseas contract employment, it was reported there were over 179,000 civilian DoD contractor personnel deployed in Iraq (Operation New Dawn (OND), Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).
As you can see the contractor numbers are down significantly from the 250,335 reported in Iraq and Afghanistan in March 2010.
According to DOD, there were 250,335 DOD contractor personnel in the CENTCOM AOR compared to approximately 272,000 uniformed personnel in the region who are supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during the first quarter of 2010.
Sadly, while contractor personnel counts were down, contractor deaths were up. Overseas Civilian Contractors scours the various reports in an attempt to compile an accurate list of contractor deaths and injuries. They feel that even one contractor death unaccounted for is one too many. They report that during the 4th Quarter of 2010 there were 140 civilian contractor deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The total number of deaths for 2010 was 513 up from 336 for 2009. The total number of civilian contractor deaths since 2001 is 2,540. In addition to deaths, there have been nearly 66, 500 various injuries reported for civilian contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Contractor employee numbers down, contractor employee deaths up. It’s not looking good!
Maybe the Department of Justice should be renamed the
Department of “Little” Justice
MANHATTAN (CN) – After a federal jury convicted an Army captain of corruption with military contractors in Iraq, an attorney who has spent years on such cases said that such prosecutions are rare – and much needed. “For several years, we were very worried because we just saw a complete lack of any sort of fraud prosecution against defense contractors,” Susan Burke said.
“Given the dollars being spent on both these wars, it’s imperative for the United States to continue to root out fraud,” Burke added.
Burke, who has specialized in cases involving misconduct by contractors and military personnel, has represented victims of torture, abuse and murder at Abu Ghraib prison and Nisour Square in Iraq.
Last year, her Iraqi clients settled seven civil lawsuits alleging “senseless slaughter” by guards of the company formerly known as Blackwater, now operating under the name Xe.
Burke says she still has three active lawsuits against defense contractors CACI and L-3, on behalf of Iraqis who say they were tortured at detention centers in Iraq. See the entire post here
On November 29, 2010, we discovered that certain hard drives shipped from our office in Iraq were stolen in transit to out US offices along with other office equipment. After investigation, on November 30, 2010 we determined, to the best of our knowledge, that the stolen hard drives contained personal information of certain of our past employees. Based on our investigation, we believe that the stolen hard drives contained the following unencrypted personal information of our past employees: (i) first and last names, (ii) social security numbers, (iii) passport numbers, (iv) last known home addresses and (v) date of birth and place of birth.
On December 13, 2010 WSLLC notified each of the affected personnel via the US Postal Service to inform them of the breach. They were offered a one year subscription to ConsumerInfo.com credit monitoring service and some advice on how to best protect their credit.
Wackenhut was the primary provider of fire protection services at FOB’s/COB’s in Iraq from 2004 until they lost the contract in Nov 2010. The loss of the contract would account for the reason the hard drives and office equipment was being shipped back to the states. That’s six years worth of employee information on those hard drives. We could easily be talking about 10,000 affected employees.
I’ve contacted WSLLC for answers to specific questions and asked if they would like to make a statement regarding this incident. As of the publishing of this post I have yet to received a response from them.
Wackenhut is not the first company to lose control of it’s employees personal information. A an employee of joint Venture Stanley Baker Hill (SBH) and DAAR published and distributed the names and social security of 269 employees working in Iraq and elsewhere. SBH was the contractor awarded the task of electrical inspections in Iraq for Task Force SAFE. They have since been replaced Versar International Inc.. Many victims on this list were employees of the individual companies in Iraq and elsewhere and had no association with the SBH joint venture. I believe the four individual companies of Stanley Consutants, Michael Baker Corporation, Hill International, or DAAR Engineering still have US Government contracts. At the time of that posting SHB still had not officially notified everyone on the list. Many found out about the breach after reading the article on MsSparky.com. I do not believe SBH ever contacted any State Attorney General’s office.
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.
DynCorp International LOGCAP Team Member Killed in Kandahar Rocket Attack
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.