Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

The Unknown Military Veteran Civilian Contractor War Casualties

They too are the

BEST KEPT SECRET OF THE WARS

The Majority of ExPat Civilian Contractor Casualties first served their country in the military.  

Many of them gave twenty and more years of service before deploying in a civilian capacity.

Many of them were buried with military honors.

Yet we are not supposed to know their names or even that they died in our wars.

Defense Base Act War Profiteers are encouraged to abuse the families they leave behind

You can see some of these nameless hero’s at

Our Fallen Contractors Memorial

Please keep them and their  families in your thoughts today and everyday

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contingency Contracting, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, ExPats, Friendly Fire, Veterans, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slaves to the private military in Iraq Cheap help from Uganda

Private security firms won lucrative contracts to supply support staff and security guards to back up US forces in Iraq. They recruited Ugandans and pushed them to the limit, on low pay and no benefits

Like all foreign nationals working for PMCs under contract to the Pentagon, sick or wounded Ugandans repatriated from Iraq are, in principle, covered by the Defense Base Act, which guarantees that their employer’s insurer will reimburse their medical expenses. It also provides for disability pay for the most unfortunate. “But, all too often, the Ugandans do not receive the medical care and disability that they are supposed to,” American lawyer Tara K Coughlin told me.

by Alain Vicky LeMonde Diplomatique  May 6, 2012

“I realised immediately that I’d just made the worst mistake in my life. But it was too late. I’d signed up for a year. I had to take it like a man,” said Bernard (1), a young Ugandan who worked for an American private military company (PMC) operating in Iraq. He was part of the “invisible army” (2) recruited by the US to support its war effort. Bernard returned to Uganda last year. He is ill, but has been denied the welfare and healthcare benefits promised in his contract.

White recruits — from the US, Israel, South Africa, the UK, France and Serbia — hired by PMCs that have won contracts with the Pentagon (worth $120bn since 2003) have received substantial pay, often more than $10,000 a month; “third country nationals” (TCNs) like Bernard have been treated badly and their rights as employees have been abused. Some, sent home after being wounded, get no help from their former employers.

In June 2008, when the US began its withdrawal from Iraq, there were 70,167 TCNs to 153,300 regular US military personnel; in late 2010 there were still 40,776 TCNs to 47,305 regulars. TCNs (men and women) were recruited in the countries of the South to work on the 25 US military bases in Iraq, including Camp Liberty, an “American small town” built near Baghdad, which at its peak had a population of over 100,000. They made up 59% of the “basic needs” workforce, handling catering, cleaning, electrical and building maintenance, fast food, and even beauty services for female military personnel.

Some, especially African recruits, were assigned to security duties, paired up with regular troops: 15% of the static security personnel (guarding base entrances and perimeters) hired by the PMCs on behalf of the Pentagon were Sub-Saharans. Among these low-cost guards, Ugandans were a majority, numbering maybe 20,000. They were sometimes used to keep their colleagues in line: in May 2010 they quelled a riot at Camp Liberty by a thousand TCNs from the Indian subcontinent.

The high ratio of Ugandans was due to the political situation in central Africa in the early 2000s. In western Uganda the war in the Great Lakes region was officially over. In northern Uganda the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels had been brought under control. In neighbouring Sudan the civil war was over, opening up the way to independence for the south (3). More than 60,000 Ugandan troops were demobilised; Iraq seemed like an opportunity. The Ugandan government, a key ally of the US in central Africa, was one of the few to support the Bush administration when the Iraq war began in 2003. US and Ugandan armed forces have collaborated since the mid-1980s. Ugandan journalist and blogger Angelo Izama (4) told me that in 2005 the US needed more paramilitary security — “They were looking for reliable labour from English-speaking countries, veteran labour” — and turned to Uganda.

Please see the original and read the entire article here

May 7, 2012 Posted by | Africa, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, DynCorp, Follow the Money, Iraq | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SIGIR Speaks

David Isenberg Huffington Post  April 30, 2012

Today the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) has released its latest quarterly report. Here is what happening with private contractors in Iraq.

As of April 3, 2012, the Department of State (DoS) reported that 12,755 personnel supported the U.S. Mission in Iraq, down about 8 percent from the previous quarter. Current staffing comprises 1,369 civilian government employees and 11,386 (U.S., local national, and third country national) contractors. (89 percent of the total).

Of these contractors, DoS estimated that about 2,950 provided security-related services for DoS sites, down more than 22 percent from last quarter (3,800).

In February, Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides said that DoS will continue to reduce the number of contractors over the coming months in an attempt to “right size” Embassy operations.

The Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq (OSC-I) manages U.S. security assistance to the Government of Iraq. OSC-I is staffed by 145 U.S. military personnel, nine Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, and 4,912 contractors.

But according to SIGIR, DoS tends to undercount the number of contractors working in Iraq. It found that:

In early April, DoS asserted that only 6 U.S. government employees and 48 contractors work on what it considers reconstruction programs. This total does not include any of the several hundred personnel working under the auspices of the PDP, [Police Development Program] which remains the single-most expensive ongoing initiative financed by DoS for the benefit of Iraq. Nor does it include any of the hundreds of employees and contractors supporting the missions of OSC-I and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), though both agencies oversee projects paid for with U.S. reconstruction funds.

According to the Defense Department, if you include the OSC-I contractors, the total for private security contractors rises to 3,577.

The takeaway is that after all these years the U.S. government still has problems tracking the number of contractors working in Iraq. The SIGIR report found that:

While SPOT [Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker database, administered by DoD] data provides SIGIR with a comprehensive view of contractor and grantee personnel in Iraq, significant apparent differences exist between agency-reported contractor numbers and SPOT data. For example, DoS reported to SIGIR that there were almost 11,400 contractors supporting Mission Iraq as of April 3, 2012, while SPOT data shows 5,172 working for DoS.276 In addition, USAID reported that 1,854 contractors are currently working on USAID projects in Iraq.277 However, SPOT data shows only 110 USAID contractor and grantee personnel in Iraq as of April 1, 2012. SIGIR intends to investigate these discrepancies and provide an update in the July 2012 Quarterly Report.

With regard to security contractors the Government of Iraq (GOI) announced in February that 124 private security firms were registered to work for foreign government entities and private firms engaged in activities in Iraq, but the GOI has taken steps to minimize the presence and scope of these firms. According to the GOI, the Security and Defense Committee of the Council of Representatives has drafted legislation to reduce the number of PSC firms working in Iraq from 124 to 63. Of the remaining firms, 15 to 20 would be foreign firms and the rest would be Iraqi.

On the fraud front, some of SIGIR’s noteworthy investigations were:

Three former officers of a U.S. defense contractor, the wife of one of the officers, and four foreign nationals were indicted for their alleged roles in a fraud and moneylaundering scheme involving contracts for reconstruction projects in Iraq. The defendants were also are charged with an aggregate of 74 wire-fraud offenses.A British citizen and his company were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay kickbacks in exchange for receiving more than $23 million in DoD subcontracts from April 2006 to August 2008. The British contractor allegedly paid more than $947,500 in unlawful kickbacks to two employees of a prime contractor to the U.S. government in order to obtain these subcontracts for work performed in support of the Coalition Munitions Clearance Program (CMCP).

David Welch, a former U.S. civilian contract employee, pled guilty to conspiring to steal 38 U.S. military generators and sell them on the Iraqi black market.

As of April 10, SIGIR is continuing to work on 110 open investigations.

There are a number of PSC firms working on the Police Development Program; especially in providing security at the Baghdad Police College Annex (BPAX). At BPAX, Triple Canopy, Inc., contractors provide protective details and escort PDP convoys. Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, LLC, provides perimeter security, with Iraqi Security Forces guarding the outer perimeter. EOD Technology, Inc., operates the counter-mortar and counterrocket system, and three U.S. military personnel are attached to the RSO explosive ordnance disposal unit. Another U.S. contractor provides a computer technician who manages the classified email system used by PDP personnel.

 Follow David Isenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/vanidan

April 30, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Government Contractor, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, Security Clearances, SIGIR, State Department, USAID | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beyond WikiLeaks: The Privatization of War

by: Jose L. Gomez del Prado, UN Working Group on Mercenaries, t r u t h o u t | Report

The United Nation Human Rights Council, under the Universal Periodic Review, started in Geneva on November 5, 2010 to review the human rights record of the United States. The following is an edited version of the presentation given by Jose L. Gomez del Prado in Geneva on November 3, 2010 at a parallel meeting at the UN Palais des Nations on that occasion.

Private military and security companies (PMSC) are the modern reincarnation of a long lineage of private providers of physical force: corsairs, privateers and mercenaries. Mercenaries, which had practically disappeared during the 19th and 20th centuries, reappeared in the 1960s during the decolonization period, operating mainly in Africa and Asia. Under the United Nations, a convention was adopted which outlaws and criminalizes their activities. Additionally, Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions also contains a definition of mercenary.

These non-state entities of the 21st century operate in extremely blurred situations, where the frontiers are difficult to separate. The new security industry of private companies moves large quantities of weapons and military equipment. It provides services for military operations, recruiting former military as civilians to carry out passive or defensive security.

However, these individuals cannot be considered civilians, given that they often carry and use weapons, interrogate prisoners, load bombs, drive military trucks and fulfill other essential military functions. Those who are armed can easily switch from a passive-defensive to an active-offensive role and can commit human rights violations and even destabilize governments. They cannot be considered soldiers or supporting militias under international humanitarian law, either, since they are not part of the army or in the armed forces chain of command, and often belong to a large number of different nationalities.

PMSC personnel cannot usually be considered to be mercenaries, for the definition of mercenaries as stipulated in the international conventions dealing with this issue does not generally apply to the personnel of PMSCs, which are legally operating in foreign countries under contracts of legally registered companies.

Please read the entire Report here

December 26, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SIGIR’s Latest on PMCs

By David Isenberg at Huff Post

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has just released its latest Quarterly Report.

The last report released in January, noted “For the quarter ending December 31, 2009, the Department of Labor (DoL) received reports of 13 new deaths of civilian contractors working in Iraq. DoL also received reports that 669 civilian contractors suffered injuries requiring them to miss at least four days of work. Since September 2001, the DoL has received reports of 1,459 deaths of civilian contractors.”

Contractor casualties nearly doubled in the latest quarter. SIGIR reports that in the first quarter of 2010, 25 deaths were reported to the Department of Labor (DoL),and 740 injuries were reported to the DOL as causing more than 3 days of lost work. Asof March 31, 2010, the number of deaths reported in Iraq is 1,471 since the DOL began compiling this data in March 2003.

The level of contracting services needed to support the drawdown of troops and equipment from Iraq has yet to be fully identied. Contractors will continue to provide a wide range of tasks essential for operations and for reconstruction programs, but DoD announced plans for a 30% reduction in overall contractor support (to a force of 75,000) by the end of FY 2010.

As of January 22, 2010, USF-I reported 100,035 DoD contractors working in Iraq:

51,990 third-country nationals
27,843 U.S. citizens
20,202 Iraqi nationals

As of March 31 there were approximately 102,000 DoD contractors working in Iraq, more than half of whom were providing life-support services to the U.S. military. DoD estimates that fewer than 75,000 contractors (excluding those working on the LOGCAP contract) will be operating in Iraq by August 2010, with more reductions anticipated after the U.S. military’s footprint shrinks. However, as the number of DoD contractors drops, there will be a concomitant increase in the number of contractors supporting DoS. For example, the advisors who will serve as the focal point for INL’s police-training program will need to be supported by about 1,500 other contractor personnel, including a significant number of security contractors.

This represents a significant decline in the absolute number of DoD contractors, from a high of more than 160,000 in September 2008. However, as a ratio of contractors to troops, the projection for August 2010 increases from roughly 1:1 to 3:2.

As of March 31, there were 2,795 DoS and USAID private security contractors (PSCs) working in Iraq. The report says that even today, it is difficult to estimate the total cost of providing security for reconstruction projects and personnel. DoD, DoS, and USAID have not been required to systematically identify financial data for PSCs. As the reconstruction effort evolves from large-scale infrastructure projects to capacity building, physical security could become a larger portion of total contract cost. In addition, requirements for PSC services for DoS and US AID are set to increase to compensate for support previously provided by the U.S. military. Services provided by the military, such as quick-reaction forces and medical evacuation, are difficult to quantify.

Despite years of effort to improve oversight corruption still occurs in the awarding of contracts. The report notes several indictments and plea agreements, including:

• An ongoing joint investigation by SIGIR, British investigators, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service led to the arrest of two British citizens. The investigation involves an $8.48 million contract awarded by the Coalition Provisional Authority to provide armored vehicles to Iraq’s Ministry of the Interior (MOI). It is alleged that the contractor personnel provided false documentation in order to receive full payment for the contract and failed to deliver any vehicles to the MOI.
• On January 27, 2010, Theresa Russell, a former staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, pled guilty to a one-count criminal information charging her with money laundering arising from a scheme involving the fraudulent awarding and administration of U.S. government contracts in Iraq. Her sentencing is scheduled for May 21, 2010.

• In February, former DoD contractor Terry Hall pled guilty to conspiring to pay more than $3 million in bribes to U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at Camp Arijan, Kuwait. Hall owned and operated several companies that provided goods and services to the Department of Defense. The case against Hall arose out of a wide-ranging investigation of corruption at the Camp Arijan contracting office. To date, eight individuals, including Hall, have pled guilty for their roles in the bribery scheme.

• On February 26, 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a criminal information charging a former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel with three counts of accepting illegal gratuities involving the award of a one-year, $8.2 million warehouse contract in Iraq.

• That same day, DOJ filed a criminal information charging a U.S. Army captain with one count of accepting a gratuity involving a DoD contract at Camp Arijan. The information was filed as a result of the captain’s alleged acceptance of $15,000 in cash from a government contractor for preparing a contract performance survey and recommending an overall rating of excellent.

• In early March, a captain in the United States Marine Corps was charged with conspiring with his wife to skim approximately $1.75 million from government contracts awarded under the Iraqi First Program while he was acting as a COR in Iraq. Moreover, because they allegedly failed to report any of these illegal payments on their tax return for 2008, they substantially understated their income to the Internal Revenue Service. During the course of this investigation, government agents also seized from the couple two properties in California, two automobiles, and approximately $40,000 in cash.

The military is trying to improve the quality of its acquisition workforce. On March 2, 2010, General Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, issued a memo that established new standards for the selection and training of contracting officer’s representatives (CORs), who are responsible for contractor oversight. Among the reforms are pre-deployment selection and training and improved training materials for deployed CORs. In addition, commanders and supervisors are required to nominate personnel with experience in the type of contract support required, to ensure they receive contract-specific training, and to consider their effectiveness as CORs when preparing performance evaluations.

Follow David Isenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/vanidan

April 30, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment