Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

CIA Shifts Strategy in Iraq—Still High Demand for Niche Capabilities

Aronson Capital Partners Blog  July 10, 2012

The post-war reductions of CIA personnel in Iraq could provide greater opportunities for contractors with niche capabilities in intelligence collection, processing, and analysis.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the CIA is considering plans to reduce its presence in Iraq to 40% of wartime levels due, in part, to Iraqi officials’ unfavorable feelings toward a major CIA presence in the country.1 U.S. officials have since complained that deteriorating communications with Iraq have resulted in significant losses of situational awareness regarding the activities of al-Qaeda in Iraq. As a result, the CIA and other members of the Intelligence Community (“IC”) will have to shift operations back toward traditional intelligence collection and will need the help of private contractors to augment such a shift.

In light of fiscal pressures and sequestration concerns, the IC contracting community is expected to experience cuts in contracting and spending. However, there are still valuable growth opportunities which complement the Obama administration’s national security strategy to conduct smaller operations by combining intelligence and special operations capabilities. Leon Panetta, Defense Secretary and former Director of the CIA, stated in the January 5, 2012 strategic review briefing that even with a reduction in the overall defense budget, “We will protect our investments in special operations forces, new technologies like ISR and unmanned systems, space and cyberspace capabilities, and our capacity to quickly mobilize.”2

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July 12, 2012 Posted by | CIA, Civilian Contractors, Iraq | , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. serviceman kills 16 in house-to-house village shooting, Afghan officials say

By msnbc.com staff and news services  March 14, 2012

Updated at 7:59 a.m. ET: KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. soldier who allegedly shot 16 Afghan villagers was caught on surveillance video that showed him walking up to his base and raising his arms in surrender, Afghan officials who viewed the footage said.

The video reportedly was shot from a blimp and showed the soldier walking up to his base covered in a traditional Afghan shawl. The soldier removed the shawl and put his weapon on the ground, then raised his arms in surrender, unidentified Afghan officials told Reuters and The Associated Press.

The video had been shown to investigators to help dispel a widely held belief among Afghans, including many members of parliament, that more than one soldier must have been involved because of the high death toll, the officials told journalists.

Shooting suspect was trained sniper  March12, 2012

The soldier detained for the shootings in Afghanistan was a qualified infantry sniper, a senior Department of Defense official told CNN. (See also: heightened security in Afghanistan)

The soldier was injured in a vehicle rollover while in Iraq in 2010, according to the official. The official described it as a non-combat rollover. He was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) but was found fit for duty.

His family has been moved on to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for their safety, the official said.

After an Afghan soldier alerted the U.S. military at the base of the soldier’s initial departure, the U.S. military put up an aircraft to search for the missing soldier. Soon after, Afghan civilians came to the gate carrying wounded civilians, the first indication the military had of the shooting.

When the soldier turned himself over to the search party, he immediately invoked his rights not to speak. He has been moved to Kandahar and put in pre-trial confinement, a congressional source told CNN.

Seattle Times  March 11, 2012 10pm

“It appears he walked off post and later returned and turned himself in,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Williams, a military spokesman. The NATO force said the assailant acknowledged he had inflicted an unspecified number of casualties during the shootings, which began about 3 a.m.

The soldier’s name has not been released, but a U.S. official told ABC News he is a 38-year-old staff sergeant who is married with two children and had served three tours in Iraq. This was his first tour in Afghanistan, where he has been since early December, the official said.

Separately, a senior U.S. military official confirmed that the sergeant was attached to a unit based at Lewis-McChord, located near Tacoma, and that he had been part of what is called a village-stabilization operation in Afghanistan, in which teams of Green Berets, supported by other soldiers, try to develop close ties with village elders, organize local police units and track down Taliban leaders. The official said the sergeant was not a Green Beret himself.

Soldier accused in Afghan killings from Lewis-McChord

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in cold blood is based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, ABC News is reporting.

The soldier is reported to be a 38-year-old staff sergeant. His name and unit were not immediately available.

LA Times  March 11, 2012

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — A lone American serviceman slipped away from his base in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday and went on a methodical house-to-house shooting spree in a nearby village, killing 16 people, nearly all of them women and children, according to Afghan officials who visited the scene.

The NATO force confirmed that the assailant was in military custody, and that he had inflicted an unspecified number of casualties during the shooting spree at about 3 a.m. Sunday. The U.S. Embassy called for calm and expressed deep condolences; the Taliban referred to the killings as an “act of genocide.”

The British Broadcasting Corp. reported that the shooter was a staff sergeant and a member of the U.S. special operations forces who had been involved in training the Afghan police.

The incident, potentially the worst atrocity of the 10-year war to be deliberately carried out by a single member of the Western military, represents a stunning setback to U.S.-Afghan relations, already shaken by last month’s burning of copies of the Koran at a U.S. military base north of Kabul

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March 11, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Erick McFerran injured in Osprey Crash

INDEPENDENCE – A native of Buchanan County may be among those injured Thursday when a U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey crashed in Afghanistan.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, three members of the U.S. military and one civilian employee were killed.

The Courier has received several reports that Erick McFerran of Independence was among those injured. The Courier could not reach the family to confirm the report. McFerran graduated from Independence High School in 2000.

McFerran is the son of Rick and Barb McFerran of Independence. The Courier went to the McFerran home Friday afternoon, but there was no answer.

The cause of the crash is not known, but officials said the aircraft was carrying U.S. troops and went down seven miles west of Oalat City in Zabul Province.

Those injured were transported to a nearby base for medical treatment, according to the Department of Defense.  Original Story here

April 10, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors | , , , , | Leave a comment

CV-22 Osprey Crashes in Afghanistan Kills Contractor

ISAF Joint Command – Afghanistan

For Immediate Release

KABUL, Afghanistan (April 9) – A U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey crashed in southern Afghanistan late last night, killing three U.S. servicemembers, one civilian employee, and injuring numerous other servicemembers. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.

The CV-22 was carrying U.S. Forces when it crashed approximately seven miles west of Qalat City, in Zabul Province. The injured were transported to a nearby base for medical treatment.

The CV-22 conducts long range infiltration and resupply for U.S. Forces. It employs tilt-rotor technology that allows it to take off and land as a helicopter. While in the air the engines can roll forward, allowing the aircraft to fly faster than a standard helicopter.

The CV-22 is a modified version of the Marine MV-22.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, NATO | , , , | Leave a comment

L-3 Awarded Two Contracts in Support of Iraq and Special Operations

NEW YORK, Mar 11, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — L-3 Communications  announced today that its STRATIS division has been awarded a three-year contract valued at $230.9 million to provide intelligence support services to United States and multinational forces in Iraq. L-3 has been successful in the recompetition of this firm-fixed-fee contract, with a scope of service extending to November 2012.

L-3 will provide program management, counterintellience support, intelligence analysis, intelligence planning and multimedia exploitation services at various forward operating bases and facilities throughout Iraq. Work on this initiative will be performed both in Iraq and Tampa, Fla.

A second award to STRATIS was a one-year contract valued at $24.8 million to provide imagery analysis services in support of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). This competitively-won cost-plus-fixed-fee contract includes the initial base year and four option years, with a scope of service extending to November 2014.

“In both instances, we are proud to have the opportunity to provide continuous support to our multinational forces participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the vital areas of intelligence analysis, planning and program management,” said Les Rose, president of L-3 STRATIS. “This effort complements our initiative in support of USSOCOM and its vital mission of conducting critical intelligence operations. Our seasoned professionals take great pride in their ability to make a significant contribution to our overall national security effort.”

March 11, 2010 Posted by | Contract Awards | , , | Leave a comment