Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate

Wired’s Danger Room  September 17, 2012

The State Department signed a six-figure deal with a British firm to protect the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya just four months before a sustained attack on the compound killed four U.S. nationals inside.

Contrary to Friday’s claim by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that “at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya,” the department inked a contract for “security guards and patrol services” on May 3 for $387,413.68. An extension option brought the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only “foreign security awardees” as its recipient.

The State Department confirmed to Danger Room on Monday that the firm was Blue Mountain, a British company that provides “close protection; maritime security; surveillance and investigative services; and high risk static guarding and asset protection,” according to its website. Blue Mountain says it has “recently operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Caribbean and across Europe” and has worked in Libya for several months since last year’s war.

A representative for Blue Mountain, reached at its U.K. offices Monday, said no one was available to comment.

The State Department frequently hires security companies to protect diplomats in conflict zones. It usually is done through what’s known as the Worldwide Protective Services contract, in which a handful of approved firms compete to safeguard specific diplomatic installations. In 2010, State selected eight firms for the most recent contract. Blue Mountain wasn’t among them, and the State Department did not explain why the Benghazi consulate contract did not go to one of those eight firms.

Please read the entire article at The Danger Room

September 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Libya, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACADEMI — ex-Blackwater — Boosts State Dept Business, Eyes Acquisitions:

AOL Defense June 8, 2012

How confident is the new management at private security contractor ACADEMI — formerly known as Xe and, also, infamously, as Blackwater — that they’ve turned the company around?

Last month, apparently without attracting any public attention (until now), they quietly bought another security firm, International Development Solutions, and took over its piece of the State Department’s $10 billion World Protective Services contract, which then-Blackwater got kicked out of years ago.

And ACADEMI plans on further acquisitions, CEO Ted Wright confirmed in an exclusive interview with AOL Defense.

The company has spent a year rebuilding and is set to grow again, said Wright, who took over in June 2011. (He was hired by a new ownership team that bought out Blackwater founder Erik Prince the previous December). “The things we said we were going to do a year ago, we’ve kind of done,” said Wright, just back from visiting employees in Afghanistan.

Since he started, the company has not only a new name but a new management team, a new board of directors — in fact it didn’t even have a board before — and a new corporate headquarters in Arlington, looking across the Potomac River straight at the headquarters of the State Department. Many of the employees doing security work in the field are new, Wright said, and the core of ACADEMI’s business, its training cadre, has turned over almost completely: Only about 10 instructors remain from the old days, compared to 30 new hires, with another 20 on the way.

Please see the original and read the entire report here

June 8, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Xe | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment